Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said on Wednesday that the country is facing a “domestic peril we have never faced before” and criticized Republicans for failing to uphold the constitutional republic by ignoring former President Trump’s attempts to rig the election.
Similarly scathing about the late president and the GOP, Cheney’s remarks at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley served as a broadside against her own party. Ironically, this came at the site of the monument to the late president who championed the so-called 11th commandment, which states that Republicans should not attack other Republicans.
The Wyoming congressman gave a direct assessment of the choice facing the GOP after criticising Republican leaders and elected officials for becoming “willing prisoners to this dangerous and stupid man.”
Republicans “cannot be loyal to Donald Trump and the Constitution at the same time,” she argued.
The well-received speech was delivered at a time when Cheney’s prominence has never been higher and her distance from the majority of the GOP has never been greater.
Since the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol brawl, Cheney has consistently criticised Trump, costing her a leadership position within the House Republican Conference and maybe her seat as she competes against a well-funded and Trump-endorsed opponent in the August primary.
As vice chair of the House committee looking into the Capitol siege, Cheney has taken advantage of her position to criticise Republicans for their loyalty to Trump, further dividing her party.
Cheney addressed GOP colleagues who “are defending the indefensible” in a stunning statement during the panel’s opening hearing, saying, “There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonour will endure.”
The South Dakota governor Kristi Noem, the former secretary of state Michael R. Pompeo, and the former vice president Mike Pence were among the rising stars and potential 2024 presidential contenders who spoke as part of the library’s “A Time for Choosing” programme on the future of the Republican Party.
Although the other books in the series have mainly refrained from making lengthy comments about Trump, Cheney’s statements centred heavily on him.
In his introduction to Cheney, Roger Zakheim, the head of the Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, wryly remarked on the 40th president’s adage against intraparty conflict. But, he continued, “Ronald Reagan did not contain his voice when he thought that Republican principles were at danger.”
Cheney described the present political climate in America with a similar level of candour.
My fellow Americans, we are perched on the precipice, and we must turn back, she declared. “We must retreat.”
The congresswoman proved to be a big draw; more than an hour before the speech, the library’s parking lot was packed, and enthusiastic audience members climbed uphill along the canyon road where extra automobiles parked. More Democrats than usual made up the entire audience, and many attendees claimed that her performances on the panel on January 6 motivated them to attend the address.
Democrats Irene DiRaffael and her husband Tony claimed to have been tuning in to each hearing that was broadcast live.
The 76-year-old retired social worker from Moorpark said, “I was scared when they initially started that it would develop into a circus, that they’d be catering on an emotional level to individuals. But they have been really professional and fact-driven since the first session.
Cheney, according to DiRaffael, would make a suitable Republican Party leader.
She said, “I’d want to see the party go back to the way it was.” “The party has always been led by some excellent individuals. Even if we disagree on a policy, we can still respect the people.”
Cheney detailed the findings of the select committee in her speech, including Trump’s attempts to march to the Capitol and stop the tally of electoral votes and his attacks on Pence that incited a mob to attack the vice president.
“It can’t be denied. Republicans find it difficult to accept this, “She spoke.
She also commended Cassidy Hutchinson, a 25-year-old former assistant to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who was the most recent witness for the committee. Cheney called her bravery during her testimony “amazing to behold.”
She stated that a number of her superiors, who are men who are much older, are hiding behind executive privilege, anonymity, and intimidation. Her remarks were all the more pointed in light of the news that the select committee will subpoena Pat Cipollone, a former White House counsel, in order to compel public testimony, which broke hours earlier.
Contrarily, Cheney’s criticisms of President Biden and his management of the economy were formal in nature, attributing the rising inflation to his policies. But during her address, Democrats were primarily portrayed as allies rather than opponents.
She stated to laughter, “Recently, one of my Democratic colleagues told me that he looked forward to the day when he and I might disagree again. “And trust me, I understand that feeling.”
The audience welcomed Cheney warmly and applauded her entry with a prolonged standing ovation. Furthermore, despite Zakheim’s warning about anticipated hecklers, her speech was uninterruptible.
Robert Impellizzeri, a retired army colonel from Moorpark who was in the crowd, criticised her most harshly for taking so long to renounce her backing of Trump. The Republican, who is 69 years old, claimed he was never a fan of Trump.
However, he was generally glowing in his comments for Cheney prior to her statement.
She is advocating for what is accurate, true, and required to advance decency in our nation, he said. “Our leaders should conduct themselves with respect, honors, and integrity. And for four years, Donald Trump acted without any of that.”