Liz Cheney says GOP has to stop being ‘party of white supremacy’

Comments likely to stoke division among Republicans

Andrew Buncombe
Seattle
Wednesday 24 February 2021 01:09
Comments
Liz Cheney responds to calls to step down after impeachment vote
Leer en Español

Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney has said the GOP must stop being the “party of white supremacy”.

In comments all but certain to further stoke division among Republicans as the party battles over its future, the daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney said it was vital not to ignore the symbols of racism and extremism that were on open display during the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.

“It’s very important for us to ignore the temptation to look away,” she said.

“It’s very important, especially for us as Republicans, to make clear that we aren’t the party of white supremacy.”

She added: “You saw the symbols of Holocaust denial at the Capitol that day, you saw the Confederate flag being carried through the rotunda, and I think we as Republicans in particular, have a duty and an obligation to stand against that, to stand against insurrection.”

Donald Trump could be criminally liable for endangering Mike Pence, says Liz Cheney

The comments by the Wyoming congresswoman, who is the third most senior Republican in the House of Representatives, come more than six weeks after the riot at the US Capitol, when hundreds of supporters of Donald Trump sought to halt members of both houses of Congress from ratifying the electoral college votes of Joe Biden.

They did so after Mr Trump held a rally that morning on the National Mall in Washington DC and urged supporters to “fight like hell”.

He was subsequently impeached by the House, but in the Senate Democrats fell 10 votes short of the two-thirds majority they needed to convict him, and possibly prevent him from holding office again.

Ms Cheney was one of 10 Republicans in the House who voted to impeach Mr Trump, who was accused of inciting an insurrection with his fiery words. Seven Republican senators also voted to convict.

All of them have faced hostility from the most loyal of Mr Trump’s supporters, including other members of Congress, many of whom sought to have her stripped of her leadership role.

Yet, Ms Cheney has brushed off such criticism, and rather doubled down on her criticism of Mr Trump and his brash populism, as the party seeks to define itself, as Democrats control the White House, the House and the Senate.

She did so again on Tuesday, in her comments delivered during a livestream Q & A hosted by the the Reagan Institute. 

“[It’s] incumbent upon everybody who takes an oath of office and swears to protect and defend the constitution that we recognise what happened on January 6, that we commit ourselves that it must never happen again, that we recognise the damage that was done by the president, President Trump, saying that somehow the election was stolen, making those claims for months and summoning the mob and provoking them then in the attack on the Capitol,” she said. 

“And also, and very importantly, in refusing, despite multiple requests from people to ask him to stop what was happening to ask him to stop the violence to protect the Capitol to protect the counting of electoral votes — he didn’t do so.”

While Mr Trump is no longer president and has been banned from Twitter, his presence looms large as Republicans seek to decide the message they want to deliver to voters, as they look ahead to the 2022 midterm elections when Mitch McConnell and others are determined to try and regain control of the Senate and the House.

She also said it was important for all politicians to condemn Mr Trump’s lies and actions 

“It’s an existential threat to who we are and it can’t be minimised or trivialised,” she said.

While there was no immediate response from the former president, it surely will not be long in coming.

He is due to deliver his first post-presidential speech when he addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference on Sunday afternoon.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in