Former President George W. Bush is planning a fundraiser for embattled Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), once again pitting Bush against fellow former President Donald Trump, who has made Cheney one of his top targets for a primary challenge this cycle.
The October 18 reception in Dallas, Texas, will be co-hosted by longtime Bush strategist Karl Rove and former Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, who served as ambassador to NATO under Trump, according to a source familiar with the event.
The event, first reported by Politico and the Wall Street Journal, will also feature former Bush White House aide Karen Hughes, former Bush White House counsel and short-lived Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, and Hunt Oil Co. Executive Ray Hunt.
Cheney, whose father Dick Cheney served under Bush as vice president, is facing a primary challenge from former Republican National Committee member Harriet Hageman, who Trump endorsed over Cheney’s vote for impeachment in January.
The event is the latest in a series of clashes between the two ex-presidents this year: Trump snubbed the Bush family in July by endorsing incumbent Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton over challenger George P. Bush, the former president’s nephew.
More recently, Bush caught Trump’s ire during a 9/11 event by saying domestic and foreign extremists are “children of the same foul spirit” – widely seen as a reference to the Capitol riot – with Trump blasting Bush’s “failed and uninspiring presidency.”
As president, Trump was not shy about openly attacking his predecessors. He frequently and baselessly accused former President Barack Obama of spying on him, and last May Trump attacked Bush for being “nowhere to be found” during his first impeachment trial earlier that year. Bush’s campaigning for Cheney now puts them directly at odds, and could lead to more attacks.
“We aren’t thinking about the next election cycle yet. But I do know that President Bush is planning to call VP Cheney tomorrow for two reasons: to wish him a happy 80th birthday, and to thank him for his daughter’s service,” Bush spokesman Freddy Ford told Politico shortly after Cheney and 9 other House Republicans voted for Trump’s impeachment over the Capitol riot.
“I strongly endorse Republican House of Representatives Candidate Harriet Hageman from Wyoming who is running against warmonger and disloyal Republican, Liz Cheney,” Trump said in a statement earlier this month, also calling Cheney “the Democrats number one provider of sound bites.” Hageman is one of six challengers to Republican incumbents Trump has endorsed.
$1,000. That’s the cost for an “attendee” ticket at the October 18 fundraiser, with “co-host” tickets going for $2,900 and a “chairman” costing an upwards of $5,800 – the federal limit for a couple’s campaign donations.