OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Republican Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney is getting desperate in what appears to be a doomed bid to keep her place in the House of Representatives, now touting an endorsement one would not expect from a conservative.
Cheney’s conservative credentials are not in question as her voting record shows that she has supported conservative causes her entire career, even voting with former President Donald Trump 92.9 percent.
But it is her contempt for the former president that has damaged her brand and her chances of staying in Congress.
On Monday she touted an endorsement from actor Kevin Costner who does not consider himself a Republican or Democrat, Newsweek reported.
“Despite his endorsement of Cheney, Costner does not consider himself to be a Republican anymore. Earlier in his life, Costner was considered a Republican but has supported Democrats since the 1990s. In fact, he endorsed Pete Buttigieg, then the mayor of South Bend, Indiana and now the Secretary of Transportation, during the 2020 Democratic primary—later supporting President Joe Biden’s election campaign,” the report said.
“I think we really have to have a president for both sides,” he said in an interview with Variety prior to the 2020 presidential election. “And for the people who don’t vote for Biden, if Biden wins it’s necessary that he address what they’re concerned about. I think he has that level of bandwidth to understand that the group that doesn’t vote for him needs attention. They have their own concerns and we have to think about that.”
“The Democratic Party doesn’t represent everything that I think, and neither does the Republican Party right now—at all. So, I find it too limiting,” he said to The Daily Beast in 2020.
But that is not what got the attention of many on Monday. What concerned many, including yours truly, is that the actor met with, and appeared to have a friendly relationship with, the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
Fidel Castro loving Kevin Costner has endorsed Liz Cheney. Congrats Liz. Nice friends. pic.twitter.com/ZIPZtRezaX
— Carmine Sabia (@CarmineSabia) August 2, 2022
In April 2001 Costner and Castro “bonded” during a trip to Cuba in which he was promoting his movie “Thirteen Days” about the Cuban Missile crisis, ABC News reported.
“I shouldn’t be speaking for [Castro], but he responded to the film very favorably, and we had a very interesting discussion afterwards,” the actor’s spokesman, Stephen Rivers, said to Reuters. “Kevin was very appreciative of the amount of time the president gave us.”
“Cheney using a guy who fluffed Fidel Castro and wanted Michelle Obama to be president to promote herself is so on brand,” one Twitter user said.
Cheney using a guy who fluffed Fidel Castro and wanted Michelle Obama to be president to promote herself is so on brand. https://t.co/v9cuVnnnNn
— Bonchie (@bonchieredstate) August 2, 2022
“The closest thing to a #Wyoming voter that you could find is a California millionaire that liked Fidel Castro?” another said.
— Sam Adams (@SamAdamsTPP) August 2, 2022
Cheney’s bid to retain her seat in Wyoming is increasingly being seen as a bridge too far.
A new survey finds that she remains significantly behind her GOP primary opponent Harriet Hageman, who earned former President Donald Trump’s backing last fall.
The poll also found that Cheney is down a whopping 30 points to Hageman.
Wyoming voters are also fed up with Cheney.
“It’s time for a change,” said Jon Nicolaysen, who plans to vote for Cheney’s opponent, Harriet Hageman. “Liz has taken on kind of a vendetta against Trump, and she’s forgotten the things that are important today.”
“I think if it’s a fair election, that there’s no doubt, there is zero doubt, that Hageman will win and she’ll win by a lot,” said Rebecca Bextel, who runs a business services company in Jackson. “The enthusiasm for her is huge. People feel proud.”
Max Jacobson, who chaired last month’s Trump rally, said he and his family support Hageman because she had a similar upbringing, noting that she grew up on a ranch in Wyoming.
“I bet Harriet Hageman ran around and when they were castrating the cow, she was carrying the bucket,” Jacobson said. “That’s the difference. She leads by example.”
“People, for the most part, have made up their minds,” said Jim King, a political science professor at the University of Wyoming. “If you’re a Cheney supporter, you’re a Cheney supporter. If you’re a Hageman or [state Sen. Anthony] Bouchard supporter, I don’t think anything that is being said in the committee hearings is going to affect that.”