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AIPAC to back Liz Cheney, who criticized group’s endorsements

Lobby group raised eyebrows when it left her out of earlier list of candidates it supports, after saying it chooses purely based on record on Israel

Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on April 4, 2022. Cheney raised almost $3 million in campaign contributions over the first three months of the midterm election year, her campaign said April 11, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on April 4, 2022. Cheney raised almost $3 million in campaign contributions over the first three months of the midterm election year, her campaign said April 11, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The political action committee of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is backing Rep. Liz Cheney, the Wyoming Republican who has criticized the group for backing GOP colleagues who voted not to certify Joe Biden’s election as president.

“AIPAC PAC is proud to support Liz Cheney,” the PAC said Friday on Twitter. “We deeply appreciate her strong and unwavering support for the US-Israel relationship during her entire career in public service.”

AIPAC last week announced that it was backing candidates of both parties in a majority of the races nationwide, 326 out of 435 House elections and 34 Senate elections taking place in November.

Cheney was not among them. Her omission raised eyebrows because she has been a prominent pro-Israel figure since her days during the George W. Bush administration when her father was vice president and she was a senior Middle East official in the State Department.

But Cheney is also shunned by much of her party because of her role as co-chair of a congressional committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol by supporters of former US president Donald Trump seeking to disrupt the certification of Biden’s election. (Trump is backing her primary opponent.)

She had been among those who criticized the PAC for including among its first batch of endorsees dozens of Republicans who voted not to certify Biden after a deadly insurrection spurred by Trump’s false claims that he had won the election.

“Those of us who have never wavered in our support for Israel or our fight against anti-Semitism in the US & around the world want @AIPAC members to know your leadership is playing a dangerous game of politics,” she tweeted in March.

The AIPAC PAC responded to her criticism and others’ by saying that it would make its endorsements purely on the strength of candidates’ records on Israel, and that it would do so in the bipartisan spirit that AIPAC has long boasted.

“As we have previously indicated, decisions about our PAC contributions are an ongoing process that will continue throughout the 2022 election cycle,” AIPAC spokesman Marshall Wittmann said in an email.

“We deeply appreciate Rep. Cheney’s strong and unwavering support for the US-Israel relationship during her entire career in public service.”

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