George W. Bush sides with Liz Cheney in her bid for re-election to Wyoming seat, opposed by Trump

Former US president George W. Bush is attending an Oct 18 event in Dallas for Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney.
Former US president George W. Bush is attending an Oct 18 event in Dallas for Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney.PHOTOS: AFP, REUTERS

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - Former president George W. Bush is headlining a fund raiser for Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney as she lines up support in her effort to fight off attacks from former president Donald Trump in her bid for re-election.

Mr Bush is attending an event on Oct 18 in Dallas for Ms Cheney, who was ousted from her leadership position in Congress over her vote to impeach Mr Trump.

The event will also feature other prominent Republicans including Bush strategist Karl Rove and former Texas senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, according to a person familiar with the event first reported by Politico and the Wall Street Journal.

Mr Trump has endorsed Ms Harriet Hageman as his preferred challenger to Ms Cheney, one of his most vocal Republican critics.

He has vowed to defeat her and other Republicans who voted to impeach or convict him for his role in the deadly Jan 6 attack on the United States Capitol to stop the counting of Electoral College votes for Mr Joe Biden.

Ms Cheney is also serving as vice-chairman of a committee investigating the riot.

The former president's backing of Ms Hageman could clear the field so Ms Cheney cannot win with a mere plurality of the vote in a crowded field.

Mr Chuck Gray, a state representative, suspended his campaign on Sept 14 after Mr Trump's endorsement of Ms Hageman.

But Wyoming state Senator Anthony Bouchard, who has reported raising almost US$550,000 (S$742,000) for the campaign so far, is not dropping out, a spokesman said.

Ms Cheney has reported raising US$3.4 million so far for the campaign, with the help of donations from Republicans including Senator Mitt Romney's Believe in America political action committee (PAC) and the leadership PACs led by former House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senators Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.

Mr Bush has called for confronting violent extremists in the US, drawing a response from Mr Trump saying his predecessor "led a failed and uninspiring presidency" and was responsible for getting the country into "quicksand" wars in the Middle East.