Liz Cheney: Obama a Failure, Made America 'Irrelevant'

Thursday, 20 Sep 2012 06:59 PM

By Todd Beamon and John Bachman

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Mitt Romney, as president of the United States, “would not have made America irrelevant” in the Arab world as President Barack Obama has, political consultant Liz Cheney tells Newsmax.TV.

“Under this president, you’ve seen a weakening of the United States across the board,” Cheney, the co-founder of the nonprofit Keep America Safe organization, tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview. “You’ve got Islamic extremism on the rise across North Africa. You’ve got al-Qaida resurgent in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula – and you talk to people in the Arab world and they’ll say, ‘America’s made itself irrelevant.’

“President Romney would not have made America irrelevant. He understands how important it is that we lead from a position of strength, which is something that President Obama has not done, has not attempted to do.

Urgent Poll: Romney or Obama to Handle Foreign Crisis? Vote Here!

Cheney added: “The president would like the American people to believe that the killing of Osama bin Laden sort of put an end to the threat that we face and, although we need to give him credit for ordering that operation –any American president would have ordered it – what we’ve seen is al-Qaida that is resurgent.

“When you look at what happens when America retreats, when you look of the pictures of a TV screen – and then you remember that when the president appeared in the Rose Garden 24 hours after our embassy was attacked, our flag was torn down, it was burned, the al-Qaida flag was hung in its place and the president said nothing about it. He didn’t comment at all. And today, you’re seeing the attacks on the embassy in Pakistan.

“This president sent a very clear message to radicals across the region that you can attack an American embassy and you won’t be condemned by Barack Obama.”

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Cheney, the eldest daughter of former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney, served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs under President George W. Bush. She also serves the Romney campaign.

The former Massachusetts governor has adopted a new campaign strategy – and that included an appearance on Wednesday at a forum on Hispanic issues sponsored by the Spanish-language network Univision.

The appearance sought to counter earlier Romney comments that 47 percent of Americans supporting President Obama are “dependent on government” and believe they are “victims.”

Urgent Poll: Romney or Obama to Handle Foreign Crisis? Vote Here!

“He’s reaching out to 100 percent of the people,” Cheney said. “What we all believe – as conservatives, as Republicans – is that we ought to be helping everybody who can get off government assistance. We believe that it’s economic growth, that it’s opportunity that helps, in fact, make those government programs not necessary for people to the extent that they’re able to move off them.

“That’s exactly what a growing economy can help them do, and that’s what the governor’s proposals are aimed at.”

And keeping the focus on the economy is what will help Romney close the gaps – some by as much as 8 points nationally and 5 points in swing states like Ohio and Florida – in the polls, Cheney said.

“You’ll see the campaign continue to point out the failures of the current president as well as lay out plans that Gov. Romney will put in place as president, and that’s the right approach.

“People understand that things don’t have to be this way. We don’t have to be in a situation where with college graduates, 50 percent now are unemployed or underemployed, where the unemployment rate for women has gone up to over 8 percent under this president. You’ve got more adults unemployed than any time since 1980.

“The one thing you can say of the national security record is, if anything, it’s even worse than the economic record,” Cheney added. “I’m confident that we will see reminders to people of what a poor performance we’ve seen from President Obama and will keep continuing to lay out the agenda and plans for Gov. Romney and Chairman Ryan.”

The approach will even shore up support among core GOP voters, even though a longstanding conservative group, The Club for Growth, declined on Wednesday to endorse Romney.

“The base of the party recognizes how important it is that we defeat President Obama in November, how devastating it would be for the economy and for national security if he’s re-elected, if he’s got four more years to govern,” Cheney said. “We’ve seen a set of policies from this president that have failed the nation, they’ve failed to provide the kind of growth that he promised, we’ve got a debt that’s now at $16 trillion, unemployment above 8 percent.

“The president’s been a failure – and it is the case that on our side, in terms of the Republican Party, conservatives, those of us who are conservative understand very, very deeply how important it is that we defeat Barack Obama and elect Gov. Romney this November.”

Urgent Poll: Romney or Obama to Handle Foreign Crisis? Vote Here!

She believes Romney’s early response to the terrorist attacks last week in Libya that led to the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, “was exactly right.”

“He was right to go out and say: ‘Wait a second. We don’t blame ourselves when you’ve got attackers coming over the walls of the embassy,’ ” Cheney said. “The embassy’s response there was very much in keeping with what we’ve seen from President Obama over the course of this administration.

“You can go back to his words in 2009 to see repeated apologies for the United States, blaming America. It’s the kind of thing that words matter when they come from the president – and this president’s words and actions have made us weaker than we were when he took office.”

Cheney criticized U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice for saying over the weekend that the assaults came in response to a film that Muslims found offensive.

“What Ambassador Rice said on Sunday was inaccurate and was misleading. I don’t know why she chose to be misleading but, clearly, going out that soon after the attacks and asserting that they were caused by the film we now know was inaccurate and, at minimum, she should have said, ‘We don’t know what the cause was here.’

“But when you’ve got mortars being fired into the consulate in Benghazi, you’ve got [rocket-propelled grenades] being fired in, when you’ve got a firefight that reportedly lasted four hours, when you’ve got an ambassador and three other Americans dead – to claim this was simply because of a film was highly irresponsible and preposterous.”

In deciding whether to withhold U.S. aid to Libya and Egypt because of the attacks, Cheney said, “We have to differentiate.”

“In Libya, the government is working closely with us. The government was out very quickly to condemn the attacks on the embassy. They’ve begun arrests and an investigation. The government, in fact, seems to have been ahead of the curve in making clear that al-Qaida was involved in the attack.

“We need to be more aggressive in terms of our own actions in Libya in retaliation for the killing of our ambassador, but I would not withhold aid from Libya at this point,” she said.

But, “Egypt’s a different situation,” Cheney continued. “In Egypt, you’ve got the Muslim Brotherhood president, who refused to condemn the attacks for a number of days, who let the attacks happen, frankly. We know the Egyptian government is in control of that country in a way the Libyan government isn’t.

Urgent Poll: Romney or Obama to Handle Foreign Crisis? Vote Here!

“We should immediately rescind the $1 billion loan forgiveness that had been planned for the Egyptians. We need to take a very close look at the economic assistance. The Egyptians need to understand that legality about whether you’re an ally or not has to be met with action – and right now, they’re not acting like an ally.

“It’s important that the military assistance continue. We need to make sure we’ve got close relationships with the Egyptian military.

“At the end of the day, the U.S. taxpayer understandably won’t stand by and allow their money to be used to fund a Muslim Brotherhood government that is acting in every way conceivable at this point as though it’s working against American interests.”

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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