This week U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida traveled halfway across the country to blast a fellow Republican on her own turf for failing to stand up for former President Donald Trump.
In Cheyenne, Wyoming, Gaetz ripped Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in the House, for being among 10 GOP lawmakers who sided with the Democrats in impeaching Trump for a second time.
“Defeat Liz Cheney in this upcoming election, and Wyoming will bring Washington to its knees,” Gaetz told hundreds of spectators, according to Politico.
“How can you call yourself a representative when you don’t represent the will of the people?” he added. “Maybe we ought to ask the same question of a Beltway bureaucrat turned fake cowgirl that supported an impeachment that is deeply unpopular in the state of Wyoming.”
“We’ve got to get rid of the weak congresspeople, the ones that aren’t any good, the Liz Cheneys of the world,” Gaetz said.
Trump carried Wyoming with 70 percent of the vote. Like Gaetz, Republicans in her home state have criticized Cheney for abandoning her constituents in the impeachment vote. A state senator has already filed to challenge her re-election in 2022.
But Cheney is not alone in drawing the ire for backing what Politico called “the most bipartisan impeachment in U.S. history.”
On Saturday, the South Carolina Republican Party voted to censure GOP Rep. Tom Rice for also joining with Democrats to boot Trump.
“We made our disappointment clear the night of the impeachment vote. Trying to impeach a president, with a week left in his term, is never legitimate and is nothing more than a political kick out the door,” GOP Chairman Drew McKissick said in a statement.
Rice’s vote, he added, “played right into the Democrats’ game, and the people in his district, and ultimately our State Executive Committee, wanted him to know they wholeheartedly disagree with his decision.”
Trump defeated Joe Biden by 12 percentage points in South Carolina.
Meanwhile, the vote to criticize Rice comes a week after the Arizona Republican Party voted to censure Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain, former Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, and current GOP Gov. Doug Ducey. McCain had endorsed Biden, Flake had been a frequent Trump critic, and Ducey had certified Biden’s narrow win in Arizona over Republicans’ objections.
And up in Michigan, GOP Rep. Peter Meijer, who also voted to impeach Trump, has drawn a primary challenger, Tom Norton.
In an interview, Norton told the Washington Examiner, “He went out and violated the public trust. He was elected with the intent in the Republican primary that he was going to go to D.C. and defend Donald Trump. When he gets to D.C., with only eight days left in Trump’s term, he votes for impeachment with no hearing.”
Newsweek reported on Friday that besides Cheney and Meijer, GOP challengers have formally lined up against four other Republicans who supported impeachment, while Rice may draw an opponent as well, not that a potential foe has filed an exploratory election committee.