An Interview with Liz Cheney
Liz Cheney, the daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney, is running in the Wyoming Republican senatorial primary. Below is a Q-and-A.
American Thinker: If your father ran today, would he be a part of the old guard or the new guard?
Liz Cheney: I joked with him that he should run, since he feels better than he has been in twenty years. He is certainly very conservative, and concerned with the dangers of this president's policies. Just as with the new guard, he is fighting against the tendencies of this president and is on the front line to defeat these bad policies, with the ultimate goal of getting the country back on track.
AT: Why did you decide to run now, against an incumbent Republican senator?
LC: Because of the dangers facing this country and my state, Wyoming. I believe this is the most radical president ever to inhabit the Oval Office. I also believe we have a real limited window of time, and this next election is a moment of decision for us as a nation. Are we going to go along to get along and implement President Obama's agenda: European social democracy, a weakened nation overseas, and a massively expanded welfare state? For example, in Wyoming, there is an expanded Federal government, and bureaucracies like the EPA, that is doing anything they can to kill the coal, natural gas, and oil industries. We need to take this president on and consider what he is doing, declaring a "war on coal." There has to be people in Congress who are willing to stand up and fight back, like myself, and not sit on the sidelines.
AT: Why are so many Republicans frustrated with the old guard?
LC: Obviously, the biggest problem is still President Obama, but right behind him is some senators. Senator Mike Enzi here in Wyoming has been in office for eighteen years, and his biggest piece of legislation was a national sales tax proposal. He also played a role as part of the Gang of Six in the early years of Obamacare. This old guard likes to do anything they can to defend the status quo. Take for example the special deals they have been getting under ObamaCare. They are getting a taxpayer subsidy and access to different parts of the website that no one else gets. This old guard really thinks they don't have to live under the laws they pass. Look at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which is 100% an incumbent-protection agency. Unfortunately, this is not good enough when we are facing such a radical president. If all we do is protect incumbents, we are not going to be able to elect people to lead this party into the 21st century.
AT: It also seems that the way Republicans campaign is archaic, and there is no realization times have changed.
LC: I think that is correct. We lost the ground game, the technology game, and the get out the vote game. "Obama for America" has representatives in all fifty states. What are they doing that we are not? Clearly, we are doing some things wrong. We need to figure out, not just catch up, what to do to surpass the Democrats. In addition to standing up for our principles, we need to have the mechanics correct.
AT: Are the Republicans always on the defensive, especially surrounding social issues?
LC: What the Democrats are doing is to effectively misrepresent us on the social issues and make us appear extreme. We let them do this because we have had bad candidates who say stupid things, and candidates who have not been effective in getting our message out. We also have to understand that the mainstream media press bias is not insurmountable. The Democrats cut the electorate up as pieces of a pie, with different messages for each. We need to explain our positions and have an intelligent conversation. We have to pull together as a party to defeat this president's policies. We need effective people who can lay out a message about opportunity and a better future.
AT: One of the biggest domestic issues facing this country today is health care reform. Do you think Republicans should emphasize their plans?
LC: Yes. We do need to recognize that health care costs are out of control. There is a need for tort reform, to purchase insurance across state lines, and to find ways to insure people with pre-existing conditions. I don't think we can salvage any of ObamaCare, and this disaster must be repealed. I would hope that even this president is having a wake-up call, realizing that the federal government cannot effectively run massive and complicated parts of our economy. Just look at this tax on medical devices. I have a thirteen-year-old daughter with diabetes that is reliant on a medical device. My father is alive today because of medical devices. Yet the Democrats want a tax that would create a disincentive for people to invent. This is fundamentally wrong.
AT: One of the biggest foreign policy issues is the agreement this administration just negotiated with Iran. Since you worked in the State Department, what do you think of the plan?
LC: I think the president's foreign policy is a disaster. Mike Durant last week wrote, "At what point can we legitimately ask why President Obama is protecting and facilitating the Iran nuclear program?" It is clear that the Israelis feel we pulled the rug out from under them, as we have. The president's actions are taking us closer to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. These countries don't trust us, nor do they believe they will be protected under our nuclear umbrella. We need people in Congress that will not just speak out, but take actions to block this president's bad policies. We should have learned from the times in the Bush administration when some wanted to negotiate with Iran and North Korea. These rogue regimes will try to play us every chance they can get. The only thing they understand is power and strength.
AT: To conclude, what issues are really important to you?
LC: The over reaching threat to our freedom, Constitution, and individual liberties. How have these rights been protected? This administration has a massive expansion of the federal government and the complete disregard for the rule of law. Americans should understand that we are really at a fork in the road, and if we head down the wrong road, we are going to look a lot like a European social democracy. The other issue is radical Islamic terrorism, a threat that is getting stronger today. With both these issues there is the potential of very dire consequences if we are to do nothing.
The author writes for American Thinker. She has done book reviews and author interviews and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.