“Those who think that by ignoring Trump, he will go away, have been proven wrong,” Cheney told CBS News’ “60 Minutes” in an interview that aired Sunday.
“And in my view, the American people, they deserve better than having to choose between what I think are the really disastrous policies of Joe Biden — in a whole range of areas, really bad for our economy,” she said. “From a national security perspective, what’s happened, what he’s done in Afghanistan: very dangerous policies for the country. But the alternative cannot be a man who doesn’t believe in the rule of law, and who violated his oath of office.”
She also took a swipe at House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, calling his actions after January 6 “unforgivable.”
“What he’s done is embrace Donald Trump. And if I were doing what he’s doing, I would be deeply ashamed of myself,” Cheney said.
She continued: “There are people who supported Donald Trump because of his policies. But there’s a difference between somebody who voted for Donald Trump and being the Republican leader after an insurrection, and setting all of that aside and going to Mar-a-Lago, and rehabilitating him, bringing him back in. That to me is unforgivable.”
Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, has defied her party by joining the panel controlled by Democrats and even sacrificed her own position in leadership in order to remain vocal and outspoken about the need to investigate the January 6 insurrection.
The select committee issued its first round of subpoenas last week, targeting close aides and allies of Trump.
“I watched while the attack was underway — understood very clearly what he did on January 6, what he failed to do on January 6,” Cheney said of Trump in the interview. “Instead of stopping the attack while it was underway, he was busy calling up senators trying to get them to delay the count.”
While Cheney’s voted with Trump more than 90% of the time, her vocal opposition following the insurrection prompted the former President to endorse attorney Harriet Hageman to challenge Cheney for the GOP nomination in Wyoming’s lone House district.
Cheney expressed confidence that she could win reelection, and said that a vote for her Trump-endorsed Republican opponent is a “vote for somebody who’s willing to perpetuate the big lie, somebody who’s willing to put allegiance to Trump above allegiance to the Constitution.”
The primary race is quickly shaping up to be one of the most notable proxy contests in the greater fight over the future of the Republican Party, something Cheney openly acknowledged in her “60 Minutes” interview.
“I think it’s going to be the most important House race in the country in 2022,” Cheney said. “And it will be one where people do have the opportunity to say, ‘We want to stand for the Constitution.'”