Gaetz takes aim at Cheney at rally in her home state
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), one of former President Trump’s most ardent supporters, took aim at House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (Wyo.) on her own turf Thursday, holding a rally calling for her ouster.
Hundreds gathered outside the Capitol in Cheyenne, where the Florida Republican railed against the No. 3 Republican in the House just one day after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called on members of the conference to stop attacking each other as divisions in the party become increasingly more evident in the post-Trump era.
The decision from Gaetz — who has had a contentious relationship with Cheney — to host the rally comes as House conservatives push to remove Cheney from her leadership post after her decision to vote in favor of impeaching Trump for inciting the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan.6.
“Our battle is no longer just Republican vs. Democrat, it’s not just red team versus blue team. Absolutely not — we’ve got to put America first. Those are the old battles of yesteryear. But people have always come to the great frontiers of Wyoming to win the future — that’s why I’m here,” he said in his speech.
“Liz Cheney is a lot like Congress — deeply unpopular and owned by special interests,” he added. “She’s taken more money from PACs than people. She works for them, not you.”
Gaetz repeatedly slammed her foreign policy stances, alleging she supports endless wars, calling her a globalist, and accusing her of being beholden to special interests.
“The truth is that the establishment in both political parties have teamed up to screw our fellow Americans for generations. The private insider club of Joe Biden, Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney, Nancy Pelosi and Liz Cheney, they want to return our government to its default setting: enriching them,” he continued.
“They want to turn our government to its default setting, enriching them, making them more powerful at our expense, but we can stop and it starts right here in Wyoming,” he added.
At one point during his speech, Donald Trump Jr., the former president’s son, called in to take aim at the Wyoming Republican, who is the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.
“It seems like Liz Cheney’s favorables are only slightly worse than her father’s shooting skills,” Trump Jr. said as Gaetz held his phone up to the microphone. He was apparently referring to a nonfatal incident in which Dick Cheney accidentally shot a man.
The rally comes just days before the House is slated to reconvene, with the Republican conference slated to hold a conference meeting where conservatives’ grievances with Cheney’s rebuke of Trump are slated to be discussed.
While Cheney has come under fire since announcing her decision to impeach — even garnering a primary challenger — she has stood by her decision, with a number of leading Republicans in Congress including Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.), the No. 3 Republican in the Senate, coming to her defense.
“Wyoming doesn’t like it when outsiders come into our state and try to tell us what to do,” former Wyoming state Rep. Amy Edmonds said in a statement.
Cheney also easily fended off her primary challenge in 2018, winning with almost 68 percent of the vote, despite having pushed back on Trump’s foreign policy stances and at times his rhetoric.