In this Fox News Sunday Show With Chris Wallace: Liz Cheney on her run for US Senate; Can President Obama ‘fix’ ObamaCare?
WALLACE: Interest is growing in the 2014 election. And one of the hottest races is the battle inside the Republican Party for the Senate seat in Wyoming. Three-term incumbent Mike Enzi faces challenger Liz Cheney, daughter of the former vice president.
Joining me now for her first Sunday show interview as a Senate candidate is Liz Cheney.
And welcome back to “Fox News Sunday.”
CHENEY: It’s great to be back. I feel like I should be on the panel, though.
WALLACE: Well, no, you’re a guest, a full-fledged guest.
Do you believe that President Obama knowingly lied when he went around the country and promised, if you like your insurance plan, you can keep your plan?
CHENEY: I do. I think there is no way he could not have known the truth. There was very clearly a situation in which they were thinking, you know what? The media never holds us accountable. They’re not going to hold us accountable here. He believes and, ultimately, he wants to move to a single-payer program. I think he probably figured that he had to say this in order to get it passed.
So, there is no question that he lied, and that we’re all paying the price for it now. And you see real turmoil, frankly, inside the Democratic Party, because now, even Democrats are having to admit what the president said was fundamentally untrue and that this has been a train wreck.
WALLACE: All right. Your opponent on this race, Senator Enzi, voted against ObamaCare, but you say that’s not enough. And you point to the fact that he was a member of the so-called “gang of six” that beforehand worked — three Republicans, three Democrats — who tried to work out a compromise, unsuccessfully, even dropped out and voted against it.
Isn’t that what legislating is about?
CHENEY: You know, legislating is about knowing where to draw the line. Certainly, at some point, we all believe in compromise for the good of the nation. But, you know, the Code of West out in Wyoming, rule number 10 is know where to draw the line.
So, when the president of the United States walks into a room or when his allies walk into the room and they say, hey, we’re going to impose this massive new federal program.
CHENEY: We’re going to take over a sixth of the economy, you know, Senator Enzi’s response was essentially to say, OK, all right, let’s negotiate about that.
The right response would have been: absolutely not, under no circumstances.
And, frankly, if all of the Republicans had done that at the beginning, had stood their ground and refused to negotiate, to compromise on this, we probably wouldn’t be where we are today. Instead, you have Republicans like Senator Enzi who gave the president running room and they gave him cover, and they gave him the ability to say, hey, this is a bipartisan effort — when, in fact, it wasn’t. It was never intended to be. And they got used.
The right answer then would have been: no, we’re not going to allow you to go down that path.
WALLACE: You have started running your first TV ad of the campaign, and here’s a clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHENEY: When I was 12 years old, my dad ran for Congress and we campaigned together as a family all across Wyoming. I’m running for the United States Senate because it’s time for a new generation of leaders to step up to the plate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: A couple of things about that ad, you talk about in the ad, not that specific part, about your long family roots in Wyoming, and that’s true. But you, your husband, and your children just moved out from northern Virginia last year. Some people in Wyoming are saying you’re a carpetbagger.
CHENEY: You know, I think, first of all, what that ad shows is I’m a fourth generation Wyomingite, and I also want to give a plug to the my 13-year-old, who was the kid you saw on the horse at the end of the ad.
WALLACE: Very good.
CHENEY: Thank you.
But, no, look, I mean, I — on my mom’s side, I’m a fourth generation Wyomingite. On my dad side, I’m a third generation Wyomingite.
The folks making the carpetbagger charge tend to be people who don’t want to talk about Senator Enzi’s lack of resolve. You know, I would say also the time that I spent outside Wyoming, the time that I spent working inside federal agencies in Washington, D.C., is experience that’s very important for what I think that has got to be the top priority of a Wyoming senator, which is rolling back the massive expansion of our federal government, cutting agencies, cutting their size, cutting their funding. You got to get the federal government under control.
Sitting in Wyoming, absolute abuse that’s going on by agencies like the EPA, the BLM, the war on coal — this president’s policies across the board involved a massive, unsustainable expansion of the federal government. Having worked inside federal agencies, I know how to cut them. I know what it’s going to take to roll it back and that’s going to be our top priority.
WALLACE: You also say in that ad it’s time for a new generation. But let’s look at Mike Enzi’s record. Let’s put it up on the screen.
He has a 93 percent lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union, 100 percent from the National Right to Life Committee, and an A-plus from the NRA.
Is there something wrong with that record? Or are you just saying that at age 69, he is too old?
CHENEY: It’s not about age. It’s about A, he’s been here for 18 years, the last five under Barack Obama. And the people of Wyoming are suffering greatly. We’re ground zero for this president’s policies.
When you’re in a position like that, it’s not enough just to say, you know what, I’m going to go along and get along. I’m going to continue business as usual here in Washington. You’ve got to demonstrate results.
And it’s going to will take on our side of the aisle people who are willing to lead, you know, people who are willing to stand up and say, you know what, the president’s war on coal isn’t just going to devastate Wyoming, anybody around this country who likes to flip a switch and have the lights come on, who appreciate affordable electricity, you’re with us in the war on coal.
But it requires leadership. It requires mobilizing people to stand up against this onslaught of our constitutional rights, our liberties and our values. And, frankly, over the last five years, things have gotten worse for the people of Wyoming, not better.
WALLACE: But if I may —
CHENEY: You may.
WALLACE: — the president is the president. The Democrats hold control of the Senate. You know, the numbers are the numbers. You say it’s not enough to say I tried or that you need to push back more aggressively. What specifically can you point to and say that you would have been a able to block in the Obama agenda, with the Democratic controlled Senate that Mike Enzi failed to block?
CHENEY: Across the board. I mean, we talked about ObamaCare. I would not have participated in the “gang of six”. Senator Enzi —
WALLACE: But he passed it without a single Republican vote.
CHENEY: That’s right. But part of this is not just about voting, it’s about whether or not the Republicans have a new generation of leadership, new voices to stand up and mobilize people on our side to begin to roll this back. If we’re ever going to be able to change the fact that the Democrats have a majority, we’ve got to get a new generation elected on our side.
Secondly, Senator Enzi’s hallmark piece of legislation that he’s done with Dick Durbin, one of the most liberal members of the United States Senate. That’s the Internet sales tax.
And I fundamentally believe either you’re on the side of the government has got plenty of money, we need to have people more of their own money, or you’re looking for ways to tax people more.
The Internet sales tax is a way to tax people more. As Wyoming senator, I would, every single day, be fighting to help people in Wyoming keep more money in their own pockets.
WALLACE: Some of your conservative critics and, frankly, some of the Enzi people, say that you have flipped positions on some issues to try to attract voters that you didn’t previously hold. You now say that you oppose same sex marriage, but they point out that in 2009, you opposed a constitutional amendment — I know you say it’s a state issue — a constitutional amendment that would have banned same sex marriage and they point out that you supported the State Department offering benefits to same sex partners. They say that’s a flip.
CHENEY: It’s not and I stand by both of those positions. I don’t believe we’ve got to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation. If people are in a same sex relationship and they want their partner to be able to have health benefits or be designated as a beneficiary on their life insurance, there’s no reason they shouldn’t do that.
I also don’t support amending the constitution on this issue. I do believe it’s an issue that’s got to be left up to the state. I do believe in the traditional definition of marriage.
But, frankly, you know, Senator Enzi’s friends and supporters are running a really scurrilous ad in Wyoming. And the senator said many times that he doesn’t believe in gutter politics. He said he won’t stoop to that left.
You know, I think he ought to renounce it. I think he ought to run the kind of campaign that frankly the people of Wyoming deserve, which is what I’m doing, which is to campaign based on substance and based on issues.
WALLACE: You talk about your position against same sex marriage. Your sister, Mary, who is married to a woman, put out this post. She said, “For the record, I love my sister,” you, “but she is dead wrong on the issue of marriage.”
CHENEY: Yes. And I — listen, I love Mary very much. I love her family very much. This is just an issue in which we disagree.
WALLACE: Finally, the primary is not until next August. I mean, this is a long time from now. Your dad has already gotten into a dust up with Senator Enzi. Your mom has gotten into a dust up with former Senator Alan Simpson, who is supporting Enzi. Any qualms about getting involved in what almost seems like a family feud inside the Wyoming Republican Party?
CHENEY: No, you know, look, I think the statement that the state party put out the day I announced is a very good one. They said they remind the people of Wyoming that this seat doesn’t belong to any individual. It belongs to the people. I think primaries are very healthy. I think it’s a good thing for the state, for the party. The voters ought to have a chance to make a decision.
And, again, Chris, we’re facing huge issues. We are — the stakes here in terms of the threat to our freedom and the threat to our values, what it means if we allow this president, the next three years, essentially unopposed if we don’t decide right now we’re going to stand and fight. The stakes are so high. That’s what matters. That’s why I got in this race, and I really do believe we can’t continue business as usual and hope to be able to save our fundamental freedoms to defend our constitutional rights against this onslaught.
WALLACE: Liz, thank you. Thanks for joining us. And please come back.
CHENEY: I sure will. Thanks, Chris.
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