- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The Bush-Cheney alliance is back.

Former President George W. Bush will help Rep. Liz Cheney, Wyoming Republican, raise funds for a reelection bid that the other living Republican ex-president is aiming to sink.

“President Bush is impressed by Liz Cheney’s strength and vision, and he’s proud to support her,” Bush spokesman Freddy Ford told CNBC.

Mr. Bush will be a special guest at a Dallas fundraiser scheduled for Oct. 18. Also on the guest list are the Bush administration’s two top political advisers — Karl Rove and Karen Hughes.

“This one shouldn’t come as any surprise,” Mr. Ford said, adding that Mr. Bush “has historically helped a few key candidates and friends each cycle.”

Ms. Cheney is the daughter of Mr. Bush’s vice president, Dick Cheney.

After rising to the No. 3 slot in the House Republican leadership, she became a symbol of the split in the Republican Party between critics and loyalists of former President Donald Trump, especially after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol by Mr. Trump’s supporters.

Ms. Cheney was one of only 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Mr. Trump over charges that he incited the riot. When another of the 10 — Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio — said he would not seek reelection, Mr. Trump crowed “1 down, 9 to go!”

Mr. Trump has endorsed Ms. Cheney’s challenger in the Republican primary.

Harriet Hageman is leaning hard on the “RINO” issue against Ms. Cheney in conservative Wyoming, noting that she had joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s special panel to probe the Jan. 6 riot, a committee that most House Republicans see as a partisan witch-hunt.

Liz Cheney has betrayed Wyoming, she betrayed all of us and she betrayed me,” said Ms. Hageman, a former supporter of Ms. Cheney in previous campaigns, in her opening campaign video.

“Had I known five years ago that Liz Cheney would align herself with Pelosi and the radical Democrats in Washington, D.C., I probably wouldn’t even have taken that first phone call” on supporting Ms. Cheney’s run, she said.

While Mr. Bush has, following previously longstanding tradition among former presidents, stayed away from politicking, his few words have also tended toward criticism of Mr. Trump, especially over Jan. 6.

He said the riot “made me sick,” adding that the Republican Party has grown “isolationist, protectionist and, to a certain extent, nativist.”

Mr. Bush also said he did not vote for Mr. Trump in either 2016 or 2020.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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