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Cheney: Moderate GOP would be 'mistake'

Cheney: Moderate GOP would be 'mistake'
Vice-President Dick Cheney is wheeled out of the White House with Vice-President Elect Joe Biden, as they depart through the North Portico, for the swearing-in ceremony on January 20, 2009, in Washington. (UPI Photo/Leslie E. Kossoff/Pool) | License Photo

WASHINGTON, May 8 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney told an interviewer it would be "a mistake" for the Republican Party to moderate its policies to attract public support.

Speaking with radio talk show host Scott Hennen, Cheney said the GOP goes through cycles when it loses favor but should not respond by moderating because that "basically means we ought to fundamentally change our philosophy."

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"I think it would be a mistake for us to moderate," Cheney was quoted as saying, in a transcript of the interview posted on the RealClear Politics Web site Thursday. "This is about fundamental beliefs and values and ideas ... what the role of government should be in our society, and our commitment to the Constitution and Constitutional principles."

Cheney said the 1974 election, following the resignation of President Richard Nixon, was "a train wreck" for the GOP, which then lost the White House in 1976, but came back with the election of President Ronald Reagan in 1980.

He said periods such as the one the GOP is experiencing help "clear away the underbrush … some of the older folks who've been around a long time (like yours truly) need to move on, and make room for that young talent that's coming along."

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Asked whether the Obama administration is overreaching, and whether that will help conservatism rebound, Cheney said, 'I think it will."

He said President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are motivated by "trying to appeal to the far-left in their party."

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