NEW ORLEANS — Looking like a potential candidate for office herself, Liz Cheney kicked off a three-day Republican conference Thursday evening with a blistering indictment of President Barack Obama's foreign policy.
"There are three prongs to the Obama doctrine," Cheney told about 3,000 cheering attendees at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, which will include such high-profile speakers as Sarah Palin. "Apologize for America, abandon our allies and appease our enemies."
The daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney was reticent about her future political plans, but she admitted that she enjoys the national spotlight. "Like my father and mother before me, I am proud to be in the arena," she said.
Some have even suggested that she run for the Senate from her home state of Virginia.
During her speech to the enthusiastic crowd, she lambasted Obama's domestic agenda, particularly the recently enacted health care law. Like other speakers at the meeting, she urged Republicans to win back Congress this fall, then repeal the act.
"We still have time to stop this dangerous power play," she said.
It was in foreign policy where Cheney detailed her critique of Obama's record, though, from threatening to prosecute CIA officers on charges of torturing terrorism suspects to hiring lawyers for the Justice Department who'd represented detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
"The American people have a right to know if lawyers who previously represented terrorists ... are now setting American policy with respect to detention of terrorists," she said.
"We know that one of the lawyers who represented detainees at Guantanamo was caught drawing a map of the detention facility complete with the location of the guard posts in order to give it to his terrorist clients.
"We know that other lawyers who call themselves ... the John Adams Project have been tracking and stalking CIA officers. They have learned their names and they've been taking their pictures" and sending the information to "their terrorist clients at Guantanamo," Cheney said.
She said that Obama's new nuclear strategy ruling out the use of nuclear weapons to retaliate against biological, chemical or cyber attacks from some countries showed his "naivete."
She also lambasted his approach to Iran. "All those deadlines that have been put on the Iranian government have been ignored again and again," she said. "In this administration's dealings with Iran, the deadlines are meaningless, the sanctions worthless and the speeches pointless."
She ripped Obama for criticizing Israel over its insistence on building new settlements in the occupied West Bank. "The world is safer when there is no daylight between the United States and Israel," she said.
She also said it was "juvenile" for Obama publicly to suggest distance between the U.S. and Afghan President Hamid Karzai over corruption in his government, calling Karzai an ally "whose support we need."Obama said Friday that Karzai remained a critical partner in U.S. efforts against terrorism.