OJ Simpson, sounded off Tuesday on the Republican Party leadership battle in the U.S. House of Representatives, supporting House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who is facing stiff opposition over her decision to vote in favor of President Trump’s second impeachment, and claiming Trump’s rhetoric “can provoke violence again” after right-wing activists broke into the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
Cheney, the 3rd-ranking House Republican, also earned the ire of her colleagues by continually rebuffing claims Trump’s loss to Joe Biden was affected by election irregularities. Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York is widely seen as Cheney’s successor, should she lose her Wednesday confidence vote.
Simpson, 73, took to Twitter to defend Cheney while simultaneously criticizing her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, as the “least favorite politician of my adult life.”
“I’ve got to admit I was not a fan of Liz Cheney — don’t get me wrong I’m 50-50 on her politics — but I didn’t like her,” he said.
“And then I just realized recently the reason I didn’t like her had to do with her father — probably my least favorite politician of my adult life — former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Simpson then paraphrased a quote from 18th Century French writer Voltaire, saying “patriotism is the enemy of mankind,” and adding that Cheney is appearing to break from her GOP colleagues in defending “truth” rather than her party.
Voltaire originally wrote that “it is lamentable that, to be a good patriot, one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.”
“I thought about that for a little bit,” Simpson continued. “I thought about the Republican Party, and fact-based truth and honesty seem to be the enemy of many of these Republican politicians — and Liz Cheney stands up for the truth and that’s gotten her a lot of heat.”
Simpson said he admires the fact Cheney is willing to defend what she believes, even if it costs her the GOP leadership position or her House seat in Wyoming’s at-large district.
In Wyoming, Cheney faces stiff primary competition, but managed to more than quadruple the fundraising of her closest primary opponent — closing the quarter with $1.43 million cash on hand while State Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Laramie, raised $334,000 in that same period.
On Twitter, Simpson said that Cheney taking a big risk on her own future in politics is “something to be admired.”
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“Standing up for the truth — that’s something I know her father wouldn’t have done, so right now I’m kind of a fan of Liz Cheney,” he said.
In the same video, Simpson also opined on Kentucky Derby horse trainer Bob Baffert’s betamethasone scandal, defending the trainer as a “stand-up guy” who is not “like Lance Armstrong”, and more likely to be telling the truth he was unaware his horse would test positive for the corticosteroid.
He also urged the public to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.