Liz Cheney Goes From Being Pro-Iraq War to Anti-Syria

The daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney told a group of Tea Party members if she were in Congress now she would vote "no" on Syria strike

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Ruffin Prevost / Reuters

U.S. Senate candidate Liz Cheney speaks with voters during a Republican and Tea Party gathering in Emblem, Wyoming.

In a speech to 150 Wyoming Tea Partiers Tuesday, Republican senate candidate Liz Cheney bashed Obama’s approach to the proposed attack on Syria, saying if she were a member of Congress right now she would not vote for the strike, according to The Jackson Hole News and Guide. Cheney told the crowd Obama has taken “an amateurish approach to national security and foreign policy” and that the President should have supported Syrian rebel forces two years ago.

With her stance on Syria, Cheney joins a growing coalition of conservatives, both inside and outside of Congress, who are opposed to military strikes for reasons ranging from the President being late in his response to the lack of a long term plan. Cheney, however, is different from these other GOPers in one way: her father is former Vice President Dick Cheney, an architect of the far more agressive foreign policy posture of the United States during the Bush Administration.

She has long been one of the nation’s most forceful advocates of those policies, including the 2003 Iraq war. During the 2004 Presidential campaign, Liz called “liberating 50 million people in Iraq and Afghanistan” steps to “keep America safe” in a CNN interview.  In a 2007 Washington Post op-ed, Cheney argued that, “quitting helps terrorists” and “politicians urging America to quit in Iraq should explain how we win the war on terrorism once we’ve scared all of our allies away.”

She maintained that there was a connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq, justifying the war on in 2009, although a Senate Intelligence Committee Report concluded otherwise, and that American’s were greeted as “liberators” in the Iraq war on Fox News in 2011.

The eldest Cheney daughter’s stance on the expansion of executive power during war can be linked as far back as her 1988 thesis at the University of Colorado, in which she wrote, according to a Slate article, “There have been and will be times in the experience of the country when constitutional provisions will of necessity be suspended to guarantee the survival of our democracy.”

Her stance in the past falls in line with the policies of her father and the Bush administration. On Syria, however, Cheney isn’t the only Republican voicing concern over the President’s actions. Republican Senator Marco Rubio voiced his wariness over the President’s action at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing saying the options the country is facing in terms of a strike are less-than-ideal.  Senator Rand Paul flatly stated neither he nor the American people want any part of the conflict. Dick Cheney also recently expressed sentiments similar to Liz, saying in June that the Obama administration may be a “day late and a dollar short” in its decision to send weapons to the opposition after two years of civil war.

In her 90-minute speech to the Tea Party members in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Cheney asserts the division among her party is a non-issue, “The press will try to portray this Syria debate as a battle between wings of the Republican Party. Don’t believe them.”