On Sunday’s “This Week” on ABC, former Vice President Dick Cheney made an appearance to promote his new book, “Heart: An American Medical Odyssey.” But during that appearance, he was also asked to comment on the state of the Republican Party and the prospects of his daughter Liz Cheney’s senatorial bid.
Looking back at the 2012 election, Cheney suggested it was time for a new generation in the Republican Party, and that the Republican National Committee should make that undertaking a priority.
“Well, I think we have got a long way to go, obviously, to rebuild the party,” Cheney said. “I think it’s very important that we bring in a new generation of leadership. I think after the presidential election last year, you know, we got whipped. A lot of us thought we were going to pull it out. And that didn’t happen. And we clearly need to spend time and effort on building the base, building the party, making it a full-time, professional operation in terms of the RNC. There’s a lot of work to be done, no question about it.”
Host George Stephanopoulos asked Cheney to weigh in on his daughter’s run and in particular the relationship he has with the incumbent Republican Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi, who Liz Cheney face in the that state’s Republican primary. Cheney downplayed that relationship.
“Mike also said he and I are fishing buddies, which is simply not true — never happened,” Cheney said. “The fact of the matter is, Washington is not going to elect the next senator from Wyoming. The people of Wyoming will elect that senator. Mike has a record, if you go back and review his finances, of getting about 84 percent of his campaign funds Washington-based PACs. That’s more than any senator of either party. He doesn’t get much money from Wyoming. In the quarter just reported, Liz got 25 percent of her funds from Wyoming; he got 13 percent of his from Wyoming. She outraised him in the last quarter, over a million dollars in the first quarter out there. So I think it’s a great campaign. She’s going full speed. She’s going to win and Washington isn’t going to decide who’s the next senator from Wyoming. Wyoming is.”
As far as the big picture is concerned, Cheney said there is work to do before the 2016 presidential election and declined to weigh in on that election’s possible hopefuls.
“[I]‘m not going to predict at this point or endorse anybody,” Cheney said. “We’ve got a long way to go to the next presidential election. But we have been there before. It’s not the first time we have had to go down this road and it’s basically, I think, healthy for the party to — you know, to be brought up short, say, OK, now it’s time to go to work and we need to look to our basic strategy, our personnel. And as I say, I feel very strongly about it’s time to get a new generation involved.”