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A Club of G.O.P. Political Heirs Push Back on Trump

2020-07-16 16:23:41

She has been especially deft in criticizing Mr. Trump while managing not to alienate him. While Mr. Trump has voiced repeated scorn for the presidency of George W. Bush, he has mostly spared her father.

Now 79, the former vice president remains a close adviser to his daughter, who is the third-ranking Republican in the House, a role Mr. Cheney himself held. Ms. Cheney recently tweeted a photo of her cowboy-hatted father wearing a blue surgical mask, which she captioned “Dick Cheney says WEAR A MASK. #realmenwearmasks.” The message was taken as quasi-subtle defiance at Mr. Trump’s stubborn refusal at the time to do the same.

Both Cheneys appear steadfast and aligned as ever in their hawkish foreign policy positions. Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma, said Ms. Cheney, like her father, adhered to an “internationalist view” more in line with the traditional Republican perspective than Mr. Trump tended to be. “The Cheneys are big believers in allies, whereas the president is much more America First, or America alone,” Mr. Cole said.

While he has said little publicly, Mr. Cheney seems to share his daughter’s impatience with many elements of Mr. Trump’s approach. He barely hid his dubious view of the administration’s foreign policy during a tense public forum with Vice President Mike Pence at a conservative donor retreat in Georgia last year.

“We’re getting into a situation when our friends and allies around the world that we depend upon are going to lack confidence in us,” Mr. Cheney reportedly told Mr. Pence, according to a transcript of the off-the-record discussion obtained by The Washington Post. “I worry that the bottom line of that kind of an approach is we have an administration that looks a lot more like Barack Obama than Ronald Reagan.”

But none of the attacks from the Cheneys have provoked any response from the White House. Ms. Cheney has leavened her critiques with pointed ridicule of some of Mr. Trump’s favorite targets, including the so-called Squad of four progressive House freshmen, all women of color. She was critical of efforts to impeach the president and voted against the articles. Liz and Dick Cheney hosted a fund-raiser last year for the Republican National Committee and the president’s re-election campaign. Both declined to be interviewed.

For his part, Mr. Romney said he was less concerned with how he would be remembered in history than by his own family. He cautioned, however, that his current age — 73 — was too young to dwell on the past.

“I’m just getting started with this Senate thing,” Mr. Romney said.


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