CASPER – Support for former president Donald Trump’s presidential bid is tepid at best in Wyoming’s Washington delegation following a midterm election that ended up being pretty lackluster for Trump loyalists.
Between outgoing representative Liz Cheney’s ardent opposition to Trump and incoming representative Harriet Hageman’s ardent support for him, Wyoming Sens. Cynthia Lummis and John Barrasso land somewhere in the middle.
Hageman alone came out clearly in support of Trump’s presidential bid.
The incoming representative said in a Thursday statement to the Star-Tribune that she is “thrilled” the former president is running again.
“President Trump was the best president for Wyoming in my lifetime,” she said. “His pro-America policies were fantastic, leading to a booming economy, energy independence, and peace and stability. Our country was far better off , just two years ago before Joe Biden took over.”
When asked if Cheney would make a statement on Trump’s presidential bid, her spokesperson pointed the Star-Tribune to comments she made at a Tuesday event with the Washington Post prior to the former president’s announcement, where she said she feels “confident that he will never be president again.”
“Well, this is certainly not the rollout I’m sure Donald Trump wanted for his announcement tonight,” Cheney said, referring to the results from the midterm elections. “But, you know, it’s also not the first time he’s been totally detached from reality.”
Citing Trump’s role in and response to the Jan. 6 capitol riot, Cheney said that “there’s no question that he’s unfit for office.”
Cheney became one of the first Republicans in Congress to publicly denounce Trump’s false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him.
Her strong stance against the former president’s actions following the election resulted in significant backlash from the Republican Party, culminating in her resounding defeat to Trump-endorsed candidate Hageman in this year’s Republican primary for Wyoming’s lone House seat.
Wyoming’s Washington delegation was split on their actions around the 2020 election. Cheney was the only one who voted to impeach Trump.
And although Cheney, Barrasso and Lummis all initially recognized President Joe Biden’s victory, Lummis later signed a letter with other Senate Republicans calling on Congress to reject the Electoral College results. (At a rally, Trump thanked her for her stance.) She ended up voting against certifying the election results in Pennsylvania.
But Lummis has also recently changed tack on her stance toward the former president.
A Politico reporter posted a tweet on Monday detailing the senator’s response to the question of whether or not she’d endorse the former president.
“I don’t think that’s the right question,” Lummis said, according to the reporter. “I think the question is who is the current leader of the Republican Party. Oh, I know who it is: Ron DeSantis.”
DeSantis, who was easily reelected to be governor of Florida last week, is seen by many as a potential threat to Trump in the 2024 elections.
Lummis’ press office said in a Tuesday email to the Star-Tribune that the senator’s comments to the reporter “stand on their own” and that they “don’t have further comment.”
Barrasso, who had once crafted himself as a Trump loyalist, took a pretty neutral stance on the former president’s third bid for office. A spokesperson for the senator said in a Tuesday night email to the Star-Tribune that he “plans to support the Republican nominee for president.”
This story was published on Nov. 18, 2022.