Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –host Leahy welcomed Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line who weighed in on his recent story regarding Liz Cheney and her challenger Senator Bouchard gaining ground in fundraising efforts to oust her.
Leahy: On the newsmaker line, the best Washington correspondent in the country and the Washington Correspondent for The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network, Neil McCabe. Good morning, Neil.
McCabe: (Inaudible talk)
Leahy: So you are making news left and right again! Your story. GOP challenger Bouchard, a state Senator in Wyoming, raises more than $400,000 to fund his takedown of Congresswoman Liz Cheney in Wyoming. This story went up on Monday, and it is ricocheting around the Internet because all the Washington press corps is retweeting it.
McCabe: You can’t study the end of the Civil War without recognizing that the fall of Atlanta was the end because the Confederacy was making loans against the cotton in those warehouses. Once they lost the ability to borrow money, the war was over even though it continued for another year or so. And money is the mother’s milk of politics.
It’s the mother’s milk of war. And when you have a guy that nobody has heard of, a state Senator from Wyoming, Anthony Bouchard, who is able to raise $400,000 right out of the gate to oppose not only the daughter of a vice-president, of course, Dick Cheney, but also the number three in the House Republican leadership. That is significant. Cheney should have no problem raising money herself.
Of course, she’s raised one and a half million so far. But of course, that’s from Super PACs and that’s from the establishment Republicans like Mitt Romney and, of course, Paul Ryan and a host of other people. You would not be surprised if the number three in the House Republican leadership was able to raise money. And that just makes it even more shocking because Bouchard is able to raise money.
And being such an underdog, who would even expect him to be able to win against her? And I believe that there are people who aren’t even sure if he can win or not, they just want to leave a bruise on Cheney. And now we’re seeing reported yesterday, and I can tell you what was interesting about Washington’s weather yesterday. It was thunder, lightning, hail storms (Chuckles).
It was biblical just as the news broke that Kevin McCarthy was making phone calls to oust Liz Cheney as the number three, basically the chairwoman of the House Republican Conference. This is really stunning because you’ve been following this for a long time, Michael. When was the last time midstream any party, let alone the Republicans, would get rid of such a senior person? It’s absolutely unheard of. I can’t think of one time. Maybe you can.
Leahy: She’s a Never Trumper. She was one of 10 members of the Republican House who voted to impeach President Trump the second time around. President Trump has said that one of his top priorities is to make sure she’s defeated in the 2022 Republican primary in Wyoming. Wyoming has only 700,000 people.
McCabe: Hold on Mike. Only 700,000? Listen, you have to understand for Mike, these are just flyover states for Mike.
Carmichael: (Leahy laughs) That’s true. He was born on the East Coast.
Leahy: There you go.
Carmichael: And went to Stanford.
Leahy: You got me there, guys. So that’s funny. Former President Trump has said a priority is going to be to defeat Liz Cheney in the Wyoming Republican primary in 2022. What’s interesting is if there are multiple candidates that will diffuse that objective. Will President Trump come out in the near term to name who he’s endorsing in the Wyoming primary in the House of Representatives?
McCabe: We could see a vulture move, and that’s where sort of Washington sort of corporate conservative forces say, hey, blood is in the water. If this guy is raising a ton of money, we can raise a ton of money. Why should we let this guy have it when we can put in our own stooge and we can just sort of run this, we can basically steal this seat ourselves?
And what they’ll probably do is split the vote and give Cheney a hall pass. We saw a similar thing with me Mia Love in Utah, where they basically took this former flight attendant and actress and moved her to Utah and made her a mayor, and then they ran her for Congress. Or even with AOC, where you basically just take somebody and then you put some muscle behind them and you put them in Congress.
I think that Bouchard, though, is not going to roll over for that. Number one, he’s in the state Senate. Number two, he’s raising this money not just because people can’t stand Liz Cheney and a lot of people loathe her. But he was also the founder of Wyoming Gun Owners. He also was very active in trying to opposing Obamacare back in the day. He has his own network of activists and operators and contributors.
I don’t see someone being able to pull it off. You’ll notice that when Matt Gaetz flew in for that rally against Cheney, he did not invite Bouchard and Bouchard did not invite himself. He sort of stayed away from it. But he was running ads statewide in Wyoming for himself. He had the money to run ads and just remind everybody that he’s the guy. I will also say that previously I wrote about how Mark Meadows said that the House Freedom Caucus is going to pick the next Speaker.
Well, at that fundraiser on April 27th at Mar-a-Lago, not only was Mark Meadows there with President Trump raising money for the House Freedom Fund, but Jim DeMint was there and people associated with Jim DeMint were there, which is a very positive sign. But also Bushard met with DeMint’s people. And I can reveal to you that he was actually at that fundraiser. Bouchard told me that but he didn’t want to make it public. I figured once he tweeted it out himself, I think that lifted the veil of confidentiality.
Leahy: Last question for you, Neil McCabe. Will former President Trump endorse State Senator Anthony Bouchard’s challenge to Liz Cheney in Wyoming?
McCabe: Yes, he will. There are people fighting because we see Trump’s influence as we did in Texas six. The vultures who want to steal this thing, they’re the ones blocking the endorsement. But I believe it’ll be inevitable because Bouchard is the only game in town.
Carmichael: Cheney is doubling down because she’s called anyone who believes that the 2020 election was stolen, she says that’s a big lie. She says it was a perfectly legitimate election and that Biden won fair and square. She is doubling down.
McCabe: I’m working on this, so I haven’t really submitted it yet. But I can tell you that Cheney is not operating on her own. She is part of a larger network of people who are opposed to Donald Trump and the conservative movement in the Republican Party. And I’m in the process of connecting some dots. So that will be my next contribution to the Star News Network.
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Photo “Anthony Bouchard” by Anthony Bouchard.