Bush’s chief of staff, Freddy Ford, told CNN on Friday that Bush plans to praise Liz Cheney during a Saturday call with his former vice president, her father, Dick Cheney.
When asked if Bush is planning to support Cheney if she faces a tough primary next year, Ford said, “You’re a few months ahead of us — we aren’t thinking about the next election cycle yet. But I do know that President Bush is planning to call VP Cheney tomorrow for two reasons: to wish him a happy 80th birthday, and to thank him for his daughter’s service.”
According to one source, Trump has repeatedly questioned his Republican allies about efforts to remove Cheney from her leadership position and to run a primary candidate against her. He has been showing those allies a poll commissioned by his Save America PAC that purports to show that Cheney’s impeachment vote has damaged her standing in Wyoming, even urging them to talk about the poll on television.
The risk of voting against the former President has not been lost on Republicans who did so.
“I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement,” he added. “The violent assault on the Capitol — and disruption of a Constitutionally-mandated meeting of Congress — was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes.”
“Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country,” Bush said in a subsequent statement. “The President-elect reiterated that while he ran as a Democrat, he will govern for all Americans. I offered him the same thing I offered Presidents Trump and Obama: my prayers for his success, and my pledge to help in any way I can.”
CNN’s Michael Warren, Paul LeBlanc, Eric Bradner, Annie Grayer, Daniella Diaz, Alex Rogers, Lucy Kafanov and Jason Kravarik contributed to this report.