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Many students turned their backs to Cheney during her speech and others booed, while she also received some signs of support from the audience. According to the Cowboy State Daily, roughly half of the graduates turned their backs to Cheney during her speech.
“It’s an honor to be here with most of you to celebrate this tremendous accomplishment,” she said during her speech, which also took aim at former President Donald Trump.
“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,” she added.
Colorado College is a private liberal arts college in Colorado Springs and has a student body of over 2,000 students. The school’s president, Leah Song Richardson, told students to “welcome different perspectives” in the leadup to Cheney’s speech.
“The liberal arts education that you received here, both inside the classroom and outside, has taught you how to think,” she said. “It’s taught you how to think critically, to welcome different perspectives, to see and understand different viewpoints, to challenge and debate each other and the ideas with which you may disagree.”
Cheney, who became well-known for her feud with Trump while serving on the Democrat-run January 6 committee, was booted from Congress after she lost a primary race to current Rep. Harriet Hagemen (R-WY), who was backed by Trump and went on to win the general election.
One student complained to the Cowboy State Daily that Cheney was too conservative. “She stood up to Trump, and that was commendable,” one student said. “But that doesn’t change her voting record or her stance on what I consider to be basic human rights.”
During her speech, Cheney also took shots at men, saying that more women should be in politics.
“This country needs more of you [women] 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.”
In the lead-up to the 2022 midterm elections, Cheney campaigned for a Democratic candidate in Michigan and opposed Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.