If Enzi’s claim is correct, it would hardly be the first false statement from Cheney, who has made a name for herself making misleading and inaccurate attacks on President Obama and as a fierce defender of the Bush-Cheney administration:
1. Defended waterboarding. In a 2009 interview, Cheney defended the infamous Bush-era torture memos, arguing that the brutal techniques, such as waterboarding, that were authorized by the memos are not torture. Cheney invoked the false argument that the techniques were not torture because they were derived from special forces training called Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Evasion (SERE) — an argument debunked by the Bush Department of Justice’s own memos.
2. Portrayed Department of Justice lawyers as terrorist-sympathizers. Along with Republican pundit Bill Kristol, Cheney co-founded a right-wing attack group called Keep America Safe. The Cheney-chaired tax-exempt “social welfare” group ran an infamous ad noting that some attorneys working under Attorney General Eric Holder had previously done work against indefinite detention of Guantanamo prisoners. The spot called these lawyers, the “Al Qaeda 7,” asking, “Whose values do they share?” The attack was denounced by former Bush Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), and an array of prominent conservatives. Cheney stubbornly defended the ad, falsely claiming, “it doesn’t question anybody’s loyalty.”
3. Suggested freedom of religion should not apply to Muslims. In 2010, Cheney stoked the Islamaphobic controversy over the building of a Mosque and Muslim community center in midtown Manhattan. First, Cheney made an unsubstantiated attack on the Imam leading the project, saying, “When you’ve got an Imam that has got the very questionable and dubious ties to radical Islamist organizations that this man does, saying he’s going to build a mosque at Ground Zero, I think we as Americans have every right to say, ‘No you’re not going to do that.’” Her group offered no evidence to support the claim and the FBI had praised his cooperation after 9/11. Then, when pushed as to whether she’d oppose the project even without the Imam’s alleged terror connections, Cheney still wouldn’t concede, responding, “It would depend.”
4. Blasted Obama for not being pro-America enough. In 2009, Cheney falsely attacked President Obama for not telling other countries about how exceptional the USA is. “We’ve now seen several different occasions when he’s been on the international trips, where he’s not willing to say, flat out, ‘I believe in American exceptionalism,’” she charged. At an April 2008 NATO summit in France, Obama expressly had said, “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism. I’m enormously proud of my country and its role and history in the world. … And I think that we have a core set of values that are enshrined in our Constitution, in our body of law, in our democratic practices, in our belief in free speech and equality, that, though imperfect, are exceptional.”
5. Repeatedly suggested that Obama appeases terrorists. In a 2012 Wall Street Journal op/ed, Cheney suggested that the attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya happened because the President’s foreign policy was one of appeasement. “Apologizing for America, appeasing our enemies, abandoning our allies and slashing our military are the hallmarks of Mr. Obama’s foreign policy.” Earlier that year, she blasted proposed military spending reductions, saying “I think in fact what President Obama is doing is something that America’s enemies — the Taliban and Al Qaeda — have been unable to do, which is to decimate the fighting capability of this nation.”
In her announcement video, Cheney repeated some of these attacks:
President Obama has launched a war on our Second Amendment rights. He’s launched a war on our religious freedom. He’s used the IRS to launch a war on our freedom of speech. And he’s used the EPA to launch a war on Wyoming’s ranchers, our farmers, and our energy industry. He’s working to nationalize one-sixth of our economy with job-killing Obamacare. He has so effectively diminished our strength abroad that there’s no longer a question about whether this was his intent. He’s working to preemptively disarm America while rogue states like North Korea and Iran build nuclear weapons capabilities and stockpiles.
Watch the video:
Cheney accused Obama of having “refused repeatedly to be truthful with the American people,” in the same announcement video.
Cheney has denied promising not to challenge Enzi.