Liz Cheney announces Senate bid, will challenge GOP incumbent

Eric Pfeiffer
Yahoo News

Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, announced on Tuesday that she is running for the U.S. Senate in Wyoming in 2014. After months of speculation, Cheney confirmed rumors that she would challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Mike Enzi.

Enzi, who has not made a formal announcement about his re-election plans, has been expected to run. In an impromptu interview with congressional reporters Tuesday, Enzi said, "I thought we were friends," when asked about Cheney's announcement.

"Well, she said that if I ran she wasn’t going to run, but obviously that wasn’t correct,” he added.

Enzi, who has served as one of Wyoming’s two senators since 1997 has noted in recent interviews that Cheney previously called him to explain that she was considering a primary challenge to him next year.

“Over the last several years, citizens across our great state have urged me to consider running for the Senate in 2014,” Cheney said in a video announcement posted online.

Wearing a denim T-shirt and standing in front of an open field, Cheney spent much of the video’s nearly six-minute-length criticizing President Barack Obama while simultaneously stressing her Wyoming roots.

“We are blessed by our heritage in Wyoming. A heritage brought here by our forefathers and mothers,” Cheney said, noting that her family first came to Wyoming in 1852, “in search of religious freedom.”

However, Cheney herself, 46, is not a native of the state. She was born in Madison, Wis., and graduated from high school in the Virginia suburbs surrounding Washington, D.C. She attended college in Colorado and Chicago and has spent the vast majority of her professional life inside the nation’s capital.

Most recently, Cheney served as an analyst for the Fox News Channel. A Fox News spokesperson tells Yahoo! News that Cheney resigned from the position on Tuesday to focus on her campaign.

In the video, Cheney cites the national debt, gun rights and foreign policy as her primary areas of interest.

“Today, these values are under assault by a federal government grown far beyond anything the pioneers of our great state could ever have imagined, or would have tolerated,” she says.

Cheney appears tightly focused throughout the video, never once smiling.

She does not mention Enzi by name in the video but does make reference to what she calls Obama’s “liberal allies” in the federal government.

“Instead of cutting deals with the president’s liberal allies, we should be opposing them every step of the way,” she says.

Enzi has maintained a solidly conservative rating over the years, receiving perfect ratings from the National Right to Life Center, The American Conservative Union, Americans for Tax Reform and the Family Research Council.

In 2012, National Journal rated Enzi as the fourth most conservative U.S. Senator .

Still, even if Enzi has strong conservative credentials, Cheney says it's time for new blood in Washington.

“I’m running because I believe it is necessary for a new generation of leaders to step up to the plate,” she says. “As a mother and a patriot, we can no longer afford to go along simply to get along.”

View Comments (1706)