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 The Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmaker line to discuss the political futures of anti-Trumpers of Liz Cheney, Anthony Bouchard, and Adam Kinzinger.
Leahy: On the newsmaker line, the best Washington correspondent in the country. And the Washington correspondent for The Star News Network, and The Tennessee Star, Neil McCabe. Good morning, Neil.
What is going on with Liz Cheney? She sounds like she’s a Democrat these days and she’s on this select committee to look into the ‘January sixth riot’ at the capitol. What does she want to do?
McCabe: I think that Liz Cheney has now decided that she’s going to be on a suicide mission. She’s basically piloting a kamikaze plane for USS Trump. (Leahy laughs) And I just don’t think that she’s going to sink USS Trump.
Leahy: What is she thinking? Does she think she has a chance to win the Republican primary in Wyoming when she is making such outrageous, outrageous statements about the Republican minority leader, Kevin McCarthy who she’s defying by serving on this Kabuki theater Kangaroo court with Nancy Pelosi? What is she thinking?
McCabe: The feeling in Wyoming is that Liz Cheney is not going to run for her seat. She tried to run as sort of a non-Trump true conservative. And we’ve seen that in other states, people sort of presenting themselves in that light. And of course, as I wrote for The Tennessee Star, and The Star News Network, how Liz Cheney uses Paul Ryan’s fundraising operation.
So she’s completely tied up in the Paul Ryan sort of rebel alliance against Trump. And so maybe she thought that was going to work for her. But the way she’s polling right now, she is not going to win that primary. She could run as a Democrat or an Independent, but that’s just not going to fly in Wyoming.
That might fly someplace else. The feeling is that she’s setting herself up for either a Democrat or an Independent or Republican run for President in the United States. She’s just getting her ducks in a row. She’s checking all her boxes so that the left-wing media can present her as the heroine.
Carmichael: Are you talking about 2024?
Carmichael: I think her aspirations aren’t that high. I just think she wants to be another Nicole Wallace. And so she’s applying for a gig at CNN or MSNBC.
McCabe: I’ll tell you one job she’s not applying for and that’s Congresswoman from Wyoming. (Leahy laughs) She has basically shredded that resume and will never revisit it. You look at what Donald Trump is trying to do now.
He’s meeting with some of the other candidates who are running for that seat. He pointedly did not invite Anthony Bouchard. And Bouchard’s that state Senator and the first guy out of the box to say that he would oppose Liz Cheney. Bouchard has raised close to three-quarters of a million dollars.
He’ll have more than a million dollars raised by the end of this year. Right now he has thousands of individual donors from inside the state of Wyoming. This is a primary that usually get 60,000 votes.
So you compare percentage-wise that you have a thousand people who have already donated to that campaign that usually gets 60,000 participants, and you compare that percentage-wise to other states. It’s really remarkable the magnitude of his support statewide. Bouchard was not invited to meet with Trump.
McCabe: The feeling inside the Bouchard camp is that Trump is trying to avoid a primary, and he wants to sort of gauge who these other guys are before eventually backing Bouchard. Bouchard is being trashed actively by the Wyoming Republican leadership.
And obviously, Cheney has dropped some opposition research on Bouchard. Almost like a kill-shot type story because of what happened in his first marriage. It didn’t have any effect. And it’s my understanding that the polling for Bouchard actually got better after that negative story dropped.
The Bouchard camp is going to run for Congress, whether Liz Cheney is in the race or not, and whether Trump endorses them or not. No one else in the campaign has raised anywhere near the money that Bouchard has raised.
There is another candidate that’s raised $200,000. of his own money, and he’s raised another, say, $90,000. from other people. But no one else has anywhere close to what the machine that Bouchard has built.
Because remember, he’s the founder of Wyoming gun owners, and he’s been working the gun rights advocacy in that state for 10 years. Plus he’s a state Senator. He’s not somebody who just dropped in and decided to run for Congress. It will be very interesting to see how it plays out.
Carmichael: Two questions, Neil. Would he be a Trump-type conservative or is he a Trump-type conservative?
McCabe: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Carmichael: Okay, let me move to another race. And that is what’s the name of the guy? The fellow who cried all over himself?
Leahy: Oh, Adam Kinzinger. The fashion model who represents a district in Illinois. That guy.
Carmichael: Is he going to have primary opposition?
McCabe: He does have a primary opponent. Her name is help me, Michael. It’s Lauf. Remember the young Lady she ran last time and she’s running again. She is sort of a 20 something conservative Republican. Her name escapes me right now.
Leahy: It doesn’t sound like a real problem to be a real serious challenger though.
McCabe: The reason why Kinzinger is not returning to Congress is that Illinois is losing a seat, and the Democrats and the Republicans and the state capital are going to take care of him. And it’s always an awkward thing.
Leahy: They are redistricting there.
McCabe: And so basically, the Democrats can redistrict him out of business. Republicans aren’t going to wait for him.
Leahy: Catalina Lauf is the one that would challenge him. That’s the name of the woman who would challenge him if he has the same district.
Carmichael: So he, too, is applying for a gig on CNN or MSNBC with his antics on the committee.
McCabe: Yeah. And they’ve raised some anti-Trump money, but there just isn’t a future for him in the Republican Party. And he’s still touting himself as a Republican. But it’s just not going anywhere for him. And we’re finding over and over and over again, and we saw this with the great Bob Corker, not to speak ill of the dead. (Leahy laughs)
Leahy: Now that’s funny.
Carmichael: I like Bob Corker personally.
McCabe: I’m sure he’s a swell guy. Just don’t make him a Senator. He thought it was a smart idea to go up against Trump, and it got him great play on CNN. But he returned to private life. Almost went to jail.
Leahy: But, Neil, what’s the impact, by the way of the last night’s victory in a Texas Republican primary by Jake Ellzey, who was not the candidate endorsed by Donald Trump? Donald Trump endorsed a widow of the former congressman right there.
And she lost, I think, like 53 to 47. The guy who won, Ellzey, though, embraced the Trump agenda full on. We got 60 seconds. Any impact on that or not?
McCabe: They’re always going to be local factors, and they’re always going to be some districts are going to want to have the widow take over. And there are some districts that say, you know what?
We want a new guy. It’s like a quarterback controversy. You have two great quarterbacks. It’s a good problem to have. You have two pro-Trump candidates and one of them won.
Leahy: So not really significant in a long term.
McCabe: There is no such thing as a post-Trump GOP.
Listen to the third hour here:
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