After former President George W. Bush lined up to back Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., in her reelection campaign against former President Donald Trump’s primary challenge, Trump has fired shots at “warmongering and very low polling” Cheney and Bush.
Trump wrote in a statement Wednesday from his Save America PAC, using the RINO (Republican in Name Only) moniker:
“RINO former President George ‘Dubya’ Bush and his flunky Karl Rove are endorsing warmongering and very low polling, Liz Cheney. Bush is the one who got us into the quicksand of the Middle East and, after spending trillions of dollars and killing nearly a million people, the Middle East was left in worse shape after 21 years than it was when he started his stupidity. It ended with Biden’s most embarrassing in history withdrawal from Afghanistan, a total surrender, leaving $85 billion dollars of equipment and many young Warriors lives behind.”
Trump noted Cheney and Bush once had a falling out where they did not speak for years, regarding a pardon of Scooter Libby, continuing in his statement:
“Bush is the person who did not have the courage to give a pardon to his vice president’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, even though Cheney begged for him to do so. He wouldn’t, they didn’t talk for years.
“I didn’t know Scooter, but gave him a full pardon—not at their request, but because he deserved it. He suffered greatly. Former Vice President Cheney called to effusively thank me. Now he is on the side of his daughter who is so bad for Wyoming and the United States that she is polling at record lows.”
Liz Cheney is the daughter of Bush’s Vice President Dick Cheney. Bush will headline a fundraiser next month Oct. 18 in Dallas for Rep. Cheney, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.
Rep. Cheney was the most prominent House Republican to vote to impeach Trump after he left office.
Bush’s involvement puts the two former Republican presidents directly at odds and underscores the deep tension that remains within the party between Trumpism and the GOP’s establishment wing.
Earlier this month, Trump endorsed Cheney challenger Harriet Hageman, a Wyoming attorney looking to unseat the three-term congresswoman.
Bush spokesperson Freddy Ford said in a statement the former president “has historically helped a few key candidates and friends each cycle, so this one shouldn’t come as any surprise.”
“President Bush is impressed by Liz Cheney’s strength and vision, and he’s proud to support her,” he added.
Cheney’s campaign did not immediately respond to AP requests for comment Wednesday on the significance of the fundraiser. Bush aides did not comment to AP on any possible plans to campaign on the congresswoman’s behalf.
Cheney was ousted from her leadership position as the No. 3 House Republican for taking on Trump but has nonetheless posted huge fundraising numbers, with two consecutive record quarters, according to financial reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
That includes bringing in $1.88 million from April through June and $1.54 million in the first three months of 2021, reports show.
Material from the AP was used to compile this report.