Fight Between Rand Paul And Liz Cheney Turns Savage — Now Cheney’s Senate Run Is At Risk
The feud between Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) just took a turn for the worse, with Paul moving to thwart Cheney’s Senate run, escalating a years-long feud between their families and warring wings of the Republican Party.
Paul made contact with Cynthia Lummis, a former conservative House member, to encourage her to run for the Senate seat opening up in Wyoming now that Mike Enzi was retiring.
As noted by Politico, Lummis soon jumped into the race, leaving Cheney, her successor in Congress, with a tough choice: Embark on a brutal primary against Lummis or take the safer route and seek her fortune in House leadership.
That was only the beginning of Paul’s slugfest with Cheney, one that included a fierce back and forth over Twitter on foreign policy, dueling Sunday show appearances and a highly unusual phone call from Paul into a Casper, Wyo., TV station to assert that Wyoming Republicans are “tired” of Cheney’s support for nation-building abroad.
If Cheney decides to challenge Lummis for the Senate, the contest would elevate the larger split in the Republican Party over foreign policy and the still-simmering debate over whether Trump’s worldview is closer to Paul’s and Lummis’ or Cheney’s.
Conservative Rep. Mark Meadows, one of Trump’s closest confidants on Capitol Hill, has already contributed to Lummis’ campaign. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), who leans libertarian like Paul, said it’s an “easy call” to back Lummis.
Some GOP lawmakers and aides interpreted the Cheney-Paul Twitter spat as an audition for an audience of one: Trump. If Cheney does jump into the race, there would undoubtedly be a battle for Trump’s endorsement. His supporters in Congress are unsure if Trump would weigh in.
Regardless of who wins, the Senate will be far different with the departure of the low-key Enzi. Lummis might be a headache for GOP leaders if she resumes the same confrontational stance she had in the House and joins Paul as a thorn in McConnell’s side.