Republican Party must choose between Trump and the Constitution, Liz Cheney says in California speech

Melanie Mason, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Political News

Roger Zakheim, the director of the Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, wryly noted the 40th president's maxim against intraparty warfare in his introduction to Cheney. But, he added, "when he felt that conservative principles were at stake, Ronald Reagan did not hold his tongue."

Cheney was similarly frank in describing America's current political moment.

"My fellow Americans, we stand at the edge of an abyss, and we must pull back," she said. "We must pull back."

The congresswoman proved to be a major draw; the library's parking lot was full more than an hour before the speech, and eager audience members trudged uphill along the canyon road where excess cars parked. The full -c apacity crowd skewed more Democratic than usual, and many attendees said they were inspired to come to the speech after her performances on the Jan. 6 panel.

Irene DiRaffael and her husband, Tony, both Democrats, said they have been tuning in to watch each hearing aired lived.

"I was afraid when they first started that it would turn into a circus, that they'd be catering on an emotional level to people," said the 76-year-old retired social worker from Moorpark. "But from the first session on, they've been so professional and so fact-driven."


DiRaffael said Cheney would be a fitting standard-bearer for the Republican Party.

"I'd like to see the party return to the way it used to be," she said. "They've always had really stellar people leading the party. We could disagree with on policy, but we could respect the people."

In her speech, Cheney recounted what the select committee has found, including Trump's attempts to go to the Capitol to prevent the counting of the electoral votes and his denunciations of Pence that encouraged a violent mob to pursue the vice president.

"It's undeniable. It's also painful for Republicans to accept," she said.


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