A former Democratic senator who made headlines in a 2017 sexual harassment scandal that forced his resignation has sparked ridicule after endorsing Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming in her upcoming Republican primary.
Wyoming Republicans go to the polls Tuesday to decide between Cheney, who has been an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump, and challenger Harriet Hageman, who has Trump’s support.
One poll released last week gave Hageman a 29-point lead over Cheney.
Former U.S. Sen. Al Franken, who stepped down from the Senate in early 2018, tweeted his endorsement on Saturday.
“I’ve decided to endorse @RepLizCheney for the Republican nomination for the House seat In Wyoming it’s my first time endorsing in a GOP primary. But I think Al Franken’s support will carry a lot of weight with WY Republicans,” he wrote, with obvious sarcasm.
Sarcastic or not, in a Republican primary in a state as conservative as Wyoming, where Trump won almost 70 percent of the votes in 2020, the endorsement could be an anchor dragging Cheney even further down.
Twitter came alive with negative responses, with one noting the endorsement would be a “weight around Liz’s neck.”
Maybe she can hit the road with you on your comedy tour when she gets voted out, because she sure as hell isn’t getting re-elected.
— Lavern Spicer 🇺🇸 (@lavern_spicer) August 13, 2022
Noted sexual harasser makes his choice https://t.co/UYQ02Xf8u0
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) August 13, 2022
The Wyoming Chapter of Cowboys for Al Franken will be voting Cheney.
— Nathan Thurm (@JimmysUpset) August 13, 2022
I see that Al Franken has endorsed Liz Cheney. He says it will carry weight in Wyoming. Yea, like a 250 weight around Liz’s neck. 🙄🙃😜😁😆😅😂🤣
— Bob White (@TruthFreedomA1) August 14, 2022
Cheney was among the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol incursion and has continued to attack Trump as a member of the House select committee investigating the event.
Wyoming Republican Darin Smith said Cheney’s hatred of Trump is “a vendetta,” according to the U.K. Guardian.
Trump publicly criticizes the foreign policy of former President George W. Bush’s administration, in which Cheney’s father, Dick Cheney, served as vice president.
Will Liz Cheney lose her primary?
“She’s mad at Trump because Trump pointed out the truth of the Cheney foreign policy. Her dad is responsible for millions of deaths worldwide and trillions of dollars in spending from the US government,” said Smith, who was outside the Capitol on the day of the incursion, according to The Guardian.
“She’s pissed about it and she’s a narcissist and she saw her opportunity to go for Trump’s throat and she did,” he said.
“But it’s bigger than that. She wants to be the first woman president. We all know that. We’re not stupid. She’s going to ‘educate’ us in the Constitution and how ‘we’re wrong and she’s right.’ Well, she’s got news and she’s got something coming for her on Tuesday of next week. She’s gonna find out if she educated us or not,” he said.
Laura Harnish, 53, a Wyoming resident interviewed by The Guardian, was blunt: “I wouldn’t vote for Liz Cheney if she was the last person on the ballot.”
“The Jan. 6 committee was very badly done. She wasn’t representing Wyoming at that point. I vote for you. That’s who you represent: Wyoming. If you’re not going to do that then you don’t need to be in office. You need to find something else to do,” she said.
Others said Cheney made the decisions that led to her likely defeat.
“I do think it’s debatable whether she should have gone out and blown herself up this way, because it’s obviously going to cost her her seat and her platform, but she chose a different path. And I think everybody’s got to make their own decisions in life,” said Scott Jennings, a GOP strategist and ex-special assistant to former President George W. Bush, said, according to The Hill.
The Hill article was headlined: “Cheney looks to cling on in Wyoming despite polls.”