House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., appeared Sunday on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” and got into an intense exchange with anchor Margaret Brennan, who doggedly tried to get her to denounce President Donald Trump.
Wasting little time, Brennan referenced the controversy over Trump telling the “squad” of four radical freshmen Democrats to “go back” to where they came from.
The four progressive lawmakers are Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ilhan Omar D-Minn., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass — Trump was speaking about Omar at a rally last week when supporters began chanting, “Send her back.”
“Well, I think you have heard him say the chant was inappropriate, we have all said the chant was inappropriate –” Cheney began, before Brennan cut her off.
“He also said they were patriotic,” the anchor interjected, as if to imply that Trump’s supporters can’t love their country and be mistaken in their actions.
Cheney then cut to the chase, calling out Brennan and the rest of the media for perpetuating a divisive narrative about race.
“I think the news media really wants to make this about race. You just did it,” she said. “This isn’t about race, it’s not about gender, it’s not about religion. These members of the House of Representatives — more, it’s not just these four, it’s also some of the candidates running for president on the Democratic side — fundamentally believe in policies that’s are dangerous for this nation.”
“As Republicans, we will fight against those even if the mainstream media accuses us of racism when we do that,” Cheney added.
She told Brennan that she would like to see the media “as focused on the substance of what this wing of the Democratic Party is advocating.”
Brennan pointed out that President Trump again tweeted about the four freshman Sunday morning — he has been consistent in calling them out for their contempt for the U.S.
“When you have members of Congress who are as anti-Semitic as Ilhan Omar has been, when you have members of Congress who are advocating the complete elimination of the use of all fossil fuels, all air travel, the elimination of private insurance, the imposition of socialism on this country, we’re not going to stand for that,” Cheney said. “We’re not going to stand for policies that take freedom away from the American people. That’s what this fight is about.”
Brennan had no interest in talking policy or focusing on the actions of the Democrat women, remaining focused on Trump’s tweets as she appealed to viewers’ emotions by mentioning death threats that have been made against Omar.
This prompted a contentious moment when the two women began speaking over each other, as Cheney asked, “Are you going to let me answer the question?”
She again tried to speak on the substantive differences between Republicans and the radical progressives who dominate the Democratic Party, but Brennam was having no part of this, interrupting again to shift the focus back to Trump’s tweets.
Cheney told Brennan she was making her point for her, as the anchor remained laser focus on claims of racism.
“Our concern and our opposition to what these women are saying — and many other members of the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives — has to do with the fact that they are advocating policies that will destroy this nation and we will fight against it,” Cheney said.
“And I think the news media, you included, ought to cover the substance and I think it is outrageous for you to say the president doesn’t talk about substance.”
Refusing to entertain any other thought, Brennan pointed to liberal leaders around the world who have condemned Trump’s message, as she pushed and pushed to get Cheney to denounce Trump on national television.
Unfortunately for the CBS News anchor, Cheney was more than her match, telling her the American people are not going to look to foreign leaders “to tell us whether or not we should be a socialist nation.”