New York – Former US President George W. Bush will headline a fundraiser next month for top Donald Trump critic Liz Cheney, which will turn into a proxy war of sorts between former presidents representing two competing factions of the Republican Party.
According to a person familiar with the plans, who was not authorized to discuss fundraising by name and spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, Bush supported the Wyoming congressional campaign in Dallas on October 18. There will be a special guest in the program.
Cheney, the daughter of Bush’s two-time vice president, Dick Cheney, was the most prominent House Republican to vote to impeach Trump for inciting the January 6 storming of the US Capitol. She has since emerged as his most vocal adversary, and Trump has vowed to seek his revenge.
Bush’s involvement puts the two former Republican presidents at direct odds and underscores the deep tension that resides within the party between Trumpism and the establishment wing of the GOP.
Earlier this month, Trump announced his support for Cheney challenger Harriet Hejman, a Wyoming attorney looking to oust a three-term Congresswoman.
Bush spokesman Freddie Ford said in a statement that the former president has “historically helped a few key candidates and friends each cycle, so it should come as no surprise.”
“President Bush is impressed by Liz Cheney’s strength and vision, and he is proud to support her,” he said.
Trump fired back in a statement Wednesday evening, calling Bush a “Republican in name only” despite his long leadership of the party, and calling Cheney “warm up” and “so bad for Wyoming.” Had given.
Cheney’s campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday on the importance of the fundraiser. Bush’s aides did not comment on any potential plans to campaign on behalf of Congress.
While Bush has generally kept a low profile since leaving office in 2009, he delivered an edgy speech earlier this month marking the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in which he described the country’s growing internal divisions and “violence”. warned to gather inside.
“There is very little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home,” he said while delivering the keynote address at the National Memorial to the Victims of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. “But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to desecrate national symbols, they are children of the same dishonesty. And it is our constant duty to confront them.”
The warning came eight months after Trump supporters attempted to reverse Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election, a violent uprising in the US Capitol. It marked some scathing criticism of Bush of that attack and appeared to be an implicit criticism of Trump’s brand of politics.
Trump, a longtime critic of Bush’s opposition to the country’s wars in the Middle East, responded to the speech suggesting Bush is a “terrorist on the right” to have a bigger problem than foreign countries that hate America. , and that it is raining in our country right now.”
“He shouldn’t lecture us about anything,” Trump said in a statement. “The World Trade Center came down under his watch. Bush led a failed and inspirational presidency. He shouldn’t lecture anyone!”
According to financial reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, Cheney was ousted from his leadership position as the No. 3 House Republican to take on Trump, but he still managed two record quarters in a row with massive fundraising. Numbers posted.
This includes bringing in $1.88 million from April to June and $1.54 million in the first three months of 2021, the report shows.
Trump has backed several other Republicans who challenged GOP office bearers who voted to impeach him. It also includes Kelly Shibaka, who is running in Alaska against Sen. Lisa Murkowski; Michigan State Representative Steve Cara, who has long been trying to oust Representative Fred Upton; and Joe Kent, who is challenging rap Jaime Herrera Beutler in Washington.
Republican Representative Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio announced last week that he would retire next year rather than run for re-election against a Trump-backed opponent.