Liz Cheney endorses Tim Ryan for U.S. Senate, condemns 2022 election deniers
U.S. Rep Liz Cheney, a Republican, endorsed U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, the Democrat running for U.S. Senate in Ohio, during a City Club of Cleveland forum Tuesday. She said she could not vote for his Trump-backed opponent, Republican J.D. Vance.
Cheney, a Wyoming congresswoman and the daughter of former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney, said Republican legislators have an obligation to hold election deniers accountable to avoid the collapse of democracy in the United States.
“Given the moment we’re in, we can’t give power to people who have told us they won’t respect the outcome of elections, and that’s more important than any party belief – it’s more important than any policy,” she said. “We can have big debates about policy, but you can’t give somebody power if they’ve told you they’ll only honor an election if they like the outcome.”
Cheney was interviewed on stage by Judy Woodruff, host of the PBS NewsHour. In response to Woodruff's question, Cheney said she “would not vote for J.D. Vance” due to comments he’s made relating to the outcome of the 2022 election and his stance on U.S. involvement in the Russia-Ukraine war.
“For J.D. Vance to suggest that America can be neutral between Ukraine and Russia demonstrates he either doesn’t know he’s talking about, or he’s willing to say something he knows isn’t true,” Cheney said. “Because our freedom depends on supporting freedom around the world, and that certainly depends upon supporting the Ukrainians.”
She was asked directly whether she would vote for Ryan if she was to cast an Ohio ballot and she said she would.
Ryan is the second Democrat Cheney has endorsed, following Democratic U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, who is running for re-election in Michigan. Cheney is campaigning for her.
Cheney has been largely shunned by her Republican colleagues in the House after condemning former President Donald Trump and playing a large role in the January 6. Committee investigating the riot at the Capitol, which she said was a “direct result of Trump’s claims of a stolen election.”
She said loyalty to the Republican party in its current state has become dangerous, as the party has “become beholden” to Trump, who she said attempted to stop the peaceful transition of power after the 2020 election.
“My view is, if you really are a conservative, the most conservative of conservative principles is fidelity to the constitution,” she said. “If you’re willing to overlook an attempt to steal an election, to overturn an election, to stop a peaceful transition of power, then you are being unfaithful to the constitution.”
When asked if she planned to run for president in 2024, and which party she might run for, Cheney did not deny that she’d consider running, but emphasized that she is not prioritizing a presidential campaign at this time. She has said she'd leave her party if Trump becomes the nominee.
“I think the most important question is whether we as a nation are going to do what we have to do to preserve the republic,” she said. “That’s really what I’m focused on.”
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