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Former President Donald Trump’s top critic in the House – Republican Rep. Liz Cheney – brought along her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, when she showed up to vote in Jackson Tuesday in Wyoming’s primary election.
Cheney was just hours away from a likely ousting from Congress, as the Trump-backed Harriet Hageman was leading her 29 points in the polls – with University of Wyoming pollsters even accounting for Democrats and independents who might switch parties to vote for the January 6 committee member.
‘We’re facing a moment where our democracy really is under attack and under threat,’ Cheney told CBS News outside the polling location.
The threat, of course, being Trump.
‘And those of us across the board – Republicans, Democrats and independents – who believe deeply in freedom and who care about the Constitution and the future of the country, I think have an obligation to put that above party,’ she said.
She also said that ‘no matter what the outcome is’ the ‘fight is cleary going to continue,’ suggesting that while she may lose Tuesday night, her political career wasn’t over.
‘Proud to cast my ballot today. The challenges we are facing require serious leaders who will abide by their oath and uphold the Constitution – no matter what,’ she later tweeted.
Wyoming Republicans DailyMail.com spoke to Tuesday outside Cheyenne’s historic Storey Gymnasium had all voted for Hageman – with a lone Democrat saying he chose to stick with his party, and not cross over to bolster Cheney’s chances.
Wyoming voters can switch political parties the day of the election. They can also vote at any polling place, but have to show identification.
Polls close at 7 p.m. MDT.
‘Well first of all she should represent her constituents, and she’s not clearly – because that’s why she’s getting voted out – but secondly here’s the reality, she didn’t grow up in Wyoming,’ said 58-year-old Cheyenne resident Roger Forystek, who works in insurance.
Thanks to her father’s political career, Cheney split her time between Casper and Washington, D.C.
‘And furthermore, she’s kind of a spoiled brat, in my opinion. She’s a spoiled brat. She’s so used to getting her way, when she doesn’t, she’s throwing a tantrum,’ Forystek added.
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney (left) appeared at a polling place in Jackson, Wyoming, alongside her father, Vice President Dick Cheney (right), where she spoke with CBS News
Voters line up outside the Storey Gymnasium, the Central High School facility that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Cheyenne Tuesday. Every Republican voter DailyMail.com spoke to at this polling place was backing Harriet Hageman
Former President Donald Trump (center) held a rally for Harriet Hageman (left) in late May and called into a tele-rally for her Monday night where he railed against Rep. Liz Cheney
A hand-painted sign in Casper, Wyoming that stands in opposition to the re-election of Rep. Liz Cheney, the most prominent GOP Trump critic in the House of Representatives
Tacy West, a 77-year-old from Cheyenne, had an even harsher take.
‘She comes from a crime family. It’s well known that her father was a leading pedophile,’ West told DailyMail.com.
There’s no factual basis behind West’s comment – Dick Cheney has never been accused of pedophilia.
Rep. Liz Cheney shared a photo of herself voting in Jackson, Wyoming
‘She acts crazy. You look at her eyes and she’s not there,’ West added.
A local pastor, who asked not to be named because of his line of work, told DailyMail.com that his vote for Hageman ‘was moreso to spank Cheney.’
‘She’s being sent to the principal’s office,’ he said.
Cheney has become the most prominent House Republican critic of Trump – currently serving as vice-chair of the House select committee on January 6.
She’s paid a price – losing her No. 3 leadership position in the House Republican Conference and was expelled by Wyoming’s Republican Party, as the state’s voters in 2020 had voted Trump over President Joe Biden by about 43 points.
The daughter of the former Republican vice president has remained steadfast in her criticism, saying in a campaign ad last week that her party’s embrace of Trump’s ‘big lie’ – his false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him – is a ‘cancer.’
‘The lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen is insidious,’ she said in the video.
She added that the false claims are a ‘door Donald Trump opened to manipulate Americans to abandon their principles, to sacrifice their freedom to justify violence, to ignore the rulings of our courts and the rule of law.’
For 20-year-old University of Wyoming student Abby Humble, who backed Hageman, it’s not the substance – but Cheney’s style.
‘I don’t disagree with what she did, I think she was just trying to defend the Constitution,’ Humble told DailyMail.com. ‘But at the same time, I don’t really think that’s what the people of Wyoming wanted … because a lot of them are, you know, Trump supporters.’
Wyoming voters stand in front of a polling place a the Old Wilson Schoolhouse Community Center in Wilson, Wyoming on Tuesday
Another anti-Liz Cheney sign appeared on a billboard outside Cheyenne. Polling last week showed Cheney 29 points down in the pivotal primary race
‘I think she’s being a voice for herself and her own political agenda,’ Humble added.
Mike Lammers, a 67-year-old retiree and Cheyenne Democrat, said he appreciated Cheney sticking her neck out.
‘I still like Liz very much and I appreciate, greatly appreciate what she’s doing for our country,’ Lammers told DailyMail.com.
But he said he voted in his own party’s primary.
‘I decided to stay Democrat. Even though I know a lot of folks are changing over for Liz. If I were voting Republican, I would vote for Liz though, for sure,’ he said.
Trump put his whole weight behind the race – vowing to get revenge for Cheney’s criticism, impeachment vote and top role on the House select committee on January 6.
‘If Liz Cheney loses tonight, the Fake News Media will do everything within their power to play it down and pretend that it was not a referendum on the Unselects – That it was no big deal. Actually, it would be a very big deal, one of the biggest!’ he wrote on his Truth Social website Tuesday in the hours before Wyoming’s polls closed.
On election eve, Trump called into a tele-rally for Hageman and called the race ‘one of the most critical primary elections in the history of our country.’
‘The whole world is watching this one,’ the former president said.
He called Hageman – who was critical of Trump during his 2016 election and supported Sen. Ted Cruz – a ‘person I’ve gotten to know very well’ and a ‘friend.’
Then he turned his attention to Cheney.
‘This is your chance to send a message to the RINOs and the fake news media, the radical left lunatics, that we have unfortunately too many in our country, and you’re going to elect Harriet, and you’re going to tell warmonger Liz Cheney – so bad, so negative – Liz, you’re fired,’ Trump said.
Trump said that ‘few members of Congress in history have personally caused more damage to our republic than Liz Cheney.’
A sign showing support for Rep. Liz Cheney in her re-election fight appears on an RV trailer in Crowheart, Wyoming just days before the pivotal primary that Cheney is expected to lose
Harriet Hageman (right) campaigns alongside Donald Trump Jr. (left) in June in Jackson, Wyoming
Harriet Hageman (center) talks to supporters at a campaign event in early March, alongside Republican Sen. Rand Paul (right)
‘The Democrats use her for sound bites, they like to say “Republican Liz Cheney” and then they go into these horrendous anti-Republican, anti-country sound bites,’ Trump said. ‘It’s been a disaster.’
‘She’s aided and abetted the radical Democrat Party in their unhinged, lawless and dangerous witchhunt – a witchhunt that never ends,’ the former president complained.
He added that Cheney’s pushed a ‘phony’ and ‘grotesquely false and fabricated hysterical partisan narrative’ about what happened on January 6.
Cheney has pushed back consistently, saying Tuesday to CBS that ‘no matter what the outcome is, is certainly the beginning of a battle that is going to continue, is going to go on.’
That statement further stoked the sentiment that she may have presidential ambitions.
‘I’ll make a decision on 2024 down the road,’ she told CNN in late July.
Her light Wyoming campaign trail schedule – due to security threats – also plays into this theory.
‘Because of threats to her safety, Cheney’s campaign events are never publicized, and reporters are only selectively alerted. Security is heavy and paranoia runs deep in Cheney World, probably for good reason,’ wrote This Town author Mark Leibovich in The Atlantic last week.
She travels with an armed Capitol Police guard, the New Yorker also reported.
The only details a spokesperson could provide to DailyMail.com about how she’ll spend election night was confirming she planned to speak.
No word on whether she’ll cast her ballot in-person.
The House is out of session so members are likely to be in their home states.
Hageman has been doing the more typical gripping-and-grinning associated with winning an election.
She held a rally with Trump in late May, and appeared alongside Donald Trump Jr. in June. She’ll hold an election night event in Cheyenne.
‘You have been the best president in my lifetime in addressing the regulatory burden we deal with,’ she told Trump after he delivered remarks on the call Monday night.
That specific praise comes from her career as a lawyer, often fighting government regulations and environmentalists – earning her the nickname from some, ‘the wicked witch of the west.’ A 2009 profile of Hageman in High Country News also pointed out that the moniker came from her habit of wear goth-like outfits of all black.
But beyond the wonky compliment, Hageman has also embraced Trump’s election lies, which he continued to go on about in the Monday night call, saying that Democrats don’t want voter ID laws ‘because they want to cheat.’
‘Because that’s what they do,’ Trump grumbled.
It’s a different Hageman from the 2016 version who supported Cheney – who was running for the House for the first time – and was actively working against Trump.
Hageman went to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland as a delegate for Cruz and was part of a group of Republicans who wanted to ‘unbind’ delegates in a last-ditch effort for Trump to lose the nomination.
The effort didn’t work and when The New York Times highlighted Hageman’s participation in it in September 2021, she said she had been fooled.
‘I heard and believed the lies the Democrats and Liz Cheney’s friends in the media were telling at the time, but that is ancient history as I quickly realized that their allegations against President Trump were untrue,’ she told the paper.
‘He was the greatest president of my lifetime, and I am proud to have been able to renominate him in 2020. And I’m proud to strongly support him today,’ the House hopeful added.