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In defeat, Cheney chides Trump and invokes history

What Cheney’s subsequent chapter will likely be stays unsure, however the Republican made one factor clear about her political future within the speech: Her battle to guard American democracy is simply starting, and she meant what she mentioned about doing the whole lot in her energy to ensure Donald Trump by no means steps foot close to the Oval Office once more.

Cheney mentioned she was effectively conscious of the political dangers she has taken in opposing Trump, noting that she gained her earlier major with over 70 p.c of the vote and would possible have gained Tuesday night time’s race had she chosen a distinct path.

“But it would’ve required that I go along with President Trump’s lie about the 2020 election. It would’ve required that I enable his ongoing efforts to unravel our Democratic system, and attack the foundations of our republic,” Cheney mentioned. “That was a path I could not and would not take.”

Cheney took the stage round 8:15 p.m. Wyoming time because the solar started to set. Mountains surrounded the gathering, and hay bales held up 4 American flags. A purple classic Chevrolet 3100 was positioned to the facet of the stage.

She thanked members of her marketing campaign crew, her husband and her 5 kids, 4 of whom have been within the viewers, alongside together with her mother and father, former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Second Lady Lynne Cheney.

During the speech, she made repeated references to American history, significantly the history of the Civil War. She quoted from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. And she recounted how Ulysses S. Grant refused to retreat and led the Union Army to victory within the Civil War.

“Lincoln and Grant, and all who fought in our nation’s tragic Civil War, including my own great great grandfathers, saved our union. Their courage saved freedom,” Cheney mentioned. “And if we listen closely, they are speaking to us down the generations. We must not idly squander what so many have fought and died for.”

And maybe coyly, she famous that Lincoln had misplaced elections to Congress earlier than he went on to be elected president.

“Abraham Lincoln was defeated in elections for the Senate and the House before he won the most important election of all. Lincoln ultimately prevailed, he saved our union and he defined our obligation as Americans for all of history,” she mentioned.

Cheney mentioned no citizen is a “bystander,” and addressed the person accountability of Americans to hunt the reality and defend the way forward for the nation. This means understanding what occurred on Jan. 6, Cheney mentioned, and it means not supporting election deniers in November who will “corrupt” the nation’s future.

“Our nation is young in the history of mankind, and yet we are the oldest democracy in the world. Our survival is not guaranteed. History has shown us, over and over again, how poisonous lies destroy free nations,” she mentioned.

Trump had recognized Cheney as a prime takedown goal after she grew to become the highest-ranking Republican to vote to question him after Jan. 6. His wrath intensified together with her high-profile position on the House choose committee investigating the previous president and his internal circle.

Cheney was punished swiftly, each in Wyoming and by her colleagues in Congress, who booted her from GOP management. But Cheney continued to make use of her platform on the nationwide stage to oppose Trump — spurring hypothesis she’s eyeing a run for president, hypothesis she’s but to dismiss.

Trump allies criticized Cheney for invoking Lincoln and the Civil War in her speech, however different members of her occasion praised her for placing her dedication to her nation above politics. Trump’s former nationwide safety adviser, John Bolton, said she deserves the “highest possible praise,” whereas former Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele mentioned Cheney is “the Phoenix,” and that the GOP isn’t prepared for her.

Michigan’s Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel said Cheney will go down in history as an “American hero.”

The Wyoming Republican’s loss on Tuesday will possible solely amplify her already outsizedrole on the Jan. 6 committee, which has vowed to proceed its work by means of the top of this Congress in January. Cheney is ready to proceed in her vice chair seat on the House choose panel as investigators put together for extra hearings subsequent month.

She ended her speech by asking Americans to affix her within the subsequent part of her battle.

“As we leave here, let us resolve that we will stand together — Republicans, Democrats and Independents — against those who would destroy our republic. They are angry, and they are determined,” Cheney mentioned. “But they have not seen anything like the power of Americans united in defense of our Constitution and committed to the cause of freedom. There is no greater power on this Earth. And with God’s help, we will prevail.”

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