OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Rep. Liz Cheney managed to score a high-profile Hollywood endorsement earlier this week, but it isn’t likely to help her much in her upcoming primary — and it served as fuel for criticism from her biggest opponent, Trump-backed lawyer Harriet Hageman.
The Wyoming Republican is apparently supported by actor Kevin Costner, who was photographed wearing a t-shirt on the Montana set of his hit series “Yellowstone” that said, “I’m With Liz Cheney.”
The photo went viral on social media, with Cheney herself tweeting it with the caption: “Real men put party over country.”
Real men put country over party. pic.twitter.com/7FaJpahtll
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) August 1, 2022
Hageman did not waste any time responding.
“‘Yellowstone’ is a good show, but Kevin Costner is a pretend rancher in a Hollywood production shot mostly in Montana, not Wyoming,” Hageman told the U.K. Daily Mail.
“And I’d bet that if he had to work a real ranch for a day, he’d call his agent to get him out of there,” she added. “I’ll take the support of the people of Wyoming any day of the week over a liberal actor who voted for Joe Biden.”
Costner reportedly owns a 160-acre ranch, but it, too, is not in Wyoming, it’s in Colorado. Call the Dunbar Ranch after his ‘Dances With Wolves’ character, Lt. John Dunbar, it can also be rented, as it is not far from the resort of Aspen.
As for Hageman, her victory in the August 16 primary seems assured at this point, if polls can be trusted. Late last month, Hageman held a 22-point lead over Cheney, who has been lambasted in her home state for turning on former President Donald Trump and joining a House committee hand-selected by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to investigate any role he allegedly played in regards to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
“Natural resources attorney Harriet Hageman leads Cheney 52% to 30%, the poll shows. No other challenger received more than 5% support. Only 11% of voters were undecided,” the Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune reported on July 25.
Brad Coker, the managing director of Mason-Dixon, the firm that conducted the poll, said of the results: “The big story is Liz Cheney is going to get beat. That’s a foregone conclusion.”
A recent visit by CNN to an annual rodeo event in Wyoming found widespread anger and opposition to Cheney among attendees, many of whom said they planned to vote against her.
“Are you planning to vote for Liz Cheney?” CNN’s Randi Kaye asked Wyoming voter Sharon Tuggle at the Frontier Days rodeo in Cheyenne, according to The Daily Wire.
“Hell no. She’s done us dirty,” Tuggle said, confirming to Kaye that Cheney lost her vote because of her part on the January 6th committee. “Look at how she’s done Trump.”
“She is supposed to be supporting him,” added Tuggle. “She is a Republican, for crying out loud.”
“Here in Cheyenne, more than 1600 miles from Washington, almost everyone we spoke with told us they believe Liz Cheney is too focused on Donald Trump and the January 6th committee and not paying enough attention to what they believe matters to the people here in Wyoming,” CNN noted in a tweet containing video clips of the network’s interviews with rodeo fans.
“Personally, I think she’s had three too many,” another voter told Kaye regarding Cheney’s bid for a fourth term.
Another voter claimed that Cheney’s work on the “January 6th committee just repulsive.”
“It’s all a hoax. It’s all propaganda. It has nothing to do with anything. It’s a witch hunt,” noted Wyoming voter Andrew Kahler to Kaye.
“She says she’s defending what’s important to people here in Wyoming, upholding the rule of law and defending the Constitution,” Kaye told voter Brett Kupec.
“If that was the rule of law, why doesn’t he have a defense team in that courtroom?” Kupec responded. “That ain’t a rule of law. That’s a kangaroo court. That’s not the Wyoming way.”
Another voter said Cheney is just “an embarrassment.”
“She doesn’t know what her constituents want here anymore because she’s lost touch with the values of the people,” one man told Kaye.
“I don’t feel like she supports her people here in Wyoming anymore,” another woman offered. “The things that she’s voting for don’t really reflect what the people here in Wyoming feel.”