Ex-congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) offered a blunt assessment of her former profession Monday night: “What we’ve done in our politics is create a situation where we’re electing idiots.”

Cheney, who lost her Republican primary last year to a candidate backed by former president Donald Trump, shared her view at an event that was billed as a conversation on the future of the two-party political system in the United States.

Cheney, who co-chaired the House select committee that investigated the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, has emerged as a leading critic of Trump, repeatedly calling him “unfit for office.” In the conversation Monday at the 92nd Street Y in New York, guided by moderator David Rubenstein, Cheney said ensuring Trump doesn’t return to the White House is her top priority.

That prompted Rubenstein to ask whether Cheney would run for president as an independent next year if presented with polling data showing such a bid would damage Trump.

“Look, I think that the country right now faces hugely challenging and fundamentally important issues,” Cheney responded. “And what we’ve done in our politics is create a situation where we’re electing idiots.”

After laughter from the audience subsided, she continued: “And so, I don’t look at it through the lens of, is this what I should do or what I shouldn’t do. I look at it through the lens of, how do we elect serious people? And I think electing serious people can’t be partisan.”

“You know, because of the situation that we’re in,” Cheney continued, “where we have a major-party candidate who’s trying to unravel our democracy — and I don’t say that lightly — we have to think about, all right, what kinds of alliances are necessary to defeat him, and those are the alliances we’ve got to build across party lines.”

The conversation moved on without Cheney directly answering whether she might move forward with a presidential bid if it could damage Trump.

Earlier, she suggested she wouldn’t run for president if she thought doing so could help Trump, who has continued to lead in Republican primary polling despite state and federal indictments.

“I am not going to do anything that would help Donald Trump,” Cheney said.

This post appeared first on The Washington Post

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