(CNN) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney is picking a side in yet another contested Republican primary, this time endorsing Rep. Gresham Barrett in his bid for South Carolina governor.
Cheney weighed in to defend Barrett's biggest liability in the four-way GOP primary - his vote in favor of the 2008 Wall Street bailout.
"I'm certain Gresham knew his vote in support of President Bush and our plan wouldn't be popular, but he did something far too novel in American politics today: He put the interests of his country ahead of his own," Cheney said. "That's why voters should not believe the false attacks from his opponents.
The TARP vote has dogged Barrett from the early days of the race: He was booed mercilessly for his vote at a Greenville Tea Party rally last summer and video of the event quickly went viral.
Cheney added: "When it was time to make decisions and show leadership, Gresham stepped up while they all stayed silent and ducked for cover. That may make for good politics today, but it certainly isn't leadership."
For the third time this election season, the former Vice President has found himself opposite Sarah Palin, who is supporting state Rep. Nikki Haley in the primary.
Cheney's record of picking winners is hardly stellar. In the Texas gubernatorial primary earlier this year, Cheney backed Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison while Palin sided with Gov. Rick Perry, who cruised to an easy win. More recently, in Kentucky's GOP Senate primary, Cheney endorsed Secretary of State Trey Grayson while Palin picked the eventual winner, Rand Paul.
Cheney also backed Utah Sen. Bob Bennett's unsuccessful re-election effort. Bennett also voted for TARP.
Each of Barrett's opponents in the South Carolina race have support from national GOP figures. Barrett has already been endorsed by former Sens. Rick Santorum and Fred Thompson. Haley has the backing of Palin and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Attorney General Henry McMaster is supported by Sen. John McCain. And Mike Huckabee is backing Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer.
At least one of Barrett's rivals said the Cheney endorsement proves that Barrett is simply a creature of Washington.
"This is nothing more than political payback for Congressman Barrett's flip-flop to support the trillion dollar bank bailout," said McMaster spokesman Rob Godfrey. "That's how they do things in Washington, D.C., and that's how we got into this mess to start with."