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Rep Liz Cheney(R-WY) sat down for an interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl, three days after her landslide primary loss to Trump-backed challenger Harriet Hageman, to discuss her future political plans. The interview aired on ABC’s This Week show (08/21/22) and as many expected, Cheney’s lopsided loss was in no way shape or form, an end to her political career, but rather, a beginning of a new political chapter.
Rep Cheney said this moments after her loss to Hagenan on 08/16/22: “We must be very clear-eyed about the threat we face, and about what is required to defeat it. I have said since January 6th, that I will do whatever it takes to ensure Donald Trump is never again anywhere near the Oval Office, and I mean that.”
Asked whether she regretted the fact that her staunch opposition to former President Trump had cost her a leadership position in the House and eventually her seat, Rep Cheney responded (2:51): “No regrets. You know, I feel sad about where my party is, I feel sad about the way that too many of my colleagues have responded to what I think is a great moral test and challenge of our time, a great moment to determine whether or not people are going to stand up on behalf of the democracy, and on behalf of our republic.” Rep Cheney added that she has heard from several prominent leaders after her primary loss, thanking her for putting the country over her party. One such call, she said, came from President Biden.
Asked what Trump’s continuing grip on the GOP says about the party, Rep Cheney said the party, both at the state and national level, “is very sick.” She specifically said(4:11):“I think one, it says that people continue to believe the lie, they continue to believe what he’s saying, which is very dangerous. I think it also tells you that large portions of our party, including the leadership of our party, both at the state level in Wyoming, as well as on a national level with RNC, is very sick, and that we really have got to decide whether or not we are going to be a party based on substance and policy, or whether we are going to remain as so many of our party are today, in the grips of a dangerous former president.”
Asked about the argument by former President Trump and others, that her landslide primary loss is proof that the principles she is fighting for are not shared by the GOP, Rep Cheney responded (5:03): “Well, doesn’t that tell you something? What I’m fighting for is the Constitution. What I’m fighting for is the perpetuation of the republic, what I’m fighting for is the fact that elections have to matter, and that when the election is over and the courts have ruled, and the electoral college has met, that the president of the United States has to respect the results of the election, and if Donald Trump’s spokesman says that those are principles that are inconsistent with Donald Trump’s views, and inconsistent with the Republican Party’s views, I think that ought to give every American pause about who Donald Trump is, and about what the Republican Party stands for today.”
Asked about what her new political organization is going to focus on, Rep Cheney said one of her primary objectives will be to campaign against “election deniers”.
Asked about her views on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and specifically, whether he should become Speaker if the GOP takes over the House, Rep Cheney said (6:22): “My views about Kevin McCarthy are very clear. The Speaker of the House is the second in line for the presidency. It requires somebody who understands and recognizes their duty, their oath, their obligation, and he’s been completely unfaithful to the constitution, and demonstrated a total lack of understanding of the significance and importance of the role of Speaker, so I don’t believe he should be Speaker of the House, and I think that’s been very clear.”
Asked whether she would support Trump’s acolytes like Senator Ted Cruz(R-TX) or Josh Hawley(R-MO) if one of them secured the GOP presidential nomination in 2024, Rep Cheney responded (9:50): “It would be very difficult when you look at somebody like Josh Hawley, or somebody like Ted Cruz, both of whom know better, both of whom know exactly what the role of Congress is in terms of our constitutional obligations with respect to presidential elections, and yet both of whom took steps that fundamentally threatened the constitutional order and structure in the aftermath of the last election, so in my view, they both have made themselves unfit for future office.”
Asked about Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who many view as the number two contender for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination after Trump, Rep Cheney said(10:28): “DeSantis is somebody who is right now campaigning for election deniers, and I think that is something that people have to have real pause about. Either you fundamentally believe in and will support our constitutional structure, or you don’t.”
Asked whether if she runs for president in 2024, it will be out of a genuine desire to win, or simply sending a pro-democracy message, Rep Cheney responded in relevant part(10:59):“Any decision that I make about doing something that significant and that serious, would be with the intention of winning, and because I think I would be the best candidate.” She punted when asked whether running as an Independent remained an option for her saying(11:19), “I’m not going to go down that path anymore in terms of speculating.”
Bottom line folks, Rep Liz Cheney is not going anywhere. Her primary loss will free her from the bondage that is Trump’s GOP, and allow her to pursue loftier goals–the fight for democracy. She said one of her primary goals will be to defeat “election deniers”, which Yours Truly hopes includes one Senator Ted Cruz, who is up for reelection in 2024. We’re going to need you Liz, in the Lone Star state.
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