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Washington, DC – Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) joined “The Guy Benson Show” on Fox News Radio yesterday to discuss President Biden’s failed leadership when it comes to countering Russian aggression, and attempts by elected officials in both parties to attempt to delegitimize our electoral processes. 

Listen to the full interview here and see relevant portions of the transcript below:

GUY BENSON:So, very bad things coming for Russia if they invade, but it kind of depends on the nature of the invasion. If it’s just a ‘minor incursion,’ well that might not be exactly bad enough to get everyone in line to do the harsh punishments that he’s been talking about and the West has now been threatening for weeks and weeks and weeks. This word, this ‘minor incursion ‘ phrase, landed like a lightning bolt– just like a thunderbolt in Kiev and Ukraine. Immediately their government was putting out statements, talking to reporters. They were shocked that Biden said that. The President of Ukraine put out a statement saying there’s no such thing as a ‘minor incursion’ or like a minor loss of life in our sovereign territory. I just wonder, Congresswoman, how you felt when you heard the President saying the things that we’ve just played back for you?

REP. LIZ CHENEY:Well, Guy, it is complete, strategic incompetence — just complete, and it’s incredibly damaging. The President of the United States is not, you know, a MSNBC analyst. The President of the United States has to lead. The President of the United States needs to make clear, in no uncertain terms, that if Putin takes a step that threatens the sovereignty of Ukraine, if Putin invades, that he will be met with swift and overwhelming force in response. That is what deterrence is all about. When the President of the United States stands and, on live television, and contemplates, you know, ‘Well, it might be a minor incursion,’ — it’s just complete incompetence. And the reason it’s dangerous is because it leads to miscalculation, because it leads to our adversaries thinking, you know, ‘Well if the President of the United States is not willing to stand for our allies and is not willing to play the role that the United States must play globally to ensure the defense of freedom, to ensure territorial sovereignty, to ensure that we keep our commitments,’ then our adversaries will miscalculate and are our allies will think they can’t count on us. And so, I just, you know, it was certainly one of those moments where the President really absolutely failed to do what a President of the United States needs to do in the circumstances that we’re currently facing.

BENSON:Yeah, the President of the United States – any President of the United States – is arguably the number one shaper of events in the world and not some bystander saying, ‘oh gosh, if I had to guess, he’ll probably do this and it kind of depends on if it’s a major incursion or a minor incursion, and we don’t really don’t have our house in order over with NATO, so let’s just see what he does.’ I mean, you say that Putin could maybe miscalculate. I guess maybe this is my cynical side…would it be a miscalculation to assume that this would be meant with weakness? Or would that just be, perhaps, the correct calculation that Biden has just, sort of, let out of the bag?

REP. CHENEY:Look, I think that this American foreign policy has been completely mismanaged, and I think partly what we’re seeing is a result of the Biden Administration’s catastrophic decision in Afghanistan. We’re seeing, you know, globally an assessment that’s being made that you can’t count on the United States. And your point is exactly right, and I think this notion of, you know, the American President thinking that he’s a bystander. We have that problem across the board. We’re living in a moment where our nation faces serious crises and serious challenges from a national security perspective, from a domestic perspective, from a constitutional perspective, and we have a lot of elected officials across the board in both parties right now who think they’re bystanders, who seem not to recognize and understand the seriousness of these issues. Not to understand that they’ve got an obligation and a duty to lead, and certainly the President of the United States is foremost among those who must be absolutely clear, you know, America’s security, America’s freedom depends upon American strength, and power, and leadership globally, and we cannot afford a situation where America suddenly decides that adversaries, with a show of force, are going to be able to set the rules of the road for the world going forward. That’s not a world in which we can be secure.

BENSON: Last question on this subject though, Congresswoman. There’s a school of thought, a lot of Americans across the spectrum might ask the question, ‘Why should we care about Russia and Ukraine? Why, and it’s not really our fight and we’d like to be on the side of freedom and, you know, I guess we’re sort of with Ukraine, but why should we bother to get all whipped up over potentially, sort of, a regional struggle far away?’

REP. CHENEY: Because it matters to the United States, it matters to our freedom, and it matters to our security that we lead in the world. And when we’ve made commitments, when we have someone like Putin who’s attempting to bully us, he’s attempting to force us to end our policy of accepting new members into NATO, who’s attempting to force us to walk away from commitments that we’ve made to NATO members, from commitments that we’ve made to Ukraine. He’s attempting to use force in order to redraw the map of Europe and to have his way, both, you know, through military force, through economic blackmail, through cyber attacks, through a whole range of actions, bad actions. Those who believe that the United States of America can simply withdraw from the world and can simply sit back in isolationism, hope for the best, are badly mistaken and it’s a lesson that we’ve learned throughout history. And the reality in the current situation is that the Biden Administration has completely misunderstood and miscalculated and failed to conduct any kind of effective deterrence. The bottom line here is deterrence. You don’t want to be in a situation where you are compelled to use force, but your adversaries need to understand that you have the capability and the will to defend your interests and your ally.

Cheney: Both Sides Must Stop Delegitimizing Our Election Process; We Have To Work Together To Enact Bipartisan Reforms

BENSON:What was your reaction watching that play out and watching this incoherent response from the Democrats at least flirting with this stuff openly?

REP. CHENEY:It’s utterly irresponsible and they ought to stop it. You know, we have a situation where America’s adversaries have attempted to delegitimize our elections process. You know, the Chinese government, for example, makes claims that democracy can’t work, it can’t function, it can’t reflect the will of the people. We have all certainly watched what happened over the course of the last year when former President Trump made claims that the election was stolen, made false claims of election fraud, inspired people, incited people to violence on the basis of those claims. And the President of the United States and elected officials have a responsibility to affirm public trust in our elections. Elected officials in both parties have a responsibility to do that. We can work together to find ways to ensure that our elections are as free and fair as possible. Certainly, there are ways to improve our election process. There are ways that we can do that on a bipartisan basis, but the notion that any elected official would be questioning whether or not the 2022 election outcome is going to be fair, that would be attempting to delegitimize those elections, is acting in a highly irresponsible manner that is, again, dangerous to our democratic system. And they ought to all stop it. And we ought to come together and say, ‘What do we need to do to make sure January 6th never happens again, and how do we find reforms that we can agree on a bipartisan basis that do not do what the Democrats’ reforms have tried to do, which is federalize our elections process?’ We’ve got to respect states’ rights, we’ve got to respect the Constitution, we need at every moment to make sure we’re doing things like – we ought to be protecting poll watchers, we ought to be making sure people aren’t subject to pressure. I believe we ought to have Voter ID. I believe we ought to look at what we can do to reform the Electoral Count Act. There are important reforms that can be made, but they need to be made responsibly.

BENSON:The President admitted that he didn’t reach out to any Republicans on this issue, on the actual working together. It seems like that was not the priority. What they wanted was a partisan power grab. Last word to you on that point, Congresswoman.

REP. CHENEY:Look, and if you look at what’s happening in the Senate you actually do have Democrats and Republicans who would like to work together — in the House as well. But in the Senate, you know, Leader Schumer won’t advance those reforms that there could be bipartisan agreement on. Instead they’re putting forward these massive bills that resemble, you know, H.R. 1, that the Democrats passed in the House that present fundamental, I believe, you know, constitutionally questionable reforms that at the end of the day, you know, they pass on a partisan basis because, in my view, they federalize elections, they take power away from the states, they give authority to a Federal Election Commission that can no longer be balanced.

BENSON:And the White House did not reach out to you on this ‘working together’ stuff?


BENSON:They did not.

REP. CHENEY:They have not. They have not.

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