Republican Wyoming Senate candidate Liz Cheney on Sunday accused President Obama of lying about the healthcare law and Sen. Mike EnziMike EnziJudd Gregg: The silver lining Judd Gregg: A little change Lobbying World MORE (R-Wyo.) of enabling him.
Trailing the three-term incumbent among next year's primary voters, Cheney used harsh rhetoric on her first Sunday show appearance since announcing her run to cast herself as a fresh and aggressive alternative to Enzi. She said the president knowingly lied when he repeatedly promised that Americans who like their plans would be able to keep them.
She said Obama wants to move to a government-run, single-payer system and “probably thought he needed to say this in order to get it passed.”
She went on to attack Enzi and other Republican senators who worked with Democrats to try to reach a bipartisan compromise. The talks broke down and no Republican senators ended up voting for the bill.
“Legislation is about knowing where to draw the line,” she said. “So when the president of the United States walks into the room or his allies walk into the room and they say, 'hey, we're going to impose this massive new federal program, we're going to take over a sixth of the economy,' Sen. Enzi's response was essentially to say, 'OK, let's negotiate about that.' ”
“The right response,” she said, “would have been to say: 'Absolutely not, under no circumstances'. And frankly, if all the Republicans would have done that at the beginning, had stood their ground and refused to negotiate and compromise on this, we probably wouldn't be where we are today.”
“Instead you have Republicans like Sen. Enzi who gave the president running room, and they gave him cover, and they gave him the ability to say, 'hey this is a bipartisan effort.' When in fact it wasn't; it was never intended to be.”
“They got used,” she said. “The right answer would have been, 'no, we're not going to allow you to go down that path.' ”
She went on to defend herself against accusations of being a carpet-backer who only moved back there from the Washington area last year.
“I'm a fourth-generation Wyomingite,” Cheney said. “And I would say also the time I spent outside Wyoming, the time that I spent working inside federal agencies in Washington, D.C., is experience that's very important for what I think has got to be the top priority of a Wyoming senator, which is rolling back the massive expansion of our federal government.”