Did Mike Enzi open his reelection campaign by making something up?
Last week, Enzi gave an interview to Jonathan Martin of the New York Times. He explained that he’d gotten a call from Liz Cheney and shared the details of that call. Enzi said that Cheney told him that she was considering a run for his Senate seat. “She called me and said that she’s looking at it.” Enzi also said that Cheney hadn’t asked if he was going to run again.
Enzi also told Martin that he hadn’t heard from his prospective opponent’s father, former vice president Dick Cheney. “I would expect that he’d call before she declares,” Enzi said.
Then, yesterday, he told reporters on Capitol Hill something he hadn’t told Martin. “She said that if I ran she wasn’t going to run, but that obviously that wasn’t correct. I thought we were friends.”
Enzi’s new disclosure raises an obvious question: Why didn’t he mention this rather significant detail to Martin?
Did it slip his mind? Did he think that this promise, in the context of an interview about a potential primary challenge from Cheney, wasn’t important? Or did he make it up?
UPDATE: NBC reports that Cheney says Enzi is "confused."
Liz Cheney launched her campaign for Senate on Wednesday by calling the 69-year-old Republican senator she's looking to unseat "confused."
Cheney made official her Republican primary challenge in Wyoming to veteran Sen. Mike Enzi on Wednesday, calling for a "new generation" of conservative leaders in Washington. And, in the first of two campaign stops today, she said the state's senior senator must have been "confused" when he said Cheney had promised not to challenge him if he sought re-election.
"I think Sen. Enzi may be confused. I think he may have me mixed up with Cynthia Lummis," Cheney said at a campaign stop in Casper, Wyo. "What happened is I called Sen. Enzi to tell him that I was considering a run. And I have always believed that that decision should be made irrespective of whoever else is in the race."
She added: "It's not true -- I did not tell Sen. Enzi I wouldn't run if he did. I suppose he's just confused."