Former U.S. Representative Liz Cheney faced boos and chair-turning from graduates as she delivered the commencement address at Colorado College on Sunday.
Despite repeating her strong criticisms of former President Trump, Cheney avoided discussing his 2024 reelection campaign or her own political future.
The Wyoming Republican condemned her House Republican colleagues for their insufficient efforts to counter Trump’s claims of a ‘rigged’ 2020 election. Cheney urged the graduating students to remain steadfast in pursuing the truth.
Many dissenting voices in the audience expressed their disapproval by booing and turning their chairs away from the stage when she spoke. One graduate displayed a message on their cap that read: “Why listen to a racist, imperialist, transphobic, warmonger?? Your hate is loud.”
Graduates boo and turn their chairs away from former U.S Rep. Liz Cheney as she delivers commencement address at liberal Colorado College – despite her blasting Trump’s election-denying attorney pic.twitter.com/hRql4PTrUZ
— News News News (@NewsNew97351204) May 28, 2023
Graduates boo and turn their chairs away from Liz Cheney as she delivers commencement address at liberal Colorado College. One graduate’s message on her cap reads: ‘Why listen to a racist, imperialist, transphobic, war monger?? Your hate is loud’ pic.twitter.com/IfAACgJYEP
— I Meme Therefore I Am 🇺🇸 (@ImMeme0) May 29, 2023
Cheney’s speech touched on familiar themes she has emphasized since leaving office in January, including her involvement in the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol and her repeated arguments that Trump is a ‘threat to democracy.’
The former representative referenced Cleta Mitchell, a former adviser to Trump, who allegedly warned about polling places on college campuses and the ease of voting at a Republican National Committee retreat. Cheney emphasized the importance of voting as a means to counter those who allegedly seek to undermine the foundations of democracy and the rule of law.
Drawing from her own experience as a political science student at Colorado College, where a Bible verse inscription stated, “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free,” Cheney discussed the pressure she faced regarding the 2020 election and the January 6 riot. She argued that she had to choose between lying and losing her position in the House leadership.
Cheney’s three terms in office propelled her to the No. 3 GOP leadership position in the House, but she was subsequently removed from that role after voting to impeach Trump.
Speculation has arisen about her potential entry into the 2024 GOP presidential primary since leaving office, given her speaking engagements and public stance against Trump. While she did not address her plans during the commencement speech, Cheney has previously stated that she remains undecided about running for president.
Cheney’s vocal attacks on Trump has attracted the attention of a national network of donors and Trump critics who may support her in a White House bid. A super PAC supporting her candidacy has remained active and recently aired attack ads against Trump in New Hampshire.
Following her departure from office and her replacement by a Trump-backed Republican, Cheney was appointed as a professor at the University of Virginia and has authored a memoir titled “Oath and Honor,” scheduled for release in November.
Cheney’s speaking engagements will apparently continue, including an upcoming appearance scheduled at the Mackinac Policy Conference in Michigan on Thursday. It remains to be seen if any attendees will turn their backs on her then.