Liz Cheney to give Colorado College graduation speech as GOP campaign speculation persists

FILE - Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., talks with former Sen. Joe Lieberman in the East Room before President Joe Biden awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to 17 people at the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 7, 2022. Former congresswoman Cheney will give a graduation speech Sunday, May 28, 2023, at Colorado College, a Colorado liberal arts college that is her alma mater, amid questions about her political future and promise to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president again. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Former U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney will give a graduation speech at her alma mater, an elite Colorado liberal arts college, amid questions about her political future and insistence that Donald Trump never become president again.

At Colorado College’s commencement on Sunday, the Wyoming Republican is expected to touch on themes similar to those she has promoted since leaving office in January: Addressing her work on the House January 6 Select Committee that investigated the U.S. Capitol insurrection and standing up to the threat she believes Trump poses to democracy.

Cheney’s busy speaking schedule and subject matter have fueled speculation about whether she may enter the 2024 GOP presidential primary. Declared or potential candidates ranging from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley have calibrated their remarks about Trump, aiming to counter his attacks without alienating the supporters that won him the White House seven years ago.

Though some have offered measured criticisms, no Trump challenger has embraced anti-Trump messaging to the same extent as Cheney. In her three terms in office, she rose to the No. 3 GOP leadership position in the House, a job she lost after voting to impeach Trump for the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol and then not relenting in her criticism of the former president.

“I feel very strongly about where the country needs to go, and I feel very strongly about how important it is that Donald Trump not be president ever again,” Cheney said at a March forum at Boston College.

She said she remained undecided about her political future, including whether she wants to run for president.

Though she would face an uphill battle, Cheney’s fierce anti-Trump stance and her role as vice chairwoman of the Jan. 6 Select Committee elevated her platform high enough that she could be a formidable candidate able to call on a national network of donors and Trump critics to support a White House run.

A super PAC organized to support her candidacy has remained active, including purchasing attack ads on New Hampshire airwaves against Trump this month.

After leaving office and being replaced by a Trump-backed Republican who defeated her in last year’s primary, Cheney was appointed to a professorship at the University of Virginia and wrote “Oath and Honor,” a memoir scheduled to hit shelves in November.

Cheney graduated from Colorado College in 1988 and the Colorado Springs school is also her mother Lynne’s alma mater. Cheney also is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School.

Students at Colorado College offered mixed reactions when she was named commencement speaker in March, including some who staged a small protest over her pre-insurrection voting record.

Cheney’s speaking tour appears to be picking up. She is scheduled to appear Thursday at the Mackinac Policy Conference in Michigan.


Metz reported from Salt Lake City.