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

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


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. Joe the Plumber

    Cheney is only defending his tactics and his own doing. He ran the country, and Bush signed the papers. Bush is now hiding in TX, why he does not come out und tell us why? Becuase he cannot speak a complete sentence. It will take 20 years to clean this mess.

    March 15, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  2. Dan

    Cheney needs to be tried for war crimes. Gitmo's still open, we can send him there.

    March 15, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  3. DL

    Using his logic...It was an emergency situation, that is why your administration spent so much? Look at things now and yet its party of "no". They have no problem tearing things up, and contribute NOTHING to fixing it.

    March 15, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  4. rob

    All a bunch of BS. Dick Cheney should go crawl under a rock and shut up. Or better yet, go do some volunteer work somewhere. We don't care to hear from him any more so please stop giving him air time. Truly.

    March 15, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  5. arnie

    I just listened to Eric Cantor. Do you guys actually believe the things that you say? No reality whatsoever. Please release your ideas that will work for the entire country and quit talking about President Obama's Plan. My emphasis is on the word "PLAN". Something you seem not to have. BTW, Mr. Cheney you were running this Country for 8 years and now you want to put this train wreck at the feet of the other party . HAHAHAHA:)


    March 15, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  6. Kim, Dallas, TX

    I suppose that when you are only focusing on Haliburton's balance sheets, the overall economy gets put to the wayside. Cheney needs to crawl back into his hole.

    March 15, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  7. sorry,I dont get paid to post

    He will say anything to keep from going to prison,including a terror attackby his own henchman.

    March 15, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  8. carlos


    and now this guy Cantor is an expert on the economy

    sickening and corrupt....Goons On Parade

    March 15, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  9. Cynthia

    What a crack pot!

    March 15, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  10. Don in Albuquerque

    Yes it was terrible what happened that Sept. morning, but Cheney only compounds it now by more lies.

    March 15, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  11. snuggs

    War Criminal

    March 15, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  12. catmom

    Nothing surprising here. This administration and Republicans never have and never will take responsibility for anything that has occurred during the eight years of the Bush presidency. They continue to blame everyone and everything else on anything or anyone they can. Their failure to look at and accept that their policies have put this country in the shape it is in is pathetic. That Cheney would come out and criticize President Obama is disgusting in the least. Remember how much they whined when Bill Clinton did this to Bush. Republicans, Bush and Cheney are the reason this country is in the shape it's in and the American people will not forget that.

    What they are trying to do is rewrite history the same way they did after Ronald Reagan. They will try to make people believe that the eight years under Bush/Cheney were the best years since Ronald Reagan. That our economy collapsed during that time is all related to 9/11. They will fail to mention that those responsible for 9/11 have never been captured. That they started a costly war in another country that had nothing to do with 9/11. That they allowed the economy to go bust and in the last six months of the Bush Presidency did absolutely nothing to stop the downfall. They won't talk about how bad their Presidency was and will try to make you believe it is all President Obama's fault. Not gonna work, no, not this time.

    March 15, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  13. A.P. Fremont, Ca.

    It's decisive military actions in the right places at the right time that will keep America MOST safe from terrorism. Tortured interrogation, in itself, is not what wins wars and defends a country against an enemy. The pre-emptive strike is most reliable from great technological intelligence...not tortured suspects who would say anything to stop their own torture. Dick Cheney is a Bozo..........

    March 15, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  14. badger

    More denial coming from a war criminal, he helped make up the flawed data that allowed the US to go to war in Iraq. Now he says stuff happens? The only thing that happened was his buddys at Haliburton got super rich, him & GWB tried to have the executive branch become a secretive governing body with no checks or balances. They were the most invasive on American's privicy with illegal wire taps, spying on the citizens, hiding the cost of their war.
    Someday Bush and Cheney will be known as the biggest terrorist against America there ever was. I can't believe that the news media still let's this guy spew his evil on the air waves.

    March 15, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  15. matt balitsaris

    Why is this buffoon on my tv and not in prison?

    March 15, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  16. wesley

    ...and I "STILL" don't believe a word that liar has to say!

    March 15, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  17. yen

    Look at the state of the country. Why are they given the chance to talk.
    The state of the economy is telling enough about Bush and Chenny.The war has destroyed not only Iraq but America is done for a long time. At least they have to keep quite for a while.

    March 15, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  18. Joe the Troll

    "Wartime mode" doesn't usually include tax breaks with two simultaneous wars, does it?

    March 15, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  19. JSU-TIGER99

    We have a government that would fight a ware before they help their own country. When (Katrina) happen it took them 7 days to get ther and when the Asia was cover with water they was over there in ONE HOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 15, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. carolflowery

    In Mr. Cheney's defense, he is correct about the spending the horrendous events that happened during Bush's time.

    March 15, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  21. Shawn Bates

    I think Cheney is a big liar and I am looking forward to his prosecution. Second, what we did in Iraq, well you know that is against the geneva convention. Removing heads of states? Torture? Hmmm looks the Bush regime and republicans really must not read anything but what their script writers write?
    Do you know that if you travel anywhere outside of the us you are spit on? Hmmm, and this is the result of the bush regime? My wife and her friends were nearly beaten in europe just cause they were americans. And this was cause bush took office? Btw show me that giving tax credits to company's that ship job overseas is good for economy? I can tell you that it is not. For those who actually think CEO's will put money back into their company after their profits are distributed, well you are sadly mistaken. They usually just buy a new house or send the money so they don't pay taxes on it. That is wrong and the republicans have no morals. They are mostly just rich white people who don't care for the poor or the minorities. The last republican who did was Abraham Lincoln, and he would be rolling over in his grave if he could see what Cheney and bush have done.

    March 15, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  22. Independent

    All I have to say to the big liar is "JUST SHUT UP."

    WHY can't you face up to all your MISTAKES!!!!!!!!!!

    Soooooooo glad I didn't watch this catastrophe...

    March 15, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  23. hdrider69

    He's still tap dancing around the issues and STILL lying and still blaming someone/other party for his administration's screw ups. Why is he still in the news? Why is any media source still interested in interviewing him about anything? His comments will still be the same fodder he and Bush fed the American public for eight years. We should only have to hear about Cheney one more his obituary.

    March 15, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  24. Carol, California

    I distrust Bush and Cheney to the point where I feel they caused this economic meltdown to divert attention away from their crimes while in office.

    Cheney would be under indictment now if the new administration had time to pursue it. But they can't because the entire financial system suddenly collapsed, without warning, just before Bush left. Coincidence? I don't think so.

    Noted economists and other experts really cannot explain how this happened without ANYONE seeing it coming. I think it was this clown and his buddy who are behind it. Some senators want to investigate them for what they were up to while in office – but no one in the U.S. will support it because we have to focus on the economy.

    How convenient for DIck.

    March 15, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  25. Trang

    Dick Cheney, you have a different philosophy than Obama. You believe in toughness to get things through, Obama believe in gentleness in getting things through as much as he can, and getting tough when necessary. Thank God Obama gets in, because I felt really sick of your policy of approving torturing on a fellow human being. Yes, they may do bad things to us, but they are still a fellow human being. That is the basic difference – you label them as 'terrorist' and you feel you have the right to mistreat them, whereas Obama view them as a fellow human being who happen to do repulsive and destructive to society. On that basis, your approach to solve the problem will be different.

    March 15, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
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