WASHINGTON (CNN) - Asked what he thought of former White House spokesman Scott McClellan's new tell-all book, Vice-President Cheney said Monday he agreed with former senator Bob Dole, who called McClellan a "miserable creature."
"I thought Bob Dole got it about right," Cheney said, without further comment, drawing scattered gasps, chuckles and applause from an audience at the National Press Club.
"I haven't read Scott McClellan's book. I don't plan to read Scott McClellan's book any time soon," Cheney had said a moment before, enunciating the words "Scott McClellan's book" slowly and carefully both times.
In his 341-page book, "What Happened," McClellan writes that Bush and his advisers favored a "propaganda campaign" to the truth in the days leading up to the Iraq invasion, that key Bush aides intentionally misled him on major stories and that the administration's botched handling of the Hurricane Katrina aftermath was the defining moment of Bush's second term.
Cheney is the highest-ranking administration official to comment publicly on the book. Current and former Bush staffers have dismissed the book, with former White House counsel Dan Bartlett calling some allegations "total crap."
Dole, the former Senate majority leader and 1996 Republican presidential nominee, blasted McClellan Friday in e-mail obtained by CNN.
"I have no intention of reading your 'exposi' because if all these awful things were happening, and perhaps some may have been, you should have spoken up publicly like a man, or quit your cushy, high profile job," said Dole, who is not a member of the Bush administration.
"That would have taken integrity and courage but then you would have had credibility and your complaints could have been aired objectively. You're a hot ticket now but don't you, deep down, feel like a total ingrate?"