Where the Republican Party stands after Trump, according to Wyoming’s junior senator

Where the Republican Party stands after Trump, according to Wyoming’s junior senator

A self-described libertarian-leaning Republican, Sen. Cynthia Lummis has been a Wyoming state representative, state senator, state treasurer and U.S. congresswoman. She retired back to her family ranch after her husband died in 2015 and came back to Congress because neither party cared enough about the deficit for her liking.

“I’m really worried about it. I think we’re devaluing the U.S. dollar,” she told me sitting on the lip of the Capitol reflecting pool that was covered in bird poop, which after decades on a ranch didn’t bother her. (It bothered me a bit, but “fake it til you make it,” right?)

With Lummis, I wanted to get a sense of what she thought the Republican Party stood for after four years of Donald Trump, whose ambivalence for the rising deficit, focus on cultural issues and harsh immigration policies and rhetoric were all a shift for the party. Her answer wasn’t overly specific and had those tinges of Trumpism the party hasn’t been able to shake: “I’m hoping that our party is concerned about illegal immigration, which I think it is. That they’re concerned about everyday working Americans,” she said.

Lummis was one of the senators who voted against certifying the Electoral College results, even after the insurrection on Jan. 6. Lummis said: “When 40 percent of the American people think an election was massively fraudulent, we’ve got a problem.”

I pressed Lummis on that point; that Trump’s false claims of mass voter fraud were the reasons his supporters believed that.

“Well, it probably was an overreaction,” Lummis added. “I do not believe that the fraud, that did occur, would have changed the election.”

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