When several dozen members of the Bighorn Basin Tea Party met Wednesday night in Cody, Wyoming for a regularly scheduled meeting, the results of their straw poll on the 2014 Republican Senate primary between incumbent Senator Mike Enzi and recently announced challenger Liz Cheney surprised few in attendance.
In the poll, 65% said they had no preference in the race because they did not have enough information on which to base a decision. Of those who had a preference, 26% said they would vote for Liz Cheney if the election were held today, while only 9% said they would vote for Mike Enzi.
Robin Berry, a Tea Party activist since the inception of the movement, is one of the organizers of the Bighorn Basin Tea Party, an informally organized group that has an email list of 400 active members. Ms. Berry told Breitbart News on Wednesday that neither Enzi nor Cheney have made their case to the estimated 50 Tea Party groups across the state.
“Enzi talks the talk, but he doesn’t walk the walk,” she said.
As for Ms. Cheney, Ms. Berry was skeptical. “She’s not really from Wyoming,” she said. “She just moved here a year ago, and she moved to Jackson, which is where all the liberals from California have moved. It’s not really people from Wyoming who live there.”
“The joke is the billionaires from out-of-state moved to Jackson and kicked all the millionaires out,” she explained. “It would have been different if she moved to Cody, or Laramie, where the rest of us live. But she didn’t. She moved to Jackson. People notice things like that.”
“She went to high school in Virginia, went to college in Colorado, and went to law school in Chicago,” Berry continued. “She’s on Fox News and is well connected to Washington, D.C. Everyone in Wyoming knows her father and her family, and they’re well respected. But no one knows Liz.”
As for Senator Enzi, Ms. Berry said, “There are probably many opinions on his performance. Enzi has disappointed many of us because he has to play the game. The whole Washington contingent has been given the message by us to stop playing the game.”
“Their message of compromise with the liberals is not good for the country,” she said. “The conservatives are the ones who always compromise, the liberals never compromise. So we’re saying it’s time to stop compromising. We’re standing on principle and the rule of law.”
Senator Enzi voted against both Obamacare and the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill. Breitbart News asked Ms. Berry if she thought Liz Cheney would perform any differently than Senator Enzi if she were elected to the Senate.
“Honestly I don’t know,” she said. “She’s part of the Cheney dynasty, just like the Bush dynasty and the Kennedy dynasty. I don’t think that necessarily indicates she would be any better than Enzi. I don’t know Liz Cheney’s position on the ‘Gang of Eight’ immigration bill.”
“The key issue is getting back to the constitution, quit spending money you don’t have, quit spending us into oblivion, and getting rid of Obamacare,” Berry explained. “Enzi voted against Obamacare, but he’s done nothing to repeal it.”
With this relative lack of enthusiasm for either candidate, Ms. Berry said there may be an interest in having another option on the ballot. “I would not be surprised if a Tea Party candidate got in the race, if that’s all we have to choose from, Cheney and Enzi. Cheney spouts Tea Party ideals but she doesn’t have a track record.”
Ms. Berry ended with a theme heard often among local Tea Party activists across the country. “There’s a lot of controversy in the GOP in Wyoming right now. You’ve got people compromising our rights, bowing down to the government, and that’s not what we want.”