U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney seems to find opposition almost everywhere she goes. This time it came at her alma mater Colorado College, where she gave the commencement speech to the school’s 2023 graduating class on Sunday.
About half the school’s more than 450 graduates turned their chairs away from Cheney for the entirety of her speech, some also booing at times.
But those who supported Cheney spoke very loudly as well, interrupting her multiple times with standing ovations and applause during her roughly 17-minute address.
“It’s an honor to be here with most of you to celebrate this tremendous accomplishment,” she said, drawing a few chuckles from the audience.
Cheney credits the school for giving her a sense of right and wrong and her most treasured values.
“It was here that I first began to think deeply about the rule of law, and about what it means to live in a nation of laws,” she told the graduates.
As she has frequently over the past two and a half years, much of Cheney’s speech focused on the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot and the 2020 election.
“After the 2020 election, and the attack of Jan. 6, my fellow Republicans wanted me to lie,” Cheney said. “They wanted me to say that the 2020 election was stolen, that the attack of Jan. 6 wasn’t a big deal and that Donald Trump wasn’t dangerous.
“I had to choose between lying and losing my position in House leadership.”
One graduate who turned a chair away told the Colorado Springs Gazette that Cheney’s views are too conservative. Cheney has had a consistently pro-life stance on abortion, but offered a more moderate position on LGBTQ rights of late, voting in 2022 to support a bill that codified the right to same sex marriage into federal law.
“She stood up to Trump, and that was commendable,” said a graduate who declined to give her name to the Gazette. “But that doesn’t change her voting record or her stance on what I consider to be basic human rights.”
After Cheney’s speech, the graduates opposing Cheney turned their chairs back around and applauded as honorary degrees were granted to a handful of people.
Colorado College is located in Colorado Springs, a more conservative leaning city about 45 minutes outside of Denver. Overall, Colorado has become a firm Democrat majority state. The private school draws many students from outside Colorado and the region, charging more than $67,000 a year for tuition.
Cheney graduated from Colorado College in 1988, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and wrote her senior thesis, "The Evolution of Presidential War Powers.”
It was at the school where she also met her future husband Phillip Perry, and where her mother Lynne Cheney also attended college. The Associated Press reported that two of Cheney’s five children also attended the school.
Make A Difference
Cheney encouraged the graduating class to stand up for what they believe in, even if it’s not popular or easy.
“When the path ahead is obscure and unclear, you can find your way by resolving to do the next right thing,” she said. “Resolve to do what is right, even when it’s hard, you’re alone, even when you’re afraid — especially when you’re afraid.”
Cheney also told the graduates to get involved in their communities and show up at the voting booth to enact political change. She delivered an even more specific message to the female graduates.
“This country needs more of you in office,” she said. “You may have noticed that men are pretty much running things these days, and it’s not going all that well. You can change that."
Contact Leo Wolfson at Leo@CowboyStateDaily.com