July 17th, 2013
12:59 PM ET
9 months ago

Enzi says Wyoming voters will stick with him

Updated at 1:37 p.m. ET on 7/17

Washington (CNN) – A GOP challenge from Liz Cheney could backfire, her new rival Sen. Mike Enzi suggested Wednesday.

The third-term Wyoming Republican said his constituents would stick with him through a primary - despite Cheney's wide name recognition and promise of a newer, younger conservative message.

"I'm absolutely not too old to be senator. I'm the median age," he argued in an exclusive CNN interview Wednesday.

"People in Wyoming don't believe in long campaigns," he continued. "In fact they complain about long campaigns. It doesn't take them long to make up their mind. And it doesn't cost a lot of money to have them make up their minds."

While he's been doing constituent events in the state for years, Cheney's never been to one, he said.

"She's never been to any of my listening sessions. I've done listening sessions in Wyoming where I actually listen to what the constituents have to say. I'm an old shoe salesman. I listen to the customer, I know who the customer is. I see how what fits with the inventory we've got, which is the legislation. I love to legislate."

Cheney, the daughter of former Wyoming congressman and Vice President Dick Cheney, announced on Tuesday she was launching a bid for U.S. Senate. In a video, she didn't mention Enzi by name, but proclaimed it was time for a "new generation of leaders to step up."

Enzi, 69, disputed the notion he's extended his stay in the Senate, correctly pointing out that he's pretty close to the upper chamber's median age (which stood at 62 before 67-year-old Ed Markey was sworn in as Massachusetts' newest senator on Tuesday). Cheney is 46.

" I'm in really good health, I'm on the committees that I want to be on. I have seniority, which is really trust that you develop," he said. "If somebody new comes in, you don't trust them. I've developed trust on both sides of the aisle, people trust me that what I say I'm going to do, I do."

The proof that voters will stick with him, he said, was in the talks he's had with voters during his decade-and-a-half in office.

"I don't have to do a poll. I've never done a poll. I can tell from the conversations I've had," he said.

As for Cheney, Enzi withheld any major blows, saying only that his new rival surprised him with the timing of her announcement.

"I'm only surprised in that she said if I ran, she wouldn't. She announced 30 minutes after I more specifically stated my intention," he said.

A source close to Cheney, however, told CNN she informed the senator she was considering a run before her announcement. The source added that Cheney had been to every county in Wyoming and would focus her run on Obama's record, rather than going after Enzi specifically.


Filed under: Wyoming
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Liz Cheney has lived in Wyoming for only a year. How can she consider herself one of the people? What a joke! Her last name alone will lose her the primary.

    July 17, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Uh... Don't be so sure she'll lose, Dutch... It IS Wyoming...

    July 17, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  3. Fair is Fair

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Liz Cheney has lived in Wyoming for only a year. How can she consider herself one of the people? What a joke! Her last name alone will lose her the primary.
    -----–
    How long did Hillary Clinton live in NY before she ran for senate? How ling did Warren live in MA before she ran for senate? What a couple of jokes!

    July 17, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    How long did Hillary Clinton live in NY before she ran for senate? How ling did Warren live in MA before she ran for senate? What a couple of jokes!
    -----------------------------------------------
    You got me on Clinton, however Elizabeth Warren was living in Massachusetts for quite some time. And since you mention those two names in the same sentence, that will be a killer ticket in 2016.

    Clinton/Warren 2016

    July 17, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    I really doubt that.

    July 17, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    "Enzi, 69, disputed the notion he's extended his stay in the Senate, correctly pointing out that he's pretty close to the upper chamber's median age (which stood at 62 before 67-year-old Ed Markey was sworn in as Massachusetts' newest senator on Tuesday). Cheney is 46."
    ---------------
    Since when is 69 "close" to 62. That's more than a 10% difference. I'm not pushing for Cheney, not hardly. LOL. But, this is pretty simple math. He's more than 10% away on the high side, at that.

    July 17, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. California Gary

    The last thing this country needs is another Cheney in a national office........please don't do that to us again Wyoming. I hope Enzi is right when he says the people will stick with him........but he'd better be ready for "dirty" politics......Liz Cheney has already shown she doesn't mind throwing around outlandish accusations. I would really hope that they would turn to a Dem for the seat......but that's not likely in Wyoming.......so I wish Enzi well.

    July 17, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  8. Guess

    Are you telling me she was not honest with you, a nearly 70 year old man, im shocked!

    July 17, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    LOL. I've yet to see a WY politician call this a good idea on Cheney's part, but I've seen plenty call it some variation of career suicide.

    July 17, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "How can she consider herself one of the people?"

    Because daddy had to fake that he was from Wyoming in order to avoid the rule about the POTUS and VP coming from the same state.

    July 17, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  11. sonny chapman

    The "Rules" don't apply to the "Entitled" like the Cheney's. Starting with her Dad, the Patriot. He hated Communism but took every Student Deferment to stay out of the Vietnam War. When the American Public outcry got so loud that Student Deferments were scrubbed, Dick's wife turned up pregnant with guess who ? One could call Liz Cheney a Vietnam War LOVE CHILD. I'm sure the Cheney's never gave it a second thought about the dumb luck Wyoming kid who went in "Battling Dick's" place.

    July 17, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    "The third-term Wyoming Republican said his constituents would stick with him through a primary – despite Cheney's wide name recognition and promise of a newer, younger conservative message."

    Oh, his constituents will stick with - no doubt about that whatsoever. Cheney is not nearly as popular as her FOX ridden ego suggests she is ... in her own mind, anyway.

    July 17, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. Fair is Fair

    Sniffit

    "How can she consider herself one of the people?"

    Because daddy had to fake that he was from Wyoming in order to avoid the rule about the POTUS and VP coming from the same state.
    --------
    Yawn. In 1978, Cheney was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives representing Wyoming's At-large congressional district from 1979 to 1989; he was reelected five times, briefly serving as House Minority Whip in 1989. Sounds pretty Wyoming to me.

    July 17, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. Guess

    So far she has proven as disconnected as her evil father, evil evil evil man, sending young men much more patriotic to die for his bank account, nothing to terrible could happen to him, nothing!

    July 17, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  15. Guess

    Hate me some koolaid. some like it though, huh rick

    July 17, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA wrote:

    You got me on Clinton, however Elizabeth Warren was living in Massachusetts for quite some time. And since you mention those two names in the same sentence, that will be a killer ticket in 2016.
    ------------------
    While the Clinton's purchased a house in late summer of 1999, Hillary was actually renting living quarters in New York for over two years, or whatever it was to comply with NY state law. It was all highly controversial at the time.

    July 17, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    I'm sure she views the Senate seat as her birthright. A pity she does not have the decency to wait until Enzi retires, but, if this fails, I'm sure there is some other Red state that would be more than happy to bend its residency rules to get her in the Senate.

    July 17, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  18. Kevin

    Just because 69 is the median, doesn't mean that that is a good thing. What is the median age of the population in Wyoming? That would be a better number to consider as you want legislators to relate to the largest portion of the population.

    July 17, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "Sounds pretty Wyoming to me."

    Until he moved to TX.

    July 17, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |