Gaetz to hold rally in Wyoming to call for ousting Cheney from GOP leadership

January 27, 2021
In The News

The rift in the Republican Party is growing deeper this week as Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, a loyalist of former President Donald Trump, plans a visit to Wyoming’s capital to call for ousting Rep. Liz Cheneyfrom her leadership post for supporting Mr. Trump‘s impeachment.

Mr. Gaetz will hold a rally Thursday in Ms. Cheney‘s backyard as he campaigns for his colleagues to remove her as chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, the party’s third-highest position in the chamber.

Donald Trump Jr. expressed regret that he can’t attend the event, but asked if he could “Skype or call in.”

In a tweet promoting the event in Cheyenne, Mr. Gaetz said, “I do not want her job. I unequivocally am not seeking a position in House Leadership. I also know Wyoming can do better.”

Mr. Gaetz also urged people to call their representatives and ask whether they favor removing Ms. Cheney.

“Call your member of Congress. Ask them if they’re one of the people joining Representatives Jim Jordan, Andy Biggs and others in calling for the removal of Representative Liz Cheney as conference chair,” Mr. Gaetz posted. “We can’t have leaders who would rather let America decline than embrace the America First agenda.”

A Cheney spokesperson shot back at Mr. Gaetz, telling The Washington Examiner, “Rep. Gaetz can leave his beauty bag at home. In Wyoming, the men don’t wear make-up.”

Mr. Biggs, Arizona Republican and chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, has been circulating a petition calling for her removal from the leadership post.

The Republican parties in Lincoln, Johnson and Carbon counties in Wyoming have censured Ms. Cheneyfor her vote. And state Sen. Anthony Bouchard has announced he will be running against her in the 2022 Republican primary.

“Wyoming was President Trump‘s best state both times he ran,” Mr. Bouchard said in a statement announcing his campaign. “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.”

A Facebook page started by state Rep. Ocean Andrew, Laramie Republican, is urging people to attend the anti-Cheney rally.

“Are you tired of being poorly represented in Congress?” he posted. “Wyoming deserves better representation in Washington, DC. We deserve elected officials that will reflect our values of smaller government, less foreign intervention and standing up for those we believe in. We believe in keeping Wyoming free! If you care about the future of our nation, join us on Thursday in Cheyenne!”

Conservative social-media figure Scott Presler also said he’s planning a visit to Wyoming to drum up opposition to Ms. Cheney.

“We’re looking to register new voters, recruit candidates to run for office, & prepare for 2022,” he tweeted to his 795,000 followers. “I’ve never been to Wyoming before, but I’ve got my boots.”

Ms. Cheney was one of 10 House Republicans to vote for Mr. Trump‘s impeachment for inciting the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump supporters. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy expressed concerns last weekend over her failure to give him a heads-up about her vote.

“She can have a difference of opinion, but one thing if we’re going to lead within the conference, we should work together on that as a whole conference because we’re representative of that conference,” Mr. McCarthy told journalist Greta Van Susteren. “I do think she has a lot of questions she has to answer to the conference.”