Senator Rand Paul is escalating a longstanding family feud by trying to thwart Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney’s potential Senate bid by backing her opponent.
Paul launched the latest salvo by encouraging former Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis to run for the Senate seat from Wyoming that opened up when Mike Enzi announced he’ll retire. Last week, Paul said he will not back “warmonger” Cheney.
“Cynthia Lummis is going to be the next U.S. senator from Wyoming. If [Cheney] runs, it may be the most significant Republican primary in the country,” Paul told CNN last week. “She’ll have to decide whether she wants to match conservative credentials with somebody who actually lives in Wyoming and has been there her whole life.”
(Source: Senator Rand Paul)
While Cheney has not formally announced her Senate bid, it’s widely expected. A June 2019 poll conducted by GOP firm The Tarrance Group showed Liz Cheney with a comfortable 56% to 34% lead over Cynthia Lummis.
Cheney has the backing of many Republicans in Congress, so she would be tough to beat if challenged.
Rand Paul’s backing of Cheney’s presumptive opponent comes shortly after the duo slammed each other during a Twitter beef about whether President Trump should withdraw troops from Afghanistan.
Cheney — the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney — is a war hawk who opposes the withdrawal.
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) September 12, 2019
In contrast, Paul wants the United States to end its “endless wars” in the Middle East. He has blasted Liz Cheney as a “Never-Trump warmonger” who’s always on the wrong side of U.S. foreign policy.
Few people have been as wrong on foreign policy over the last few years as the neocons and @Liz_Cheney. The Twitter exchange represents a real and significant debate on the future of our foreign policy between realists like myself and #NeverTrumper neoconservatives like Cheney.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) September 13, 2019
The blood feud between the Cheneys and the Pauls dates back for years. Liz’s father, Dick Cheney, supported the Iraq War. Rand’s dad, former Congressman Ron Paul, opposed it.
In 2010, Dick Cheney backed Rand Paul’s Senate primary opponent in Kentucky. Rand returned the favor by supporting Liz Cheney’s primary challengers in each of her Congressional races.
Senator Paul was once a virulent opponent of Donald Trump when the two ran against each other for president in 2016. Since Trump took office, the two have become allies, and Paul has become a reliable defender of President Trump amid nonstop media attacks to undermine him.
However, Paul has only voted with Trump 69% of the time on key issues, while Cheney has voted with Trump 96% of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Meanwhile, the issue of Afghanistan and continuing U.S. intervention in the Middle East remains a bone of contention between (and among) Republicans and Democrats.
As BizPac Review reported, President Trump confirmed that Al Qaeda terrorist Hamza bin Laden — the son of former Al Qaeda leader and 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden — was recently killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation.
Killing Hamza bin Laden is a huge symbolic victory for the United States that would be instrumental in dismantling al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Should the US send more troops to Afghanistan? Not if Trump really means ‘America first’ https://t.co/nN2u5JYb3u
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 14, 2017
It is partly because al-Qaeda continues to threaten Afghani citizens in the region that U.S. soldiers have remained stationed there for almost two decades. However, many Americans want the United States out of Afghanistan, saying the war has done nothing for Americans.
The United States has spent $975 billion and lost more than 7,000 U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan during an ugly 20-year war.
The cost of the war in Afghanistan has rocketed since 2011 and hit record highs under Barack Obama, according to Statista. Reminder: Obama was laughably awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.
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