Former Sen. Alan Simpson: Liz Cheney Extended Olive Branch


The tensions between members of Liz Cheney’s camp and supporters of Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) seem to be disappearing quickly in the aftermath of Cheney’s decision to end her primary challenge against the incumbent senator.

Cheney reached out to the daughter of former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY) late Sunday night to tell the Simpson family she planned to end her candidacy, Simpson told TPM on Monday. Simpson had opposed Cheney’s candidacy and gotten into verbal dustups with members of the Cheney family while Liz was campaigning. Simpson eventually got in touch with Cheney Monday morning.

“So, this morning Ann and I called Liz here in Wyoming, a 307 number,” Simpson recounted. “We talked to her and she said I’m stepping out of the race. ‘It’s a mom thing’ she said. ‘We had a wonderful holiday and talked about things with the whole family.'”

Cheney, in announcing her decision to drop out of the race cited health issues that recently arose in her family. According to an ABC News Report one of Cheney’s daughters was recently diagnosed with diabetes.

Simpson said that Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who represented Wyoming in the House of Representatives, did not specify what the health issues were and he didn’t ask. Simpson and the older Cheney have long been friends and now Simpson said he hoped to repair any damage Cheney’s Senate campaign had done to the relationship.

“And she said I hope you’ll tell your folks how much we care for them and hope to restore any breach,” Simpson said. “It was a very wonderful conversation. At the end she said I love you and I said I love you too.”

Simpson added that he expected Cheney to stay in Wyoming and felt she has a political future in the state. He said he would support Cheney if she ran for an open political position in the state.

“If there was an open primary, not against an incumbent, she would have a very good chance,” Simpson said. “I mean that’s real. I mean there’s no question about that. People admire her.”

Simpson stressed that he felt the rift between the two Republican Wyoming families to be resolved now that Cheney had dropped out.

“I said when I had the dustup this is not about Dick Cheney and I said it very clearly and I say it again,” Simpson said.

Simpson’s conciliatory comments are similar to ones Enzi himself made in responding to Cheney’s decision. Enzi, in a brief statement, did not take a jab at Cheney but instead said Cheney and her family are “in our prayers.” Although Cheney’s bid was a bit of a long shot, Enzi is essentially assured re-election to another term.