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. BT

    Yada, yada, yada, yada, yada = same old crap. You will have to do better than this to jusify your sorry excuse for screwing America!

    All Cheney and his buddies cared about was lining their own pockets. Nothing – absolutely NOTHING was done for America.

    March 15, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  2. virginia for obama

    But!. . . . Iraq had nothing to do with 911.

    Saddam didn't attact us on 911, , , , , Bin Ladin did. . . . So stop

    insulting our intelligents by trying to connect the two. YOU LIED!!!!

    JUST ADMIT IT.

    March 15, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. Bobby V

    He needs to be sent to the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague – he truly was THE most dangerous person on Earth for 8 years.

    March 15, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. Tim

    There are some good points here (e.g., tmlc's comments), but the one that sums it up for me is GR's remark: I would prefer not to hear this man's voice again until he's under oath and being held accountable for his actions.

    In the meantime, we need to focus on undoing the damage done in the past 8 years for the sake of all Americans.

    March 15, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  5. Tim

    There are some good points here (e.g., tmlc's comments), but the one that sums it up for me is GR's remark: I would prefer not to hear this man's voice again until he's under oath and being held accountable for his actions.

    In the meantime, we need to focus on undoing the damage done in the past 8 years for the sake of all Americans.

    March 15, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  6. ili

    The guy's a moron living in his own world guided by fear. He and his administration should be investigated.

    March 15, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  7. Christy Elmasri

    The Bush/Cheney Administration ran ruff shod over everything and shoved their will down our throats with their Republican co-horts in lock-step! These 2 clowns truly believe that they are blameless but also above the laws of our land! This is just another pathetic attempt to re-write the disastrous past 8 years with these 2 bumbling fools at the helm. I'd also bet they are trying to divert the attention away from serious investigations that could possibly charge G.W. and Cheney as criminals!
    Bush Jr. spent our money on an egomanical whim in Iraq and Cheney has profited greatly from the no-bid contracts and his ties to much of what we spent so much on in Iraq. They should just "disappear" and never come out from under their rocks!

    March 15, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. Stu in Las Vegas

    What happened to all of that American Currency that was found at the beginning of the war? CNN and all the news covered it.

    Should've asked Cheney that one. Seems to have just vanished, hmmm. "WHO TOOK THAT MONEY? We did not give it to Saddam, so where is the money?

    March 15, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  9. Ivory

    Why are our current crises being considered as to different issues when it is the "wartime mode" and outrageous gas prices that had the public paying more to commute going back and forth to work, than make at work to survive, spend money in our economy, or even save anything.

    March 15, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. Jason S.

    What an unsurprising response by Cheney. Blame everything on 9/11.

    March 15, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  11. gl, Pittsburgh

    Why in the hell do the media keep letting Chencey twist the true. The Republicans are too blame for this mess and now they just want to sit back in point fingers instead of comming up with a plan and help get us out of this mess! Chencey is a JOKER from Batman!

    March 15, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  12. Noah

    It's a shame people don't recognize how good for our nation bush/cheney were. Cheney is 100% on point when he says there were larger priorities during their time than the economy, AND that Freddie/Fannie Mac were a result of the Democrats. I don't expect this to fall on open ears/minds as the overwhelming majority of people in this country haven't served in the military OR done one thing (other than pay taxes) for the betterment of our nation.

    March 15, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  13. Bindu

    Is this man even for real?

    March 15, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. Outraged

    Yeah, right, "we" couldn't help that 911 (which Cheney, Bush, et al encouraged) drove "us" into a wartime economy (which benefitted Cheney, Bush, et al).... WHAT A CROCK!!!

    Prosecute and convict the lot of them – NOW!!!

    March 15, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  15. Roger

    Please have that old war horse retire and let people with more constuctive ideas take over. Bringing him back and asking questions of him is a huge waste of time.

    March 15, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  16. Larry

    Please tell Mr Cheney now that he is done F'ing the American people he can now go F himself. Please go away Dick.

    March 15, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. Rob in San Diego

    Oh please! God, Cheney, you are still an idiot just like your f'ing boss. Yes, 9/11 changed America, but it should have changed it in a way that made sense. 99.999999% of Americans, and pea brained monkeys, could have pulled a switch and made better choices than your administration. Most of us would have gone after Al Queda rather than Saddam. Most of us would have done this because it was the right thing to do, not because we wanted to build our OWN LEGACY by showing everyone that we were a "war time president". Bush had the intention of attacking Iraq before he took office, which was way before 9/11. He used 9/11 as a reason, among many others that changed regularly when the populous and press rightfully canned each excuse, to attack Iraq. It made no sense at the time and it was much worse than he ever anticipated. But stay the course anyway, because you are not about to say, "I f'–d up and I'm sorry! Go to the Prague and hang.

    March 15, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  18. Gringo

    I love the fallacy that the Bush adminstration keeps pushing "We prevented fruther attacks". Fact is and will remain, those two ponds on either side of us, the Pacific and Atlantic, is what prevents attacks. If we were attached to Europe all this would have happened years ago. So lets put that defense to bed. Chaney, look at a globe, we are geographically isolated and thats why terror attacks are difficult to execute in the US. All Bush and you did was start baseless wars, parade a fine American (Colin Powell) in front the world and make him lie, all to justify cleaning up W daddys mess. Startegic Bombing Survey after the first Gulf war put Iraq's existing military capabilities about 20% of per 1990 levels, it didnt increase enough in 8 years to justify this war. MIG's and WMD's buried in the desert?!? Please... fear mongering and equating everyone that didnt give you 100% blind loyalty as "Un-American" and "Un-patriotic" is the crime, you are neither a true American nor a Patriot.

    March 15, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  19. Sam SixPack

    Its a good thing we can rant about Cheney. Otherwise, we would have to focus on the ONGOING robbery.

    March 15, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  20. Chris

    true that 9/11 killed 3,000 people – what does Iraq and the $10 billion a month, coupled with tax cuts have to do with that?

    March 15, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  21. Ben-Cohen

    My grandfather gave a very bit of sage advice "never trust anyone who talks out of the side of their mouth...." If you ever notice, Dick Cheney talks out of the side of his mouth so I deemed him untrustworthy the very first time I ever saw him when he was campaigning for GWB. I really don't know why CNN is giving this man coverage since he is no longer in power and as far as I am concerned his opinion is worthless, right up there with Sarah Palin's opinion!!
    I remember early on into the 9/11 situation GWB was quoted as saying he wanted to be remembered as a war-time president. Well, the historians will give him that one for sure right along with the Herbert Hoover Award for sending our country into another deep, dark depression. Dick Cheny fails to mention how the Republic party was asleep at the switch and how all the bank failures that have occurred was because there wasn't proper legislation and rules to stop the kind of reckless mortages that were made along with the inability of the American people to be able to afford $2,000/month house payments. There is simply no excuse for what has happened.

    March 15, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  22. dixie howell

    chenny-busch lt the terriorist in and let them train to fly ,, they were from saudi arab. not iraqq, chenny got us into two wars annd bankrupted the country, end of story

    March 15, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  23. Sam SixPack

    Its a good thing we can rant about Cheney. Otherwise, we would have to focus on the ONGOING robbery.

    March 15, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  24. Jim

    Maybe, someday, those two will get put to death for wartime crimes.

    March 15, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  25. Larry

    Cheney says, " We had 3,000 Americans killed one morning by Al Qaeda terrorists here in America." Yes, under your watch. You screwed up and you tried to solve it by have another 4,000 plus Americans killed by you stupid policies.

    March 15, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
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