Live updates: Biden signals willingness to negotiate on scope and financing of infrastructure proposal
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) diagnosed the problem with today’s Republican Party as one that leans toward falsehoods spread by loud voices on social media over uniting to push actual policy-making proposals to their base.
In a virtual conversation with the Georgetown Institute of Politics on Monday, Cheney reiterated her belief that embracing former president Donald Trump’s falsehood that the 2020 presidential election was rigged only undermines faith in the U.S. government and fails to help the party win back voters they lost to President Biden.
“The most important thing has to be the truth and we have to be willing to speak the truth and the truth is that the election wasn’t stolen. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t irregularities,” she said, “For us as a party we have to be clear what we stand for, we have to be clear that we’re going to always tell our constituents and our voters that truth, that we owe them that.”
Cheney said that Democrats are not immune to the problem plaguing the politics right now, noting that both parties find themselves “in this era of celebrity” and called on members from each side of the aisle to incentivize debate over popularity.
“Too often the incentives run towards who can make the biggest splash on Twitter and I don’t think that’s healthy for the party, for either one. I don’t think it’s healthy for our government.”
While she acknowledged that there is no clear answer on how to turn the tide, she did suggest that Republicans could start by recruiting more candidates that want to “be engaged in the business of legislating” rather than grandstanding.
Cheney has become increasingly vocal against her party embracing the more brash positions espoused by Trump, warning that doing so will distract Republicans from pushing for traditional policy making. It’s contributed to the division in the party about how to move forward without Trump at the helm. Many members, including Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks (R-Ind.), say the best way to regain the majority is by embracing Trump’s populist message.
While she did give the Trump administration credit for sustaining a healthy economy that did bring in new voters into the party, Cheney notably said Republicans must return to discussing substance and proposing policy based ideas to win back key constituencies “tired of the vitriol” like suburban mothers who have fiercely rejected Trump in the last two election cycles.
Asked by a Republican college student how best the next generation can reshape the party, Cheney said they need to figure out how to fight disinformation that is contributing to extreme polarization.
“You know social media more than we do,” she said about the current generation of politicians. “You guys are going to be on the frontlines of figuring out how people know that what they’re reading and seeing is true.”