Former House Speaker Paul Ryan will hold a fundraiser for embattled House GOP Conference chairwoman Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) at the end of March, an invitation obtained by Breitbart News shows.
The fundraiser, a “virtual event,” is slated for Thursday, March 25 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern. The invitation asks donors to give “suggested contributions” of $2,900 to “attend” or $5,800 to be a “co-host” of the Ryan-Cheney event.
Another interesting detail from the fundraising invitation is that the “Liz Cheney for Wyoming” campaign address to which donors are asked to make checks payable to is in Alexandria, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, DC. The fact that Cheney’s campaign is headquartered in the nation’s capital rather than in the state she purports to represent is something her primary challengers will almost surely use against her.
The news is significant because Cheney is facing multiple primary challenges after she voted to impeach now former President Donald Trump. Trump called her and her fellow Republican impeachment conspirators out in his speech this past weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), naming all 17 House and Senate Republicans who voted to impeach or convict him and saying they need to be removed from office.
Ryan, the former Speaker under whose watch Republicans lost a historic majority back in the 2018 midterm elections, announced earlier that year before the midterms he was not running for reelection and would be retiring. Ryan’s speakership was marred by a lack of successes and failures to do any big picture accomplishments except for things like the Trump tax cuts that the then-president carried through. He left office with a historically abysmal approval rating, down at just 12 percent according to one poll, demonstrating his ineffectiveness and failure in the job.
A Trump ally, when asked about the decision by Ryan to try to ride in to Cheney’s rescue by hosting this fundraiser, told Breitbart News that it is unsurprising two failed establishment politicians would hitch their wagons together.
“Asking a Beltway insider like Paul Ryan to headline a fundraiser for your campaign is something only a candidate with a 13% approval rating like Liz Cheney would do,” the Trump ally told Breitbart News.
A different GOP source, a consultant who works on campaigns including a number of House GOP candidates, added that this Cheney rescue plot by Ryan and his cohorts in the lobbying world of Washington is unsurprising. This official added that any donors who appear at this fundraiser should be “ashamed of themselves” and are working against the interests of the Republican Party’s push to retake the House majority in 2022.
“It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the face of the pro-amnesty, pro-war swamp is trying to rescue Cheney,” the GOP official told Breitbart News. “While Liz Cheney may be royalty in the swamp, she has done more to divide the Republican Party and hinder our chances of taking back the majority than any political figure in the country. Any so-called ‘Republican’ donor who gives money to support her divisive efforts should be ashamed of themselves and are directly working against efforts to build a winning and unified coalition to retake the House in 2022.”
While Ryan rode out of office in early 2019 with no achievements to his name and abysmal approval ratings after overseeing one of the biggest losses for the GOP in the 2018 midterms, his successor now House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has taken a wildly different approach to the leadership position. McCarthy, along with Trump, helped the GOP win back a net 15 seats in the 2020 congressional elections—defying all the odds and so-called experts. As such, McCarthy enjoys record-high approval ratings among the GOP base—and is the highest rated GOP congressional leader in a generation in polling.
As such, it’s not all bad news for the GOP and its base. With party leaders such as McCarthy and most of the rest of his team in the House leadership—from Whip Steve Scalise to National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) chairman Tom Emmer to Republican Study Committee chairman Jim Banks—embracing Trump’s positive populist policy vision, the GOP expects a bright future in the 2022 midterm elections. As Breitbart News has reported, McCarthy and these other leaders are already making moves to get the Republican Party reorganized after the 2020 elections and focused. McCarthy has made it a point to work with Trump—even traveling to Mar-a-Lago to meet the former president to discuss 2022 and 2024 races.
Ryan, meanwhile, has been—like Cheney and the nine other sitting House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump—antagonistic his whole career towards Trump. Back in 2017, Breitbart News published audio of a call during the 2016 presidential campaign in which Ryan lambasted Trump. “I am not going to defend Donald Trump—not now, not in the future,” Ryan said in that call.
He has followed through on that promise to consistently and repeatedly attack and undermine Trump. Ryan, upon leaving Congress, joined the board of Fox News—a move for which Trump criticized Ryan and Fox News. Fox News took serious shots at Trump during the 2020 campaign including at the first presidential debate which Chris Wallace moderated.
In addition to Ryan’s consistent undermining of Trump, Cheney has likewise been a thorn in Trump’s side for some time. After her impeachment vote, the House GOP Conference convened to discuss removing her as conference chair over not just her anti-Trump move but the fact she did not inform the conference of her decision ahead of time—thereby hurting House GOP Conference members. While she survived that push to oust her, Cheney’s repeated use of her position to engage in a personal crusade has isolated her from Republican rank-and-file members. For instance, when GOP leaders gave her another chance to be a leader instead of using her position to crusade against Trump, Cheney at a House GOP leadership press conference instead decided to use her position to force her personal anti-Trump agenda forward and attack Trump ahead of his CPAC speech. McCarthy, in contrast, defended Trump speaking at CPAC.
Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is now facing challenges from state Sen. Anthony Bouchard and a newly announced candidate state Rep. Chuck Gray. Polling in the race shows Cheney in serious trouble, and likely headed for an eventual loss. Republicans across the party have repeatedly attacked her by name, and ripped her aggressively in interviews and speeches at CPAC. Her standing in the party is diminishing quickly, much like Ryan’s did after a year plus as Speaker during Trump’s presidency.