Sen. Rand Paul says his first response to the news that Liz Cheney’s Senate bid was to wonder if she was “going to run in her home state of Virginia.”
Mr. Paul, a Kentucky Republican who is a tea party favorite and likely 2016 presidential contender, said he heard rumors last year that Mrs. Cheney, the elder daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, was pondering a bid for the Senate in Virginia, where “I guess she has lived most of her life.”
“But I think she has moved back to Wyoming to do this,” Mr. Paul said during an appearance Wednesday night on “FreedomWorks on Tap.”
Mrs. Cheney made a big splash this week when she announced she was challenging GOP incumbent Sen. Michael B. Enzi in the 2014 Republican primary in Wyoming.
“We can elect leaders that our worthy of commanding our men and women in uniform,” she said in her announcement. “This is our state and our country, and we don’t have to accept what Washington, D.C., has been doing to us.”
The 46-year-old Mrs. Cheney was a resident of Virginia before she moved with her husband and children into a home in Jackson Hole that she purchased last year. The Cheney family has deep roots in the state.
Mrs. Cheney has been a staunch defender of her father, who has become a lightning rod for debates over the use of U.S. military might overseas, as well as on civil liberties at home.
Since her announcement, Mr. Paul has come out in strong support of Mr. Enzi and signaled that Mrs. Cheney’s entrance into the race has turned it into a proxy war between the libertarian-leaning and defense-minded wings of the party over foreign policy and national security.
“I will be supporting Senator Enzi,” Mr. Paul said. “I think that there is a faction of our party that I think is too aggressive in their approach to feeling like we have to be involved in every war around the world, and I think that war is a terrible thing and should be a approached reluctantly. It’s not that we don’t go to war and shouldn’t defend our country, but I think we should be reluctant, and I think there’s some people within the party who may show an overeagerness or a rashness to war, and I think Sen. Enzi has showed a much more reasoned approached.”
Mr. Paul has been a vocal critic of the Bush administration’s military adventurism.