- Thousands of Trump supporters marched in Casper, Wyoming, on Saturday.
- Trump endorsed Harriet Hageman, Rep. Liz Cheney’s main challenger.
- Trump supporters, who traveled from all over Wyoming, mocked Cheney at the rally.
CASPER, Wyoming – De Lubeck traveled about 275 miles across the state to watch former President Donald Trump take to the podium at a rally in support of Representative Liz Cheney’s main challenger, Harriet Hageman, on Saturday.
The 71-year-old voter, a lifelong Republican who lives in the small town of Pindale, said he has no intention of supporting Cheney, Wyoming’s only congressman. “Vote for Hageman, even if I have to crawl for it,” said Lubeck, pointing to the walking stick beside him.
“I don’t want to spit in front of you,” he said with a laugh, “but I do when I hear Liz’s name.”
The mention of Cheney’s name sparked derision, head shaking and widespread disapproval from dedicated Trump supporters who flocked to the former president’s gala from across the red state on Saturday afternoon. Dressed in “Trump 2024” hats and T-shirts, attendees waited for hours in a line that crept across the Ford Wyoming Center parking lot, anticipating Trump’s first-ever appearance in the state.
Cheney, a conservative Republican who has served in the US House of Representatives since 2017, has stood by Trump throughout his four-year term. But after the Capitol riots on January 6, she severed her relationship with Trump and voted to charge him with “inciting sedition.” Over the past year, Cheney has emerged as an outspoken and prominent Trump critic describing herself as an advocate of the Constitution.
Thus, Trump sharply targeted Cheney, repeatedly downplayed her and launched a retaliatory plan to oust her. His Saturday appearance in Wyoming helped appeal to voters to vote for Hageman over Cheney in the upcoming August 16 Republican primary. At the rally, Trump supporters, some of whom had previously voted for Cheney, poured Hagman on them.
My opinion is left [sic]. “I don’t think she’s fulfilled her sworn duty to represent her constituents,” James West, 40, of Lander, said of Cheney.
“Shame on the Republican Party. There are two sides,” said Chris Sorge, 30, who added Dallas Beasley, 31. “She might put a D in front of her name,” said Obi Corbyn, 48. Chelsea Rowan, 36, called Cheney “Renault”.
Cheney’s decision to criticize the former president exposed her to political risks in a country that voted overwhelmingly for Trump in 2020. But despite the patriotic and patriotic backlash she has suffered over her stance on Trump, Cheney has defended herself resolutely against the attacks, officially launching her re-election campaign on Thursday , which left voters in the procession confused.
“You should go back to where you came from and never go back,” said Delia, 60. Her husband, Lester, was wearing a hat that read “Peee on Cheney”. The couple asked insiders not to reveal his last name.
Although many participants pledged never to put Cheney’s name in the ballot box again, some still aren’t sure how to vote in a few months, leaving open the possibility of supporting the current congresswoman.
Kay West, 75, of Casper, said the decision was difficult because while she had previously voted for Cheney, Trump’s endorsement of Hagman “tempted” her to learn more about Cheney’s rival, a lawyer who grew up on the farm outside Fort Laramie, Wyoming.
“Liz Cheney has done a good thing,” West said, adding that she’s hesitant at the moment.
Cheney “stands up for what she believes in. This is all Wyoming,” said another undecided voter, asking insiders not to name her, “I want to see what Harriet has to say.”
But according to Janet Schaeffer, Cheney isn’t the same person she’s voted for in the past, telling Insider, “We’re all with Harriet.”
“She has changed,” said Schaeffer, 75, of Thermopolis, of Cheney. She is very anti-Trump. You acted wrong.”
Bob Langdon also said he was committed to voting for Hageman, citing Trump’s support for her.
Trump is not wrong. said Langdon, 74. “Anyone who says you should vote for him, you should vote for him.”
“It’s not for the people,” Langdon said of Cheney. “Get a job flipping burgers somewhere.”
The closely watched race is widely seen as a test of Trump’s authority over the Republican Party. Earlier this week, his high-profile recommendations for Republican candidates against incumbent Georgia officials failed. However, Trump-backed candidates in Ohio and Pennsylvania have won primaries in recent weeks.
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