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Christensen Stands Behind Attacks on Vice President Cheney

Leland Christensen: 'The issues that Rand Paul raises are legitimate issues'

Wyoming state Sen. Leland Christensen / AP
• August 15, 2016 5:47 pm

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Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) endorsed Wyoming state legislator Leland Christensen on Sunday while attacking his opponent, Liz Cheney, for the policies of her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney—attacks that Christensen says are "valid."

Paul endorsed Christensen on Sunday as the "main alternative to Liz Cheney" but focused on criticizing the former vice president in interviews following the endorsement. In a video posted to Facebook on Monday, Paul even described Liz Cheney as a "big government Republican that says that deficits don't matter," an apparent reference to a controversy involving Dick Cheney in 2002.

Christensen told the Washington Free Beacon on Monday that he thinks Paul's conflation of Liz and Dick Cheney is legitimate.

"I saw his press release and that connection is not a stretch based on what I've heard from Liz Cheney over the last seven months," Christensen said.

"The issues that Rand Paul raises are legitimate issues, not just because of her father's history but based on statements that she has made that seem to be consistent with him," he said. "You know, we need more boots on the ground, we need to be in Syria to add more soldiers to the conflict."

Christiansen said he was comfortable with Paul's decision to link his endorsement to attacks on Dick Cheney, who won six consecutive elections in the Wyoming congressional district that Christensen hopes to represent and who remains a popular figure in the state.

"I am very appreciative and very comfortable with Rand Paul's endorsement of me and I appreciate his criticisms of my opponent Liz Cheney—and I think they are valid," he said. "I'm not running against Dick Cheney, I'm running against Liz, but she seems to be very comfortable with his prior positions. And so as far as Rand is opposing both her candidacy and him, there is a logical tie."

Christensen also said the policy similarities between the Cheneys are a problem.

"We can't give enough money away to buy good favor around the world but what we can do when we take that attitude is bankrupt America," Christensen said. "Are we really making progress in the Middle East or has the outcome been an increased terrorist network that has now expanded across the world?"

The comment echoes Paul, who said on Sunday that "the Cheneys have been champions of intervention in Libya, Syria, and Iraq, places where our military presence made things worse."

Christensen said he first talked to Paul on Sunday, when he was told he would receive the endorsement.

"I'm just delighted over it," said Christensen, who said his campaign has "a very good shot" to win Tuesday's primary.

Polling for the Republican primary has been sparse, but a recent poll showed that 21 percent of voters planned to vote for Cheney, putting her far ahead of Christensen, who was supported by only 4 percent. Over 52 percent said they are undecided.

Published under: Montana, Rand Paul