Wyoming attorney Harriet Hageman launched her challenge to Rep. Liz Cheney in the upcoming Republican primary and criticized her in an exclusive interview on Friday with Breitbart News. She called her opponent an ineffective representative of the state to confront the historic failures of President Joe Biden.
“When push came to shove, she chose Washington, DC. And she’s just used Wyoming as a mechanism to get there and have power,” Hageman said about Cheney.
Hageman said Cheney’s support for impeaching former President Donald Trump and subsequently aligning herself with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the committee to investigate the January 6 protests prove she was only interested in earning political power in D.C., not in the people of Wyoming.
Democrats, she said, are only using Cheney to pursue their political agenda against the Republicans.
“She stepped on the bus with the Democrats, and they’re using her to punch us in the nose at every opportunity, and that’s not right,” she said.
Hageman said Cheney’s decision to align herself with Pelosi and the Democrats make it impossible for her to criticize the historic failures of the Biden administration.
“She doesn’t have any moral authority. That’s the problem,” she said. “And that’s why I say when it counted most, we couldn’t count on her.”
Hageman asserted that Cheney no longer has credibility on issues that voters in the state care about.
“Liz Cheney has no credibility with the Democrats, and she has no credibility with the Republicans,” she said. “And as a result, she cannot accomplish anything for the state of Wyoming.”
Republicans in Wyoming, Hageman said, made it very clear they supported former President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election and beyond, and Cheney continued to defy them.
“She’s allowed herself to be part of a group of people that deflect attention from failure, and that’s where she has betrayed us, instead of focusing on what the Biden administration is doing to us,” she said:
Regarding Biden’s massive failures in Afghanistan, Hageman indicated she is appalled that Cheney will not criticize Biden without criticizing Trump in the same breath.
“She criticizes Biden very, very briefly, and then immediately, pivots back to her war with President Trump,” she said about Cheney. “That’s not where our heads are.”
The disastrous exit from Afghanistan hit home particularly in Wyoming with the death of Marine Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, one of thirteen American troops who died in the suicide bombing attack outside the airport in Kabul.
McCollum, 20, was married and expecting his first child when he was killed:
“It’s such a pure tragedy,” Hageman said. “It’s a tragedy that was preventable.”
She criticized Biden for literally knocking on wood during the botched evacuation and claiming “no one’s being killed right now”:
EXCLUSIVE: Pres. Biden to @GStephanopoulos on Afghanistan: “No one’s being killed right now — we got 1,200 out yesterday, a couple thousand today. And it’s increasing. We’re gonna get those people out.” https://t.co/EX9TlHMLMt pic.twitter.com/0t5kAiV14V
— ABC News (@ABC) August 19, 2021
“His policy and the best he could do is ‘knock on wood,’ and it obviously didn’t do anything to save the lives of our military,” she said. “Knocking on wood isn’t a policy; it’s a total and complete failure.”
Hageman also criticized Biden’s inflationary policies.
“We care about the fact that you go buy four bags of groceries, and it cost you almost $200,” she said. “Our gas prices are rising exponentially. These things that the Biden administration has done are hitting our middle class and the poor among us the hardest.”
After Hageman announced her campaign Thursday, Biden announced his plan to require private businesses with more than 100 employees to make the coronavirus vaccines mandatory.
She denounced Biden’s actions as unconstitutional.
“This is just a matter of more abuse of power,” Hageman said about Biden. “This is a man who believes that he’s a dictator, or at least the power behind him thinks that they can operate him as a dictator, and that’s what he’s doing.”
She condemned Biden’s hypocrisy of allowing migrants to cross the southern border without vaccines while trying to level mandates on American citizens:
“If that isn’t hypocrisy, we have to move beyond the word of hypocrisy,” she said. “That’s not hypocrisy. That is evil.”
Hageman earned Trump’s endorsement before announcing her campaign, one of several primary candidates who met with the former president.
As a constitutional lawyer who spent her career fighting the federal government on issues of water rights and land use, Hageman said she and Trump immediately had an understanding about issues important to Wyoming.
“He was the first president in my professional career or probably in my lifetime that truly understood the burden that the administrative regulations have on our country,” she said about Trump.
Trump also spoke to her about energy issues facing the state as a result of Biden’s presidency and the importance of Wyoming helping keep the United States energy independent.
Hageman also indicated that Trump was still widely popular in Wyoming and that she would honor that.
“People have rallied behind him. People want to protect him. This is a man who put America first. He put us first. He put our businesses first,” she said. “He cared about us”:
Hageman is hoping that Trump’s endorsement will help clear the field of conservatives challenging Cheney in order to defeat her. In 2018, Hageman ran for governor but fell short after splitting the conservative vote in the primary with Republican billionaire Foster Friess. The more moderate Republican, Mark Gordon, ultimately won the primary.
Attorney Darin Smith dropped out of the race after Trump announced his endorsement and also endorsed Hageman. Wyoming State Rep. Chuck Gray has not dropped out of the race but indicated to Breitbart News he would consider it if he failed to get Trump’s endorsement.
State Sen. Anthony Bouchard indicated he would stay in the primary race, accusing Trump of allowing himself to be misled by his advisers.
Cheney indicated she would still run for reelection despite her reluctance to appear and hold public events in the state.
“Bring it,” she wrote on social media soon after Trump announced his endorsement of Hageman.