SPENCER, Iowa — Pete Buttigieg cited Liz Cheney as an example of a Republican of conscience during a trip aimed at wooing Democrats in GOP-held parts of Iowa.
“We’re not seeing a whole lot of conscience on Capitol Hill, though it is encouraging to see that there’s at least some lines for some members right now. Liz Cheney and a couple of others,” the mayor of South Bend, Indiana and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate told reporters over the weekend about the Wyoming congresswoman, and third-ranking House Republican..
Me: And to that term “Republicans of conscious,” when you look at the National Republican Party, who is a leader that you think fits that bill?”
— Steadman (@AsteadWesley) November 4, 2019
Cheney, 53, is House Republican Conference chair and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney. First elected to the House in 2016, Cheney is expected to run for Wyoming’s Senate seat, which will be vacated next year.
Amid President Trump’s impeachment inquiry, Cheney hasn’t shied away from criticizing the president’s attacks on Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the White House National Security Council’s top Ukraine expert, who testified before House investigators as part of the probe. She’s also pushed back on the Trump administration’s Iran and Syria foreign policies.
In Iowa this weekend, Buttigieg, 37, also namechecked former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, 67, as someone “articulating a different sense of what it means — or what it could mean to be a Republican.”
“And then there’s this big question mark around Mitt Romney,” the mayor said, referring to the 72-year-old Utah senator and 2012 Republican presidential nominee. “Will he become the conscience of the Republican Party or is it just gestures? But it doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of good faith out there right now.”
Buttigieg on Monday in Spencer, Iowa, wrapped up a three-day bus tour of counties that supported former President Barack Obama, but flipped for Trump in 2016. The mayor is trying to capitalize on former Vice President Joe Biden’s slip in the polls as his own popularity grows, pitching himself as a more centrist, pragmatic candidate to counter the more liberal politics of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
“There’s more to solving the problems before this country then just fighting,” he said in Mason City, a veiled swipe at Warren. “We’re going to fight when we have to fight, but the fighting isn’t the point. The point is that we get through it to something better.”
He added that he wanted to build “an American majority” around his campaign.
“A coalition of progressives, and moderates, and a lot of Republicans, who are sick and tired of what’s being done in the name of their party, that’s as offensive to their values as it is to mine, who we can bring into a common picture and common purpose for a better future for all of us,” he said. “And this is what the presidency is: Not the glorification of the president, but the unification of the American people.”
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