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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Liz Cheney on Campaign 2016

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The transcript:

HH: I begin this hour with my guest from Wyoming, the next Congresswoman from Wyoming, Liz Cheney, she of course senior State Department official in the course of the George W. Bush administration. She is now a candidate for Congress in Wyoming. Her website is Her Twitter handle is @Liz_Cheney. Liz Cheney, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show, good morning, how are you?

LC: Hey, Hugh, good morning to you. Thanks for having me back. I’m doing great. How are you doing?

HH: Good. I wish you were here at the Republican convention, because the foreign policy is a little undervalued here, and I know that’s part of your key agenda. We did get a little focus on the Iran deal last night from Leader McConnell, and I know you’re focusing on it. And it’s getting worse by the day the more we learn about it.

LC: Boy, it sure is. I mean, you know, we knew when the deal was actually signed how bad most of it was, you know, the fact that the President was actually letting the Iranians self-report in terms of the verification of the agreement, you know, the fact that he was giving them the ability to get their ballistic missile program back again to begin their conventional weapons trade. But then, you know, now that we’ve seen this week this secret agreement, the fact that the President is actually allowing the Iranians, that he agreed in secret to allow the Iranians to have access to some of the most high tech centrifuges, you know, which will in fact cut the time they need to go to nuclear breakout, and that he lied to the American people about it. And it’s important for people to remember that Hillary Clinton, you know, was one of the architects of this deal. She was in on it from the ground floor. And so she bears as much responsibility as Barack Obama does for the most dangerous, I think, arms control agreement certainly in American history.

HH: Well, that came up a couple of times last night, but it’s in fits and starts. Chris Christie really brought the case laying out the Iran deal, and a few other speakers, including Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan brought up the many and very important critiques of her. But nevertheless, more often, people are talking about the server than the actual policies. Do you think that needs to be a little bit more substance, Liz Cheney, than on that, focus on that, than on Hillary’s testimony said to Benghazi? Or do you just do both?

LC: I think you’ve got to do it all. I mean, she is such a deeply flawed candidate. She’s a felon. You know, there’s no, I thought Chris Christie did a great job last night in laying out the case against her across the board. And the notion that we might let this woman who, you know, as Donald Trump, Jr. pointed out couldn’t even get a background, pass a background check. That we might let her be our next commander-in-chief is outrageous. And you know, we’ve seen again and again and again the Clintons act as though they’re above the law. And she tries to attract attention away from her crimes, away from her husband’s crimes, by talking about her tremendous substantive record. And in fact, she’s also, you know, probably one of our worst secretaries of State, if not our worst secretary of State in history. And you can go down the list of all the things that she claims as accomplishments, and you know, this president is going to leave office, and one of his great legacies is going to be the rise of Islamic terrorism around the world. And she’s been at the heart of that during the time she was secretary of State, their inability to do what’s necessary to defeat America’s enemies. And you know, that’s just been a huge dereliction of duty on his part, and she’s got to bear a tremendous amount of the blame for that given that she was his chief diplomat for four years.

HH: Now as you just referenced Donald Trump, Jr. saying she couldn’t even get a clearance, now Liz Cheney, would you explain that to people? A lot of people in the audience, I knew what it meant because I’ve held them, you knew what it meant because you’ve had them at the highest level, but what does that mean when Donald Trump, Jr. says she’d be the first president who couldn’t even get a basic clearance?

LC: Well, the fact that she, you know, did what she did, that she knowingly put America’s, some of our information that was classified at the highest levels, you know, we now know there was information that was classified, potentially, even at the code word level on her non-secured server. She took everything she was doing as Secretary of State, and she did it on unsecure, insecure server. Doing that itself, you know, anybody else who had done that would have their security clearance stripped, and the next time that, you know, if they ever were in a position again to apply for a security clearance, the FBI goes through and does a complete background check. And the fact that she had set up this server and that she had taken classified material that she had knowingly mishandled it, that she had clearly exercised extreme negligence in terms of failing to take care of that classified material, would disqualify her from having a security clearance. And when we’re talking about the person, we’re thinking about electing as president of the United States a woman who time and time and time again put her own political interest above America’s national security interests, has absolutely disqualified herself from the office. And I think we’ve got to remind the American people of that at every opportunity.

HH: Now Liz Cheney, you’re in the middle of a campaign. I hope it’s going well. But I’m thinking about your mom’s autobiography, Big Sky, No Fences. And I’ve driven around Wyoming a little bit, came up from Colorado. It’s a huge state to have to cover. And I remember listening to your father and Alan Simpson talking about following each other around the state as you make the drive. How is the campaign going in a state where the roads are endless and the people are few and far between?

LC: Well, thank you, Hugh. No, it is going terrific. It’s just, Wyoming really is God’s country. We only have one representative in the House of Representatives, and we’ve got to cover about a hundred thousand square miles of the district, and probably we’ve got about 90,000 voters in our Republican primary. So you know, it is a lot of time on the road, but one of the really special things about Wyoming, you know, in addition to how beautiful this place is the grit of our people, and the values on which our state was built. People really are self-reliant. They’ve got the courage of their convictions. They expect to be able to talk one on one with, people with their candidates, people that they’re thinking of electing to Congress. And I am really honored and privileged to be in the race. And you know, people here are just as worried and concerned about what we’re seeing in terms of what’s happening in Washington and this presidential race. I mean, some people don’t realize Wyoming’s the nation’s largest coal producing state. And so when Hillary Clinton stands up and says she’s going to put a bunch of coal miners out of work, that’s, you know, a direct attack. It’s a war on Wyoming. And when you’ve got the Democratic establishment basically in the pocket of radical environmentalists trying to force us to keep all our fossil fuels in the ground, and saying that we’re somehow going to run our economy based on wind, you know, it’s ludicrous. But it is a really damaging set of policies that you know, people here in Wyoming know better than anybody else we’ve got to put an end to, make sure we don’t give the Democrats another four years in the White House.

HH: You know, Liz Cheney, I was with a West Virginia delegation last night briefly, and we were talking about coal. I’m from Ohio. Ohio is also coal country.

LC: Yup.

HH: They brought up that exact thing. And I told them I though Liz Cheney would be one of the people for them. And then we began talking about which committees you’d be on. Obviously, I think you’d be on Foreign Affairs. But would you look for Natural Resources and Ag? Are those the two traditional committees as well?

LC: Absolutely. Yeah, those matter hugely to us here in Wyoming – natural resources, Ag, energy, you know, the committees that really are focused on the things that drive our economy here, but also, you know, as you point out, Hugh, is the fact that we’ve been targeted, and the fact that our industries in Wyoming have been targeted, and you know, the fact that the EPA is operating totally outside of Constitutional structure, those issues matter to us in Wyoming. But they ought to matter to the whole country. And so I think it’s really important that Wyoming’s next representative be able to lead a national fight on these issues, a national campaign against the radical environmentalists, work with people from states all across our country who understand how much is at risk if we let those people prevail who don’t believe in the Constitution, who don’t believe in private property rights, who don’t believe in 2nd Amendment rights. We’ve got to make sure we stand up and fight back, and we do it effectively, and we do it hard.

HH: Well, I want to close by talking about, because Democrats don’t want another Cheney back in D.C. And so they’re targeting you. They want to keep you out, and I know that a lot of people find budgets are tight, but $10, $25, $50 bucks, how is the online fundraising going at And do you welcome help from around the country

LC: Absolutely. I have been really honored by our fundraising. We’ve been able to raise more money in Wyoming from more donors in Wyoming than any other candidate in the race. And we’ve also been very successful around the country raising money from individuals. I’m not accepting PAC contributions in this race, and I think it’s really important that people understand that you know, individuals across the country want change. And as I mentioned, Wyoming’s got to have a representative who can bring a national spotlight to our issues so that we make sure we save our Ag industry, we save our energy industry, and we don’t let radical environmentalists basically run everybody off the land and force us to try to survive in an economy that’s functioning based on sources of energy that just frankly aren’t reliable and don’t work. And at the same time this is all going on, you know, obviously, we’re facing the gravest threat to our national security we’ve faced certainly since before 9/11. And we’ve just got a huge amount of work to do come January, 2017 to begin to reverse the damage that this president has done to our state and to our nation. And we’ve got to have somebody that’ll hit the ground running to do that, and I certainly am committed to that.

HH: Liz Cheney, good luck, come back and keep us posted on the race. We need your very unique combination of skill sets in the United States House of Representatives for this very difficult time., America, go and make a contribution. Follow Liz as well, @Liz_Cheney. Come back early and often, Liz Cheney.

End of interview.


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