Cheney hosts $30K-minimum Romney soiree but campaign would have you believe they’re not buds

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, file photo
Former Vice President Dick Cheney, file photo
Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images

Former Vice President Dick Cheney will host a fundraiser for Mitt Romney Thursday night at his home in Jackson Hole, Wyo., that comes with a $30,000-minimum entry fee for couples wishing to ‘sup with the Republican candidate for president.

A reception prior to the dinner and the two events combined raised $4 million are expected to raise about $2 million for Romney, reports say.

The Washington Post reports that L.E. Simmons, a president of a private-equity firm, banker Dick Scarlett, Cheney’s eldest daughter, Liz, who is active in the Republican party, and beef industry executive John Miller will attend the soirée. Foster Friess, the aspirin-loving former Rick Santorum supporter, will not be able to make it after all, but his wife will, a Friess associate told NBC News.

The Post and other reports go on to make much of the idea that the Romney campaign has worked hard to distance itself from the unpopular presidency of George W. Bush-Cheney. 

From the Post:

Romney advisers characterized his relationship with Cheney as cordial, but no deeper than one that any elder statesman would be expected to have with his party’s presumed presidential nominee. They speak infrequently, and advisers said there is little evidence of Cheney’s influence, or that of Cheney’s close associates, on Romney’s policies or politics…

People who know both Romney and Cheney said they have contrasting leadership styles. Where Cheney comes off at times as sharp-tongued, Romney often projects a sunny optimism and sometimes seems uncomfortable on the attack. Where Cheney’s beliefs and policies are rooted in conservative ideology, Romney’s tend to be driven by analytical problem-solving.


Rachel Maddow took issue with that assessment on her msnbc show Wednesday (video below), laughing at the “acrobatic lengths,” the Romney campaign is going to explain how they’re really not that close to Cheney and yet, are accepting a swanky fundraiser hosted by the former vice president.


“This is crack Washington Post reporting, emphasis on the word ‘crack,” Maddow quipped.

Of course, the Romney campaign doesn’t want to be seen as aligned with the Bush-Cheney years, and has particularly sought to distance itself from former President George W. Bush, but the idea that there is no overlap from these two Republican big-wigs is false. Maddow pointed to multiple advisers they have in common, which the Post did as well—Ed Gillespie, Dan Senor, Stuart Stevens—as well as the fundraiser as evidence it was a bit of a stretch to try the “nothing to see here approach” to this event.

“[The Romney campaign] do not want Americans to look at Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, and think about the Bush-Cheney years,” she surmised.


Dick Cheney and Mitt Romney

Cheney hosts $30K-minimum Romney soiree but campaign would have you believe they're not buds