Liz Cheney: ‘The world will be watching’ NH on primary day

Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, holds a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, holds a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) AP — J. Scott Applewhite


Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 01-08-2024 4:17 AM

Modified: 01-08-2024 5:10 AM

HANOVER — Speaking on the eve of the three-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, and with just weeks until the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire Republican presidential primary, former Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney came to Hanover on Friday with a warning.

“The only president in American history who failed to fulfill his obligation to guarantee the peaceful transfer of power is running for office once again,” she said to a packed ballroom at the Hanover Inn.

If Donald Trump were to win in the 2024 general presidential election, “this may well be the last vote you ever get to cast,” Cheney said.

Citing the so-called “insurrection clause” of the 14th Amendment, there’s “no question,” she added, that Trump’s name should be nixed from primary ballots.

Since a mob stormed into the Capitol on Jan. 6, leading to the arrest of more than 1,200 people, Cheney has become a figurehead in a conservative movement lambasting Trump and the Republican leaders who continue to support him.

In December, Cheney, 57, released her memoir “Oath and Honor,” which quickly became a New York Times bestseller.

Cheney voted for the former president in 2020, but since his attempts to overturn the election — endorsed by many high-ranking Republicans — she has been distanced from the party that gave rise to her powerful political family, including her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Her involvement as vice chairwoman of a House committee investigating the attack on the Capitol triggered her removal from Republican party leadership in Congress, as well as her censorship by the Republican National Convention. She was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump.

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In 2022, Cheney lost her bid for a fourth term in Congress, by a wide margin, to a Trump-backed candidate.

In New Hampshire, a recent poll from the website 538, shows Trump leading other Republican candidates in the primary by 12 points or more. President Joe Biden takes the state in a general election — but nationally, Trump has an edge on the current president.

“Trump tapped into a sense of a number of Americans that their voice isn’t being heard,” Cheney said. But ultimately, his presidency and his actions since “betrayed” those same Americans, she added. “He has been a master of manipulation.”

For the nose-holding Republicans who will cast their votes for Trump in the hopes “it won’t be so bad,” they’re living in “a fantasy world,” she said at the event, hosted by three Dartmouth groups.

Cheney, however, remains a staunch conservative, and took the opportunity to criticize Biden on decisions that “have been bad for America,” she said, including his immigration policies.

Still, “the threat posed by Donald Trump, and the threat posed by Joe Biden are not even remotely similar,” Cheney said. “Our nation can survive and recover from policy mistakes. We cannot recover from a president willing to torch the constitution.”

She didn’t dispel rumors that she might be considering a third-party run, saying that she’ll “do the most effective thing to ensure Trump doesn’t get elected.”

The distinction Cheney drew between party differences and the flouting of democratic norms resonated with Dartmouth freshman Fern Stewart.

“I want to keep an open mind to a lot of different ideas,” said Stewart, who hails from Hamilton, Montana. “And I want to hear different leaders from across the board,” adding that she respects Cheney for her ability “to speak out.”

In an interview with the Valley News after Cheney’s speech, U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, a New Hampshire Democrat, echoed Cheney’s bipartisan plea to the state’s voters.

“Whether it be Biden or Nikki Haley, New Hampshire voters have a unique opportunity to vote to save our democracy,” Kuster said.

Because come the Jan. 23 primaries, “the world will be watching” the Grainte State, Cheney said.

Frances Mize is a Report for America corps member. She can be reached at or 603-727-3242.