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EIB Interview: Liz Cheney on Why She's Running for Senate

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: We welcome now to the EIB Network, Liz Cheney.  This is, I don't know, the second, third time that you've been with us, but this is momentous, Liz.

LIZ CHENEY:  Hi, Rush, how are you?

RUSH:  Fine.  Your life is gonna change dramatically.  You are running for the United States Senate.  Now, I hate to do this.  It's hardly ever that I admit ignorance, but I have been really off the grid this weekend, and so some of my questions you may have answered countless times.  I apologize.

LIZ CHENEY:  Well, good for you for being off the grid.  I always advise that.

RUSH:  You know, it is kind of sweet.  It is kind of refreshing.  And I didn't get back until Sunday afternoon.  What is the primary reason you're doing this?  I mean, this is not something you have to do; it's obviously a passion.  What do you hope to accomplish if you win?

LIZ CHENEY:  You know, I'm in the race, Rush, because I'm very concerned, deeply concerned about what's happening in Washington and what it means for the state of Wyoming.  You know when you look across the board at the encroachment of the federal government into every aspect of our lives, whether it is, you know, the massive debt, $17 trillion and growing, whether it's the Environmental Protection Agency and the complete war on coal, war on fossil fuels, the EPA's attack on our ag industries. You know, this president, I believe, is, you know, the most radical man who's ever inhabited the Oval Office.  And I think that we've gotten to a point in the country where, you know, it's a moment where we all have to decide, are we gonna continue business as usual in Washington, are we gonna go-along-to-get-along here, or are we gonna stand and fight? Are we gonna say "no more," you know, are we gonna say it's not obstructionism to block this president's policies; it's patriotism.

RUSH:  When you say go-along-to-get-along, are you talking about the Republicans in Washington?

LIZ CHENEY:  I think that, you know, you have had some in Washington who have not taken approach that we've gotta stand and fight.  They've sort of taken the approach of business as usual, you know, let's continue to work through kind of the seniority system and let's continue to look for ways that we can compromise.  And I put "compromise" in quotes because everybody believes in compromise for the good of the nation.  But you come to a point where compromise is capitulation.  And, you know, here in Wyoming one of the things that people feel very proud of is the Code of the West, and the very last line of the Code of the West is, "Know when to draw the line."  And I think we've gotten to the point where we've gotta draw the line.  We've gotta say, "Look, compromising with this president's radical agenda is only gonna result in a loss of the freedoms and the values and the very nature of the nation that we all love so much."

RUSH:  When you look at Washington and look at the current crop, let's keep it to the Senate since that's where you're hopeful next stop is, there's a lot of that.  There are a lot of Republicans, at least it appears, who have chosen the route of compromising with the Democrats or with the president because it's the path of least resistance or because they think that's what the American people really want. You can go issue by issue by issue -- health care, immigration, any number of things, to illustrate this, and it's really frustrating.  And I heard you say before I went off the grid that one of the things that you're going to bring to Washington is that this is the end of deal-making, no more deals.  What did you mean?

LIZ CHENEY:  You know, I think the problem is when you're dealing with opponents like those we have today, this president and his liberal allies in Congress, that, you know, compromise for the sake of compromise with them leads us to the place we find ourselves today where we've got Obamacare, where the president is really trying to kill the coal industry, where the president's trying to raise taxes.  He is raising taxes on everybody, where he's trying to nationalize a sixth of the economy with Obamacare, and, you know, you have to be able to say, "All right, look, I'll go this far and no farther."  And as a conservative, as a Republican, I mean, you know better than most, Rush, that when you stand up and you take a stand and you take the fight to the president, you're gonna get attacked and criticized.  And most people I suppose, you know, don't like that, it's not pleasant, but, you know, I believe strongly that you gotta have the courage of your convictions, and you've gotta be able to lead.  You know, it's not enough just to say, "I'm gonna put my head down and vote."  You've gotta be able to bring other people around to see our way of thinking, to see our vision for the future, because we're not gonna win against this president if we say, "Let's depend on the media to show the American people all the negative things about him."  It's just not gonna work.  We have to mobilize others on our side and stand up for what we believe in.

RUSH:  Who in the world in the Republican Party is saying, "Well, let's let the media show the way about Obama."  Who in the world thinks that?  The media is Obama, and Obama is the media. 

LIZ CHENEY:  Right.

RUSH:  You know, Liz, you come from Republican Party royalty, if I can use that phrase. I mean, your family, your dad, your mom, I mean, you, yourself, you're from Republican family royalty.  And the Republican Party today, I look at certain elements of its leadership and I'm at a loss to understand it.  I see, and a lot of civilians see, that the greatest opportunity we've ever had to contrast what we think and who we are with what is, not what theoretically might be if they win, they did win five years ago, and this is what they are, and this is what we're gonna get.  And too many Republicans seem, at least on the outside, to simply cave to this, to have decided there's no point and nothing to be gained in opposing any of it.  And I just can't understand it.  I look at Washington today and feel as distant from it as I ever have.

LIZ CHENEY:  Yeah.  No, listen, I would say, first of all, I'm a proud constitutional conservative.  I, too, am very worried. I share your concerns, Rush, about our party.  I share your concerns, you know, when I hear leaders of the Republican Party saying we need to move to the left, we need to moderate, you know, that is a recipe for disaster.  What we need are people who can stand up and explain why we believe what we believe, why we believe in a limited government and low taxes and a strong national defense, and why, you know, we believe in the free enterprise system because it's raised more people out of poverty than any system that's ever existed.  It's the only system that's gonna create opportunity for all.  You know, we believe fundamentally in the Constitution and its inviolability, and we'll fight to defend, you know, Second Amendment rights and freedom of speech and freedom of religion and all those things that are under assault from this president. 

So I think the Republican Party today has got a lot of very big problems and I think you've got a lot of people out there who completely understandably are more willing to identify themselves as conservatives than as Republicans.  And, you know, it just seems to me that the path forward here is electing strong constitutional conservatives who are gonna be faithful to the Constitution and who are gonna remember every single day that they work for the people who elected them. Not people who are gonna go back to Washington and try to figure out how they can, you know, make the leadership in Washington with their votes and, you know, how they can sort of not wake waves and not rock the boat.  The situation is simply too grave for us not to stand and fight this fight. If we care about the future, if we care about our kids, if we care about our freedom, we will fight the fight. We'll fight it here and now.

RUSH:  How did it happen -- I must be honest and say, I'm shocked particularly at the Senate, since that's where you're headed. I'm shocked at much of what I hear from not just the Senate leadership, but from many Republicans in the Senate.  I don't understand what's happened in five years.  Maybe it's been happening slowly and surely in ways that we haven't seen, but I literally -- you know, I know what has happened, I mean, I know that, as you say, there might be fear of being called out. There might be fear of being called a racist, sexist, bigot. There might be fear of the White House coming after you, fear of being primaried, fear of whatever, but I have never seen the Republican Party this informed by it, this inspired, motivated by fear. 

People ask me, "What has happened?"  I don't know if it's the consultants advising candidates that are telling them this is what you have to do to win the independents. Look, I know that there's a war on conservatives in Washington everywhere, Republican Party, Democrat Party, and you're up against that, by the way, doing what you're doing, but it is a mind-boggling thing when you stop and think of all Democrat administrations, to compromise with and agree with, this one?

LIZ CHENEY:  Yeah.

RUSH:  This is the least likely for any of this to happen.  So people are scratching their heads, it doesn't make sense to them, and this gives birth and gives rise to all these mindless conspiracy theories when there doesn't appear to be a rational explanation why the president has no opposition, essentially, in Washington.

LIZ CHENEY:  You know, I think there's a couple of things going on, Rush.  I think, first of all, it just happens way too often that when people get back to Washington, you know, they want to be liked by everybody else in Washington. They want to be praised by people in Washington, you know, become sort of a club, and you want to be in the club.  You know, that certainly isn't something that compels me or drives me at all.  And I think, secondly, the president is a formidable communicator, and too many Republicans look at his skills and his talent, and they say, "We just simply can't compete," and so they cede the playing field. Or they sell themselves we're gonna compete in another way, we're just gonna work really hard in another way, but we're not gonna fight the fight with him because, my gosh, we might get bloodied.  And I think that the future of the nation, the future of the state of Wyoming, is simply too important for that, and I certainly, you know, came to the conclusion that I couldn't sit by the sidelines any longer in the face of the threats, you know, to the very principles on which our nation was founded.

RUSH:  By the way, Mike Enzi, current seat holder is, I think, a friend of your father's, they fished together.  How is that going down between your family and the Enzis, this --

LIZ CHENEY:  You know, I have a lot of respect for Mike.  I think they may have fished together once.  I think that, you know, I can tell you that I respect his 18 years of service to the state.  And it's not personal, you know, this is very much about policy and substance in the future.  And I believe it's time for a new generation. It's time for somebody who will be a strong voice in Washington for Wyoming.  So it's certainly not personal.  It's about the future and about, you know, not having the luxury to sit by and wait.

RUSH:  Well, Liz, if I may editorialize here, I don't want to embarrass you, but I want to tell the audience here that I've known you for many, many years, and throughout the entire time I've known you, you haven't changed. Your conservatism has been consistent and solid, and, in fact, it may have even gotten, if I can use the term, stronger, your commitment to it may have even increased.  And not that it was ever in doubt, but, I mean, I can cite numerous times you've been on television as a guest, and you have shown everybody how to do it.  For example, one of the favorite techniques that you perfected was simply refusing to accept the premise of a typical question a Republican would get.  You showed the way.  And if you do seek this office and if you succeed in getting it, everybody's gonna have their eyes on you and hoping and praying that whatever happens to Republicans in that town does not happen to you, because people like you are needed there.

LIZ CHENEY:  Well, thank you, Rush.  I appreciate that.  And I have to say that, you know, the admiration that I have for you and for what you've done and for the strength that you've had under a pretty intense barrage at times, you know, not to wither and to stand up for your principles is very, very high, and I appreciate that a lot, and you can count on the fact that I'm not gonna get back there, you know, and forget who sent me and forget who I work for and the principles on which the nation was founded and that we've gotta fight for.

RUSH:  Well, I appreciate your call.  I appreciate the time that you've given us here today, and, you know, we need -- let's see.  We've got Ted Cruz and we need about 95 more of you.

LIZ CHENEY:  (laughing).

RUSH:  At least 51 of you, at least 51 of you, and then we'd be talking.

LIZ CHENEY:  Well, we got a lot of good young people coming up in the party, and I think we're gonna give President Obama a fight here and not let him take this country away from the principles on which we were founded.

RUSH:  Well, you've mentioned Wyoming I don't know how many times in our chat here, and I think one of the problems people have is that people get elected, they go to Washington and they want to be liked by the culture there rather than remaining liked and appreciated in their home states or districts.  Don't forget that.  You seem to have that nailed down.  That's crucial.  I mean, your state is heavily involved in fracking and coal and energy, and the president's targeted everything that keeps that state viable.

LIZ CHENEY:  Well, you know, we could have an economic renaissance in this country if the president were willing to allow people in states like Wyoming to be able to get access to the resources that we have here.  We could be energy independent. We could have an economic renaissance.  But instead leases for drilling on federal lands in the Rocky mountains have reduced 70% in the last couple years, and he's just declared a war across the board on fossil fuels.  It makes no sense for the nation, for our energy needs, certainly it kills thousands of jobs here in Wyoming.  And, you know, it's just time for it to end. It's time for people to stand up and back him off of these policies and get people across the nation mobilized in order to back him off these policies.

RUSH:  Well, good luck, Liz, and thanks again.

LIZ CHENEY:  Thank you, Rush.

RUSH:  Liz Cheney, seeking the Senate seat from Wyoming, currently held by Mike Enzi.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  After all the great things that Dick Cheney has done for our country over his long, brilliant career, Liz Cheney might turn out to be one of his biggest contributions of all. We'll find out. 

END TRANSCRIPT

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