Former Vice President Dick Cheney and U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) will be the “special guests” at a U.S. Senate campaign fundraiser for Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01) on November 21 in Birmingham.
The fundraiser invitation obtained by Yellowhammer News outlines that there will be a VIP reception and a general reception. The VIP reception calls for a sponsor contribution level of $5,600 per couple, while the general reception allows for either a $2,800 host level or $1,000 attend level — both amounts also per couple.
The event is being held at The Club.
Rep. Cheney is currently the chair of the House Republican Conference — the GOP caucus within the lower chamber. As such, she holds the third-highest position in Republican House leadership.
Like her father, Liz Cheney has been critical recently of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American forces from Northern Syria. The Cheneys generally have found themselves at odds with Trump on foreign policy issues for years, carrying through his time in office.
Back in 2011, Trump in a since-deleted YouTube video said of former VP Cheney, “He’s very, very angry and nasty.”
“I didn’t like Cheney when he was a vice president. I don’t like him now. … Here’s a guy that did a rotten job as vice president. Nobody liked him,” Trump added.
His criticism of the George W. Bush administration has continued in recent days and weeks. Trump in one tweet emphasized, “GOING INTO THE MIDDLE EAST IS THE WORST DECISION EVER MADE IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY!”
Similarly to her split with Trump on foreign policy, Rep. Cheney has found herself in a heated spat as of late with Senator Rand Paul (R-KY). The two have fundamentally different worldviews when it comes to intervention abroad and the United States’ national security strategy.
Byrne has found himself somewhat split between the Cheneys and the Trump/Paul side of things recently when it comes to foreign policy. While Byrne signed on as an original cosponsor to Rep. Cheney’s resolution to impose “very tough sanctions” on Turkey over the Syria/Kurdish conflict, the coastal Alabama congressman also voted against a resolution opposing Trump’s decision to withdraw. As Byrne outlined in a column published on Tuesday, his public stance on the issue does not fit neatly on one side of the debate or the other.
Yellowhammer News sent a request for comment to the Byrne campaign on the upcoming Cheney fundraiser, as well as posing a few specific questions.
Yellowhammer asked whether Byrne more aligns with Trump or the Cheneys on foreign policy, as well as whether Byrne would be more like a Senator Paul or Rep. Cheney on foreign policy if elected to the Senate. Rep. Cheney herself is heavily rumored to be weighing a U.S. Senate bid in Wyoming, and the three could even find themselves to be colleagues. Yellowhammer further asked the Byrne campaign if he would support a Cheney Senate bid.
Additionally, given Rep. Cheney’s high leadership perch in Congress, Yellowhammer asked, “Does this signal leadership in D.C. getting involved on behalf of the Byrne campaign?”
The request for comment and questions were met with a brief response from Byrne’s campaign press secretary.
“Think you’re making something out of nothing. See below— we’re excited about the event!” Lenze Morris wrote in an email.
Morris pointed to a Monday tweet from Trump thanking Rep. Cheney for backing him against House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, as well as an article from August detailing that both Cheneys are helping the RNC and the Trump 2020 reelection campaign with their joint fundraising efforts.
While the Byrne campaign is “excited about the event,” so too are the other leading Republican 2020 Senate campaigns.
A spokesperson for former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville’s campaign told Yellowhammer News, “Politicians are supporting a politician while the Alabama Farmers Federation is supporting Coach. He’ll take Alabama farmers over the swamp any day.”
In a statement, Secretary of State John Merrill told Yellowhammer News, “My campaign is focused on traveling around the state to all 67 counties meeting with Alabamians from all walks of life and listening to their concerns. When I am in the United States Senate, my only concern will be representing Alabama thinking and Alabama values and not the thinking and values of the Washington, D.C. elites.”
State Rep. Arnold Mooney’s (R-Indian Springs) campaign declined to comment.
Read about the latest fundraising numbers from these GOP Senate candidates, as well as former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, here.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn