“We have a duty to remember that politics has a purpose.”

Cheney Discusses Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine, The Role of the Jan. 6 Select Committee, The State of the Republican Party, and More

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (WY-AL) appeared Monday night before a dinner meeting of The Ripon Society, delivering remarks not only about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but the January 6th insurrection at the United States Capitol and her role as Vice Chair of the Select Committee investigating the attack.

“I am so incredibly proud every day of how this Committee is operating,” she stated. “We tune out the politics on the Committee, and I’ve never been part of anything like that in Washington.  We are not perfect — I don’t think there’s a single issue that I agree with Adam Schiff on.  I don’t think there’s a single issue that I agree with most of the members on the Democratic side of the Committee on, except the issue that matters more than any other issue — and that is the Constitution of the United States of America and whether or not our elected officials are going to take their obligation seriously.

“If I could sum up both the lessons of what’s gone on since January 6th and the lessons of what’s happening in the world today as we watch Russia invade Ukraine, it’s something that somebody said to me just a few weeks after January 6th.  This colleague of mine said to me, ‘Some things have to matter.’  And I just ask you all to think about that. Some things have to matter.”

Cheney was elected to the House in 2016.  A member of the Armed Services Committee, she has built a reputation over the years as one of America’s leading voices for a strong national defense.  She has also made a name for herself as a common sense conservative who believes policy and principle should take precedence over politics and partisanship.

“We get very accustomed here — especially in Washington and especially in the political world — to thinking about politics, politics, politics,” the Wyoming Republican said.  “I think we have a duty to remember that politics has a purpose. The Republican Party was founded for a purpose. It was founded because of what we believe in.  Because we believe in principle.  Because we believe in substance.  

“As Republicans, we believe in limited government and low taxes and a strong national defense.  We believe in conservative policies that are right for the country.  But some things matter more than politics. And that is absolutely true of understanding what happened and how we got to where we were on January 6th, and making sure it never happens again.  It’s also true in terms of America and the world. And when I think about America and the world and what has to matter, America must stand for freedom.”

This is especially true, she said, in light of Russia’s “horrific” actions over the past week.

“There can be no equivocation between a democratically-elected sovereign government, sovereign nation of Ukraine and Vladimir Putin, who is conducting the most horrific, significant, large scale military attack on the continent of Europe since World War II,” Cheney declared.  “And it’s going to get worse.  

“We’ve been inspired by the Ukrainians defending themselves, their families, and their homes. They have thwarted Vladimir Putin’s plans. They have delayed what he thought he would be able to do.  And ultimately, Vladimir Putin will lose.  That doesn’t mean that it will not be brutal and bloody, and it could take years.  But ultimately, he will lose, and the free world has to stand against him. Anybody in the Republican Party or the Democratic Party who suggests that we don’t have a position as between Ukraine and Russia is advocating views that are at odds with the interests of the United States of America.  We have to be very clear about that, too. 

“I think one of the real challenges that we have faced in our party has been a growing sense of isolationism. We’ve certainly seen that for a while. Now we see it on the Democratic side, as well. But those people in our party who are advocating for the United States to withdraw from the world, who are advocating that somehow the United States shouldn’t lead in the world anymore … the kind of world that we will all be living in, we can see now on a daily basis on our television screens when you see what’s happening in Ukraine.  Because if America doesn’t lead, the people who fill the void are the Russians, are the Chinese, are the Iranians, are the North Koreans.”

To meet these global challenges, Cheney said she believes Congress should increase the amount being spent on national defense.

“I’m going be watching very closely and working very hard in the coming days and weeks,” she stated, “both in terms of supplemental assistance for Ukraine, but also we really need to take a look at our own defense budget. It is insufficient.  We said two years ago and three years ago that our defense budget needed to increase by three to five percent annually in order to be able to meet the threats we face. It’s now got to increase by at least five percent annually, and probably more than that.  We’re facing a growing threat in terms of the nuclear modernization we’re watching happen in China.  We are outgunned right now in the Indo-Pacific. We are watching increasing instability in Europe. 

Cheney also expressed concern about the Administration’s policy toward Iran. 

“Although there has been, I think, impressive unity with respect to standing for Ukraine,” she observed, “I think that what the Biden Administration seems to be about to do with respect to Iran and reentering the JCPOA is a real mistake. If the United States reenters the JCPOA, we’re going to lift sanctions on the Iranians, we’re going to give the Iranians resources that they’ll be able to use to destabilize the region, and we’re going to put them back on a path to a nuclear weapon.  On top of all of that, the Russians right now are basically facilitating and leading those negotiations to get back into the JCPOA, and that ought stop immediately.”

Cheney concluded her remarks with one final observation — this one about the upcoming elections, and the importance of electing Republicans who are ready to meet the challenges of our time.  

“As we have all of these debates and discussions at home,” she stated, “and as we’re thinking about who we’re going to support and who we’re going to elect, it is so important for us to remember that the challenges we face as a country right now are really great. They’re really serious. And we have to support serious people.   

“Right now in our party, we have people who are antisemitic openly.  We have people who are racist openly.  And we have people who have attended white supremacist conferences openly.  

“In politics, we always want to have a big tent. But no tent can ever be big enough for those views. And we all have to be very clear about that.”

To view Cheney’s remarks before The Ripon Society’s dinner meeting on Monday night, please click on the link below:

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.