“After spending time with Harriet, it’s clear that she will always listen to and prioritize the needs of her local communities and focus on solving our country’s biggest problems,” McCarthy told the Federalist. “I look forward to serving with Harriet for years to come.”
Jeremy Adler, Cheney’s spokesman, dismissed McCarthy’s endorsement in a statement to The Washington Post.
“Wow, she must be really desperate,” Adler said.
Cheney has drawn the ire of many in the GOP because she insisted her allegiance is to the Constitution and not to Trump, whom she holds responsible for inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, to stop the certification of Joe Biden. electoral college victory. More than 100 law enforcement officers were assaulted in the attack which left five people dead.
As punishment for her heresy, House Republicans, led by McCarthy, ousted Cheney from her leadership position as conference president, the party’s No. 3 position, in May 2021. Cheney then said “I will do everything possible to ensure that the former president never comes near the Oval Office again.
Cheney was among 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the deadly insurgency. She and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) are the only Republicans serving on the House Select Committee investigating the attack on the Capitol.
McCarthy’s endorsement comes less than two weeks after the Republican National Committee voted to condemn Cheney and Kinzinger in a no-confidence resolution passed overwhelmingly on a voice vote. The resolution denounces the House committee’s investigation as “a Democratic-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political speech” and states that the behavior of Cheney and Kinzinger “has been destructive to the institution of the House. representatives of the United States, the Republican Party and our republic.
In addition to official censure at the party’s winter meeting in Salt Lake City, RNC leaders passed a special rule to recognize her opponent as the party’s presumptive candidate. Along with Hageman, retired Col. Denton Knapp is also challenging Cheney in the state’s GOP primary.
Hageman, an attorney who has worked on cases challenging federal actions on water and natural resource rights, has previously received Trump’s endorsement. She resigned as a member of the Wyoming Republican National Committee last September before Trump’s announcement. Previously, she rode an unsuccessful race for governor in 2018, finishing third in a six-person primary won by Gov. Mark Gordon (R).
Upon hearing the news of Trump’s endorsement of Hageman for the seat at large, Cheney joked a quick response: “Bring it on.”
She later said it was “tragic” that some in the primary race had “sacrificed … their principles and their duty to the people of Wyoming out of fear and in favor of loyalty to a former president who deliberately deceived the American people on the 2020 election, provoked an attack on the United States Capitol and failed to perform his duties as president as violence ensued.
Hageman had previously supported Cheney, donating to past campaigns and serving as an adviser for his failed Senate bid in 2013. But she also turned against Cheney after becoming an outspoken critic of Trump.
Despite condemnation from his party, Cheney set personal fundraising bests, raising $2.04 million in the fourth quarter of 2021, surpassing a previous high of $1.9 million in the second quarter of 2021, according to the documents filed by the Federal Election Commission.