Rand Paul's strong endorsement of incumbent Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi — over primary challenger Liz Cheney — was payback for former Vice President Dick Cheney's strong support of Paul's opponent three years ago.
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That's what two sources close to Paul told Newsmax last week, speaking shortly after Paul, upon hearing Liz Cheney was running for the Senate from Wyoming, promptly endorsed three-termer Enzi.
When Paul was running for the Senate in 2010, former Vice President Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney's father, not only endorsed Paul's primary opponent Trey Grayson, but campaigned for him in Kentucky.
On the stump, Cheney was critical of Paul's opposition to some U.S. involvements overseas, and even went as far as saying that electing the son of Ron Paul might cause problems with American allies.
"And now, Liz Cheney is going to have to defend all of the strong, 'neo-con' U.S. interventionism overseas that her father championed and which Rand and Ron Paul are so opposed to," said one Washington, D.C., lobbyist who knows both the Cheneys and the Pauls. "And after Rand's endorsement, you just watch the checks come in for Enzi from Paul supporters nationwide."
Before Paul learned Liz Cheney was running in Wyoming, sources say, he asked if she was running in Virginia against Democratic Sen. Mark Warner.
Liz Cheney spent much of her life with her parents in Northern Virginia and lived there with her husband and five children before the family relocated last year to Wyoming.
"She should run in Virginia," echoed Rep. Cynthia Lummis, Wyoming's congresswoman-at-large. Both Lummis and Wyoming GOP Sen. John Barasso have strongly endorsed Enzi's re-election. So has former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson, although he declined comment to Newsmax because he considered both Enzi and Cheney "dear friends."
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A just-completed survey by Harper Polling showed that among likely Republican voters, Enzi defeats Cheney by a margin of 55 percent to 21 percent statewide. In addition, the senator's approval rating is 73 percent, or just slightly below the 76 percent he received in his 2008 re-election.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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