Washington, DC – Congresswoman Liz Cheney joined CNN senior political commentator and University of Chicago Institute of Politics director David Axelrod on his podcast “AxeFiles” to discuss her work to defend the Constitution and protect American democracy. Listen to the full interview here and see the below transcripts for key excerpts of her comments:
CONGRESSWOMAN CHENEY: But I would say that that is true if you think that the objective of being in politics is to maintain your seat and maintain your office. And, number one, they aren’t going to prevail. You know, Donald Trump can say what he wants, but at the end of the day, I have total and complete confidence that there are many more Americans who understand the threat that he poses, and who are going to ensure that he’s not successful. And, you know, will ensure that the democracy and that the Republic survives. So, the story is not over yet. But it also is a case that the system doesn’t work, the system breaks down very, very quickly, if once people are elected, their sole purpose is maintaining their seat. And, you know, there’s a reason why we swear an oath to the Constitution, a reason why we all have to have a duty to something greater than, you know, political survival. It has made me think about term limits in a new way. You know, I have opposed term limits, and I think there are some constitutional difficulties with them, and I think the voters ultimately ought to get to make those decisions. But if you have members, and I’ve had members say directly to me, you know, ‘Look, the point is just political survival. Just keep your head down and survive.’ Well, you know, if the chips are down, and the most dangerous moment for the nation that we’ve faced ever from a president arrives, and people don’t do the right thing because they’re just trying to hold on to office, then that makes it very difficult for the system to survive. But as I said, look, the country has been through crises, including, you know, devastating civil war, and at every moment of those crises, we have come out of it, we’ve come through it, and we’ve survived and I’m confident. Don’t bet against America. And don’t bet against our democracy. Don’t bet against me.
CONGRESSWOMAN CHENEY: Well, and I think, you know, bring up a really important point, which is about inaugurations. And people can say sometimes, ‘Well, gosh, it’s sort of, you know, too idealistic or naive to think that, you know, we’re all going to kind of just come together and set aside our partisan attacks.’ But we always have done that before when it comes to the peaceful transition of power. And, you know, I have talked about, I remember being very moved sitting on the platform when President Bush was inaugurated and moved again, just recently, watching Al Gore’s concession speech. I was also very moved sitting on the platform when President Obama was sworn in. And again, even though that had been hard fought, it will continue to be hard fought, big policy disagreements, you know, what a thing that says about this nation that we were swearing in the first African American president. I mean, those are the kinds of things that we should be proud of. And that we should understand and recognize that once the campaign is over, that peaceful transition of power is so invaluable there. If we lose that, if we all of a sudden are in a place where people who don’t like the outcome of the presidential election, where a president can attempt to use violence to overturn it and stay in office, that’s the end of democracy. And so I do think we have to remind people that there is something much better in us as Americans, and I really do think that, I know that the vast majority of Americans understand and want to live in a country that’s characterized by a peaceful transition of power, and, you know, they’ll ensure that we do preserve that, and not let those who want to destroy that or unravel it prevail.