Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) on Monday argued that the Republican Party can “turn a corner” from former President Trump by outright condemning symbols of extremism that were on full display during the deadly Capitol insurrection that Trump incited.
In a discussion with Georgetown’s Institute of Politics and Public Service on Monday, the third-ranking Republican was asked about how the GOP could possibly “turn a corner” from the Trump years, especially when the party appears to have embraced the former president. Fundraising emails from the National Republican Congressional Committee that threatened to out “defectors” to Trump, which they indicated was anyone who refused to make monthly donations to the GOP fundraising arm, was cited as an example.
After stressing that policy should be the main focus of the GOP, and acknowledging that she voted in favor of a significant amount of policies under the Trump administration, Cheney said that the party can only move forward by “very clearly rejecting” symbols of extremism that were evident on Jan. 6.
“I think the way the party has to go forward is by focusing on policy and by very clearly rejecting what happened on Jan. 6, by very clearly rejecting the symbols we saw on Jan. 6 of anti-Semitism, Confederate flags in the rotunda. Those are the things that we have to be clear.”
Cheney then said that both parties have to do their part to condemn extremism.
“I think when you’re talking about anti-Semitic, racism, whit supremacy, those have to be rejected out of hand by anyone who is engaged at any level in our politics or our political discussions,” Cheney said.
Later in the virtual discussion, Cheney was pressed again about whether the GOP is now “the Trump party,” given how the former president is still peddling bogus claims of a “stolen” 2020 presidential election and has an “entire ecosystem” egging on his falsehoods.
Cheney replied that the Republican Party needs to be “willing to speak the truth” by debunking unfounded claims of a “stolen” election.
“It does not mean that there was not fraud. It does not mean that there are not improvements that can be made,” Cheney said. “But we are a nation governed by the rule of law.”
Cheney added that “the end” of the legal process to contest the election results happened when the Electoral College voted on Dec. 14 to officially affirm Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
Cheney’s latest remarks reiterated a sentiment she shared during an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” the day before.
Asked whether former President Trump is the best messenger for the GOP, in light of Trump’s grievance-filled rant at the RNC’s spring donor retreat over the weekend where he derided Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as a “dumb son of a bitch” for not opposing the November election results, Cheney hammered into her criticism of Trump by excoriating he former president for deploying the same rhetoric he used to incite his supporters ahead of the breaching of the Capitol in January.
“You know, as a party, we need to be focused on the future. We need to be focused on embracing the Constitution, not embracing insurrection,” Cheney told CBS. “And I think it’s very important for people to realize that a fundamental part of the Constitution and of who we are as Americans is the rule of law. It’s the judicial process.”
Watch Cheney’s remarks below:
— Georgetown Institute of Politics & Public Service (@GUPolitics) April 12, 2021