March 15th, 2009
10:56 AM ET
5 years ago

Cheney: 9/11 called for 'exception' on spending limits

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Photo credit: Josh Rubin/CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney said the administration was not to blame for poor economic conditions in the country, telling CNN's John King congressional Democrats had prevented it from heading off the financial threat posed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and that September 11 had forced the United States into "wartime mode" and spending.

Watch: 'I worry very much' about Obama's economic policies, says Cheney

Asked by King about key measures of economic health that had declined during the Bush administration, Cheney replied that there were "all kinds of arguments to be made on that point, but there's something that's more important than the specific numbers you're talking about, and that had to be priority for our administration: eight months after we arrived, we had 9/11. We had 3,000 Americans killed one morning by Al Qaeda terrorists here in America.

"We immediately went into wartime mode, we ended up with two wars, in Afghanistan and Iraq, some of that still very active. We had major problems with respect to things like Katrina, for example. All of these things required us to spend money that we had not originally planned to spend, or weren't originally part of the budget," he said.

"Stuff happens. And the administration has to be able to respond to that, and we did."


Filed under: Dick Cheney • State of the Union
soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. Willy Brown

    Right again Mr. Vice President.

    March 15, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. obama08

    ...So, by the same token, does the economic crisis call for an exception to spending limits? Hmmm...

    March 15, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. Brandon

    Hopefully the man will be in jail after his impeachment.

    March 15, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. mississippi librarian

    This fool is crazy. I really think he has some type of mental problem! Obama is trying to straighten out a mess that he and bush created.

    March 15, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  5. Doug in New Mexico

    Bush and Cheney have never never done anything wrong, have made no mistakes. Why they were perfect. What sorry, sorry men!

    March 15, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  6. Tony in Maine

    Stuff happens – the excuse of the truly evil.

    The only regret he has is that Halliburton and its spinoff KBR haven't taken complete control of the oil field. Blackwater would have provided security and Goldfinger would have become incredibly wealthy – and powerful had he sent Dubya on patrol in Sadr City.

    March 15, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. Tony in Maine

    Stuff happens – the excuse of the truly evil.

    The only regret he has is that Halliburton and its spinoff KBR haven't taken complete control of the oil field. Blackwater would have provided security and Goldfinger would have become incredibly wealthy – and powerful had he sent Dubya on patrol in Sadr City.

    March 15, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. Georgia Gal

    Hey Dick,

    You and your bud, "W" were the Vice President and President at this time, so you know what that means?? You are the ones that are ultimately responsible for everything that happens in this country (and yes, Obama and Biden will be the ones ultimately responsible for everything that happens while they are President and Vice President), so stop trying to shift the blame to someone else. If you were a real, honest to goodness decent man then you and W would stand up and take the blame for yourself instead of trying to shift it. Does the saying "the buck stops here" mean anything to you??

    March 15, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  9. Nice Try

    If the only "additional spending" that the Bush/Cheney administration had spent was money to go after Bin Laden and others with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan – then we might not be having this problem.

    But, alas – that was not the case. They spent like drunken sailors on everything.. they took us into a war with a country that was NOT responsible in any way for the 09/11 attacks, and they allowed more pork to go into every bill they signed then ever before.

    Good Riddence!

    March 15, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  10. Justin from New Haven, CT

    Yeah and we killed more civilian in Iraq than 9/11. Good one, Cheney.

    March 15, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. KJ

    of course not, it was all obama's fault. what's that? he wasn't in office?no matter, still his fault.

    March 15, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. CVJ

    3,000 Americans killed on 9/11 we invade Iraq, OBL still puts out more videos from a cave and now AQ controls Pakistan. Why should we listen to this guy again?

    March 15, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  13. omg

    NO, it should not have been excuse to spend more money. Idiot repukes, scumbags already had a HUGE armed forces and enough stockpile PRIOR to the biggest earmark in the history of the world (aka the INVASION of Iraq and Afghanistan!) courtesy of the repuklicant scum!

    March 15, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. Tony L. - Atlanta

    If the administration had to spend all that money, why hide it? Where was the transparency in this administration that the Obama administration is now heralding? Cheney has no credibility anymore as far as I'm concerned.

    March 15, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  15. Paige

    It costs $438,000 for each J-Dam bomb we have dropped on Iraq. The US has dropped more than 87,000 of those. Add it up. Who put the country at financial risk, Mr. Cheney? It was you and the Bush administration.

    March 15, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  16. Terry - California

    Talk about "Brainwashed" ! Dick Cheney believes the stuff he spews. The GOP is in freefall, and we are listening to one of the GOP Leaders who pulled the Republican Party into the toilet. Please Dick, just flush!

    March 15, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  17. KJ

    wrong again mr. war criminal

    March 15, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  18. Mia and Mike

    I just love Cheney- every time he opens his mouth to make a statement, he shows just how utterly arrogant, selfish and wrong the Bush/Cheney administration was! Gotta give him credit though because he has stayed true to defending their idiocracy thus allowing voters and the world more insight into their unlawful thinking and actions.

    March 15, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  19. Bill

    To Cheney, the GOP, and their true believers, Failure is the new success.

    March 15, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. Poor Bloke

    I can't believe they're still using the same scare tactics. They will never let it go. It's sad to see men self-destruct in front of the entire nation.

    March 15, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  21. John

    Spending limits...I have a used pace maker for Cheney, since he spoke about economic health. Like he knew what was talking about.

    March 15, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  22. Jim Andrews

    Dick Cheney is still lying. He has been lying for eight years and hasn't changed. He and Bush should be charged with treason and war crimes.

    March 15, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  23. just today

    you went into a war based on LIES, you have almost destroyed America, iraq is much worse off than they were, America has lost her respect all over the world thanks to bush and cheney administration, you tortured people when you knew it went aganist what America stands for, you are a total disgrace to America and to the entire world.

    March 15, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  24. Bill_ MA

    The sad part is that right wingers would vote for them again. The republican party is sickening.

    March 15, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  25. John

    Are you seriously STILL beating that drum Mr. Cheney? It is a disgrace to the memories of the victims of 9-11 that you and the previous administration have used it as an excuse for your failures, for misleading the American people and for dismissing the Constitution. That you continue to use it to justify a horribly failed administration is unconscionable.

    March 15, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
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