During their first debate on Thursday night, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney and her four opponents for Wyoming’s lone congressional seat were able to agree on a number of points, including their opposition to the bipartisan infrastructure bill, support for the nation’s energy infrastructure, and criticism of the Biden administration.
But she discovered that she was an oddity when it came to issues like the Jan. 6 committee’s recommendations and the validity of the 2020 presidential election. In addition, Cheney’s conviction that the 2020 election was not rigged might cost her her position.
Cheney, the vice chair of the Jan. 6 select committee, consistently asserted throughout the discussion that “there was not sufficient fraud to overturn the results of the 2020 election” based on recent findings from the committee’s hearings and testimony from members of former President Donald Trump’s family and staff. The fact that Trump and other Republicans incorrectly claimed it was stolen, she continued, is a “tragedy.”
In her closing remarks, Cheney warned that if we accept Donald Trump’s lies and mislead the people of Wyoming, we would soon find ourselves without the foundation, framework, and structure of our constitutional republic.
The debate was held the day after Cheney claimed that Trump’s attempts to alter the results of the 2020 election demonstrate that he is a “domestic menace” in a speech at the Reagan Library in California.
Trump supporter and Cheney opponent Harriet Hageman responded to this assertion on Thursday night.
She said that there are “two different systems of justice” and asserted that one does not hold Democrats “accountable for their judgments,” saying that “the threat to our republic truly comes from other sources.”
Yet, she continued, “you have the Republicans or the conservatives who are being punished for exercising their First Amendment rights.”
In a few internal polls performed by Trump and Hageman loyalists, Cheney, who is lagging Hageman by over 30%, started the debate by attacking Hageman.
She pressed Hageman to deny rigging in the 2020 presidential election. Additionally, she mentioned Bill Stepien’s testimony to the committee on January 6, in which he claimed that Trump lacked the justification to declare victory on election night. Hageman’s campaign now has Stepien on its advisory board.
Cheney referred to Hageman, saying, “I think she can’t declare that it wasn’t stolen because she’s entirely committed to Donald Trump.”
In answer, Hageman sidestepped Cheney’s inquiry by claiming that the “news and certain others have fixated” about the attack on January 6. She continued by saying that Wyoming voters almost ever mention it or the House Select Committee. Voters then comment on “how unfair this entire committee is” when she does.
She complained, “They’re not focusing on the issues that are vital to the people in Wyoming; they’re focusing on something that happened 18 months ago.” Additionally, they are ignoring the corruption that is completely destroying Washington, D.C. and, consequently, the rest of the nation.
Later, Hageman alleged that Cheney had been oblivious to Wyoming voters because he was too preoccupied with the Jan. 6 committee.
State Senator Anthony Bouchard, entrepreneur Robyn Belinsky, and veteran Denton Knapp, the other candidates, similarly denounced the Jan. 6 committee and asserted rampant election fraud in 2020.
“We, as a people, were restrained. The First Amendment’s freedom of speech was lost. Time and resources are wasted, “referring to the committee, Belinsky stated.
Bouchard echoed a phrase Trump has used by calling it “a lot of distraction” and a “kangaroo court.”
The contenders disagreed with Cheney on the issue of whether political cooperation in Congress should still be a priority.
We must elect leaders who won’t only say what they believe their constituents want to hear, according to Cheney, who said that there is a “toxicity and a hatred that is really tearing our society apart.”
According to Bouchard, he was chosen to represent extreme Republicans when elected to the Louisiana Senate.
According to Hageman, when people discuss bipartisanship in Congress, they really just want to know when the GOP will give in.
She remarked, “I don’t see bipartisanship.” “On the Democratic side, what I see is the advancement of an agenda that has been very harmful to this nation,” the author says.
Data from AdImpact shows that Cheney has already spent over $1.2 million on advertisements, while Hageman and affiliated groups have spent a total of $775,445. Midway through May, Trump’s Save America PAC started to invest in advertising.
According to Wyoming PBS, the debate was closed to the general public because of safety worries and threats made against one of the candidates.