A Wyoming Republican state senator told the Star News Network why he is challenging his state’s only Member of Congress and the most senior House Republican, Rep. Elizabeth L. “Liz” Cheney in the 2022 GOP primary.
“Liz Cheney’s long-time opposition to President Trump and her most recent vote for Impeachment shows just how out-of-touch she is with Wyoming,” said state Sen. Anthony Bouchard in his Jan. 20 announcement of his candidacy. “Wyoming taxpayers need a voice in Congress who will stand up to Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats, and not give them cover.”
Bouchard’s 6th State Senate District is just east of Cheyenne, the state capital. The owner of a septic tank and system cleaning service, first won his seat in 2016, after his first two tries in 2012, 2014.
The businessman, who founded Wyoming Gun Owners in 2010, said he has never met nor supported Cheney.
“Before she entered into Wyoming politics, Liz Cheney founded and led a group called ‘Keep America Safe,’ an organization that peddled deep state misinformation,” he said. “I never supported her, nor did I vote for her.”
The House hopeful said when elected, he would utilize the skills he learned as a gun rights advocate and state senator, such as mobilizing regular voters to overwhelm the professional politicians.
“What I learned early on is how leadership in both chambers has full control over the process. Then, I learned how grass roots pressure changes their game,” he said. “This is why I was so successful in changing pro-gun policy in Wyoming.”
Wyoming voters gave President Donald J. Trump 70 percent of the vote, slightly higher than Cheney’s total, but the congresswoman is drawing from the so-called Front Range Corridor, the band of Denver suburbs that is expanding into southeast Wyoming.
Trump name-checked Cheney at his Jan. 6 rally against certifying the Electoral College: “We got to get rid of the weak congresspeople, the ones that aren’t any good, the Liz Cheneys of the world.”
Bouchard said it was incredible that Cheney would actively support the Jan. 13 impeachment of Trump—and that for him was the final straw.
“Sadly, we were not surprised,” he said.
“She has shown distain for the president since Day One,” he said. “A lot of that is because of his policy of ending the failed Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama globalist foreign policy. Her failed globalist foreign policy led to endless wars and the deaths of countless numbers of Americans.”
Not only did Cheney lead nine other House Republicans to vote in favor of Trump’s second impeachment, but her statement also defending her vote was quoted by several of the most senior House Democrats on the House floor in the debate before the vote.
Cheney did not take to the House floor for the impeachment debate, but let this statement stand as her final word:
On Jan. 6, 2021 a violent mob attacked the United States Capitol to obstruct the process of our democracy and stop the counting of presidential electoral votes. This insurrection caused injury, death and destruction in the most sacred space in our Republic.
“Much more will become clear in coming days and weeks, but what we know now is enough. The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the president. The president could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. He did not. There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution. I will vote to impeach the president.
This Cheney Tweets left no doubt of her animus for Trump:
We just had a violent mob assault the Capitol in an attempt to prevent those from carrying out our Constitutional duty. There is no question that the President formed the mob, the President incited the mob, the President addressed the mob. He lit the flame. pic.twitter.com/nc9WLmtfuv
— Rep. Liz Cheney (@RepLizCheney) January 7, 2021
Normally, voters take pride in their representatives being in leadership and will give them more leeway, but in addition to Bouchard’s challenge, at least three GOP county committees have rebuked Cheney over her support for impeaching Trump.
Bouchard said those committees were working on their own initiative. “The precinct people and the committee actually votes and that’s how they take action. I am not involved at that level, but I fully support this action by the party, this is how it is supposed to work.”
Cheney under fire from House conservatives
While Bouchard looks to end Cheney’s House career, Capitol Hill conservatives, led by Rep. Matthew L. Gaetz II (R.-Fla.) and House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy S. Biggs (R.-Ariz.), have circulated a petition among the GOP congressmen demanding a vote on whether Cheney should remain in her position.
By embracing the language and the arguments of the radical left instead of the America First movement, Liz Cheney is spitting into the eyes of tens of millions of Americans. pic.twitter.com/855x7ZwWpZ
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 21, 2021
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R.-Calif.) has tried to support Cheney inside the conference, but the blowback from House Republicans still fiercely loyal to Trump has forced him to start to express his own concerns about Cheney’s support of impeachment.
McCarthy has his own political future to worry about as Cheney stepped out on her own onto the national stage, seemingly without coordinating with her leader. This signals that Cheney may be her own challenge against McCarthy in the next session.
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Neil W. McCabe is a Washington-based national political reporter for The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. In addition to the Star Newspaper, he has covered the White House, Capitol Hill and national politics for One America News, Breitbart, Human Events and Townhall. Before coming to Washington, he was a staff reporter for Boston’s Catholic paper, The Pilot, and the editor of two Boston-area community papers, The Somerville News and The Alewife. McCabe is a public affairs NCO in the Army Reserve and he deployed for 15 months to Iraq as a combat historian.
Photo “Anthony Bouchard” by Anthony Bouchard.