On Thursday night, Representative Liz Cheney faced off against four challengers, including the Donald Trump-backed Harriet Hageman at the Republican Wyoming primary debate, and, not surprisingly, Cheney was “the only coherent voice on the debate stage.”
Reacting to the debate, Rep. Adam Kinzinger tweeted: “This debate really was filled with a bunch of arm-pit farters and then there was Liz Cheney, the only serious person up there.”
The debate, hosted by Wyoming PBS, saw Cheney, Hageman, Robyn Belinskey, state Sen. Anthony Bouchard and Denton Knapp discuss a number of issues ahead of the August 16 primary. But false claims about the 2020 presidential election and the House select committee’s January 6 investigation dominated the proceedings.
Cheney, who was censured by the Republican National Committee and the Wyoming GOP over her role on the January 6 investigation and criticism of Trump, fought accusations from opponent Harriet Hageman that her role on the House Select Committee has left her unfocused on the people of Wyoming.
“We have a committee in Congress right now, they’re focusing on something that happened 18 months ago,” Hageman said. “They’re not focusing on the issues that are important to the people in Wyoming and they’re also ignoring the corruption that is absolutely destroying Washington D.C. and as a result taking down the rest of the country.”
Cheney fired back by defending her role on the panel and continued her attacks on both Hageman and former President Trump.
“There’s a real tragedy that’s occurring, and the tragedy is that there are politicians in this country, beginning with Donald Trump, who have lied to the American people and people have been betrayed,” Cheney said. “He consistently has said that the election was stolen when it wasn’t.”
“I’d be interested to know whether or not my opponent Miss Hagemann is willing to say here tonight that the election was not stolen,” Cheney continued. “She knows it wasn’t stolen. I think that she can’t say that it wasn’t stolen because she’s completely beholden to Donald Trump.”
Cheney repeatedly urged Hageman to admit she supports Trump’s false claim about the 2020 election elsewhere during the debate.
“Hageman is standing up here claiming that the election was stolen or that there was fraud that was sufficient to overturn the election,” Cheney said. “She ought to say it. Otherwise, she needs to stop making claims that are not true and she ought to tell the people of Wyoming the truth.”
But Hageman did not respond.
According to Wyoming PBS, the debate on Thursday was not open to the public after one of the candidates —presumably Cheney— received death threats.
Watch portions of the debate below:
Cheney: The claims that Ms. Hageman is making are the same claims for which Rudy Giuliani was disbarred. They are the same claims for which Sidney Powell has had her law license suspended pic.twitter.com/fLo49zQU9j
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 1, 2022
Here’s a sample of Cheney’s opposition:
— Sarah Longwell (@SarahLongwell25) July 1, 2022
This debate really was filled with a bunch of arm-pit farters and then there was Liz Cheney, the only serious person up there. https://t.co/fXY1knkiYK
— Adam Kinzinger🇺🇦🇺🇸✌️ (@AdamKinzinger) July 1, 2022
Watch Rep. Cheney’s closing remarks:
Here’s Liz Cheney’s closing statement in last night’s debate among the Republican candidates for representative from Wyoming.
Watch the whole thing.
(And cf. Edmund Burke, Speech to the Electors of Bristol, Nov. 3, 1774.)pic.twitter.com/GVnJy7XQud
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) July 1, 2022