I wasn't planning to blog so I took notes in real-time, and I can't promise Cheney's quote is verbatim. But she said the same thing twice, so I'm confident I caught her drift. After King showed video of the crazy birther who disrupted a meeting with poor GOP Rep. Mike Castle, demanding he acknowledge Obama was born in Kenya (that's one birther claim); and after Carville denounced them as a "poor, pathetic" fringe group, King gave Cheney a chance to distance herself from them. But Cheney demurred, telling King the Birther movement exists because "People are uncomfortable with a president who is reluctant to defend the nation overseas."
The rarely shocked Carville seemed briefly speechless, and even King, not known to be the most combative interviewer, tried a second time to get an honest reaction from Cheney -- which I read as expecting her to separate herself from the crazies. But Cheney repeated her talking point about Obama inadequately defending the nation overseas. Unbelievable. Carville called her on it, accurately: "She refuses to say, 'This is ludicrous,' because she actually wants to encourage these people to believe this."
Now, I've debated Cheney, so I know she'll do anything from rudely interrupting to lying to make her point, but even I expected her to take King's opportunity to distinguish her brand of Republicanism from the hooligans who run with the Birthers. But she didn't. Wow. The GOP keeps coughing up younger, supposedly more compelling, "new" leadership, from Sarah Palin to Mark Sanford to, now, Liz Cheney -- and they keep making clear they're not ready for prime time. It's remarkable.