Sen. Mitt Romney’s pledge of support for embattled Rep. Liz Cheney on Tuesday hurt more than helped her back home in Wyoming, where she’s facing a pro-Trump primary challenge in 2022, said a Republican Party official in the state.
“She would be a lot better off to get Donald Trump’s endorsement than Mitt Romney’s,” said Martin Kimmet, the GOP chairman in Park County, Wyoming.
Mr. Romney, the failed 2012 Republican presidential candidate and staunch critic of Mr. Trump, is not the “most popular fellow,” Mr. Kimmet added wryly.
Mr. Romney, Utah Republican, tweeted a message Tuesday in defense of Ms. Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican leader who was again under fire from pro-Trump conservatives for her fierce opposition to the former president.
The mounting intraparty opposition to Ms. Cheney also prompted House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to cast doubt on her ability to continue in her leadership position.
Both Ms. Cheney and Mr. Romney voted to impeach Mr. Trump for inciting the Jan. 6storming of the U.S. Capitol.
“Every person of conscience draws a line beyond which they will not go: Liz Cheney refuses to lie. As one of my Republican Senate colleagues said to me following my impeachment vote: ‘I wouldn’t want to be a member of a group that punished someone for following their conscience,’” Mr. Romney tweeted.
On Monday, Mr. Trump labeled Mr. Romnay a “stone-cold loser” and Ms. Cheney a “warmonger” as he mocked them for losing support among Republicans in their home states.
The caustic jabs underscored the persistent rift in the Republican Party between Trump loyalists and establishment figures who want to turn the page on the Trump era.
“So nice to see RINO Mitt Romney booed off the stage at the Utah Republican State Convention. They are among the earliest to have figured this guy out, a stone cold loser!” he said in a statement issued by his Save America PAC.
Mr. Romney suffered a chorus of boos when he took the stage Saturday at the Utah GOP convention. Later, the convention narrowly rejected a motion to censure Mr. Romney for his vote in Mr. Trump’s impeachment trials.
His current term doesn’t end until 2025.
Mr. Trump also ridiculed Ms. Cheney for poll numbers that he said were plummeting in her home state Wyoming. Ms. Cheney was censured for her impeachment vote against Mr. Trump by the Wyoming GOP. She already faces two primary challengers to keep her House seat in 2022.
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