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. Mark

    Cheney should keep his mouth shut – he's providing evidence when he goes to trial as a war criminal. Scratch that – let him speak – it'll make the trial go faster and put this criminal behind bars.

    March 15, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  2. b

    It's actually true. Democrats, including then Senator Barak Obama, did block any investigation or regulation of the mortgage practices of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which every economist will agree are at the crux of economic downturn of the US economy. Low income families were given mortgages on homes they couldn't afford, they obviously defaulted on those mortgages because they couldn't afford them, and the rest of the ecomony has to deal with all this bad debt. It's true, democrats in congress blocked any change. Look it up. You can't question facts.

    March 15, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  3. Greg Hamby

    Hello: Dick Cheny is a fear monger. The purpose of this is war profiteering. The Cheny/Bush admin was an agent for the military industrial complex just as the Reagan admin, was. Both of these admins. represented the same cartel of weapons producers who loot the treasury of the country Remember this, the aftermath of both admins. resulted in a recession.
    I am in the building business and I have experienced this reality. In the real world when can you sign a contract for a price and then come back and ask for 3 times or more money and get it. John McCain has fought against this.
    At least we had the Clinton admin who excerised financial responsibility that gave us a chance to prosper for a while. Now we have to recover from the so called "conservatives" and their lack of financial and forign policy conservatism.
    Cheny/Bush has made this country less secure by handing us a huge gain in the national debt which was handed to weapons producers.
    There was no energy policy which also has made us less secure in that we are tied to the middle east.
    There has never been democracy in Iraq since its birth in 4000 BC. Check your history. Why expect it now? The same goes for Persia/ Iran.
    Good ridance to Cheny/Bush. and their war profiteering partners.
    Give Pres. Obama a chance to sort this out. You cant reverse something that took 8 years to happen in 6 weeks.
    Greg Hamby

    March 15, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  4. war criminal detector

    Will somebody tell this fool criminal that the neo cons lost?

    March 15, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  5. Harry

    I have high respects for Bush-Cheney administration. People are blinded by Obama and liberal media. Look at what we are getting now. Perhaps USA will become like an African country say Kenya. I adks thos who support obama, got o kenya for a day or two. It resembles on what is going on here.

    March 15, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  6. bill

    Yes. 9/11 did have a detrimental impact on the country, but not on Dick Cheney and Halliburton.

    The war made both parties very, very wealthy, even though it was based on made up lies.

    March 15, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  7. Ken

    To all of you nay sayers and deniers of the consequences of 9-11, I wish you all well because I don't believe Obama really as our best interests at heart, unless of course you believe that we should all be subservient to the federal government.

    Another revolution may not be that far down the road. Think TEA for a starter.

    March 15, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  8. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and Cheney is still trying to sell this lie to Americans. Cheney's Haliburton are making more money on this war than Fannie/ Freddie and Katrina could ever cost Americans. This man is a liar and theif.

    March 15, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  9. Tommy Lee

    A smart nation became a nation of STUPID PEOPLE when it elected the same two idiots(GB/DC) not once, BUT TWICE.

    March 15, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  10. ariveria

    back in the days when mccain had balls he said "when have we ever been at war and cut taxes."

    bush could have raised takes to pay for his wars and everything else that happened.

    March 15, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  11. a duncan

    Perhaps, with a little waterboarding, (it's not really torture according to Bush), Cheney will tell the TRUTH.

    March 15, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  12. bob in LA

    Revisionist history is wonderful. Most american were in such shock, they missed the facts of 9/11. The people in the towers were told the towers were safe and not to evacuate right away and that is why 3000 people died. Had we they been evacuated immediately the loss would have been about 1000.
    9/11 did not cause our war debt- there is no conncetion between Iraq and 9/11. Our war against the 9/11 killer s in Afghanistan and is pennies by comparrision the Iraq.
    Corporate and the American peoples greed caused our financial problems. Slow steady income growth was not enoug for business or stockholders. Sane home buying principals was not enough for most banks or Americans.
    And lack of leadership for 8 years- both in the White House and on the Hill caused the problem. Lawyers controlling money is insane but that is what makes up our leadership.

    March 15, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  13. Tom, Bradenton,FL

    If a country like the US and with the resources like the US and with an already overblown defense budget had to spend out of control just to fight an invisible backwards enemy imagine what if the Soviets had attacked us. My father was career military and we under constant threats by the RAF and bases have been bombed in the 70' and 80's in Europe but we did not go nuts over it. The british, spaniards and Israelis have these problems and do not bankrupt themselves. No Cheney/Bush are retards.

    March 15, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  14. ttofast70@comcast.net

    Dick Cheney, first of all you are appropriately named. Secondly, YOU ARE THE ANTI-CHRIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 15, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. Jerry Houston

    Thrilled, I didn't watch this garbage. I think John King and Chaney cronies are the only one's who carea about what Cheney thinks. Althougn, I don't recall John K. interviewing or Cheney giving any interviews when he was destroying the country.

    March 15, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  16. Ernie

    Cheney, shut your face and get gone.

    March 15, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  17. Kim

    Lies and deceit. I'm still waiting on his indictment.

    March 15, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. paul f.

    once again. that loud mouth cheny is spouting crap again. He needs to go away, preferably to prison for treson. where he belongs.cheny & his v.p. bush should wise up &realise the country knows they tanked the economy, killed thousands of our troops in a war they stsrted & we had no businnes beig in.God bless obama america's prayers are with you. cnn you need to figure it out america is sick & tired of the evil stinch attached to the texas mafia, and just let that trash fade away..

    March 15, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  19. Texas Teacher

    Oh, Bullsh... well, I don't believe a word that comes out of this man's mouth! Iraq was very convenient! Although it had absolutely NOTHING to do with 9/11, we sent our young men and women into war there with not even bullet proof vests! I still cannot get over the fact that on 9/11. We could find Huissen in a hole in the ground, but we could not find bin Laden? And there are those who can say that we did not cause 9/11? I'm sorry, I do not agree... nor will I ever!

    March 15, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  20. Ray Fisher

    The "Spending" to which Cheney refers was simply a "Give-away" for his contractor buddies which accomplished nothing. Simply review the no-bid contracts granted to Halliburton, Blackwater, etc... which they didn't perform, absconding with money, equipment and materials, electrocuting our troops with faulty labor, the list is long and disgusting!!! All the contracting companies made out like bandits while our troops suffered under extended tours, multiple deployments, faulty living quarters, stress, combat, IEDs, etc... I'm sorry but no matter how Cheney or anyone wishes to distort history, the Bush/Cheney debacle will remain an unnecessary stain on our nation paid in full by our heroes still serving proudly!!!

    March 15, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  21. RS Houston

    Right on Mr. Cheney. You and President Bush did a fantastic job while in office. Thank you for your service.

    March 15, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  22. Texas Teacher

    Oh, Bullsh... well, I don't believe a word that comes out of this man's mouth! Iraq was very convenient! Although it had absolutely NOTHING to do with 9/11, we sent our young men and women into war there with not even bullet proof vests! I still cannot get over the fact that on 9/11 our President sat reading to school children and whe he heard that we were under attack he countinued to read for 8 more minutes! Then a flight crew that flew him from DC, could not fly him back, but went in the wrong direction. Once he got to DC, his first order of business was to get his Saudi friends on planes and OUT of DC. Coincidence? I don't think so! All this time Cheney was in an undisclosed location. We could find Huissen in a hole in the ground, but we could not find bin Laden? And there are those who can say that we did not cause 9/11? I'm sorry, I do not agree... nor will I ever!

    March 15, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  23. John Snow

    Except for Lincoln being shot, there was no other violence at Ford's theater that night so it was a success.

    March 15, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  24. Alison

    This is a painful chapter-don't look back. Make a new way. Promote prosperity and abundance and peace and good will for all nations,and all races, and all peoples, all ages, no distinctions, no lies, just joy, and peace of mind. Smile, work hard, and make a better day. We can all stand together, and forgive our nation. We can all stand together, and make way for rejeuvenation. Just use your imagination, and see a brighter day. God/Universe, Momentum loves all of us, and will help along the way. Just stay positive, and believe in yourself. You can make a difference, bring a smile, and erase the doubt. Peace to you and all that you cherish. Om Santih Santih Om

    March 15, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  25. Kent in CA

    Hey Dick! All that spending and Bin Laden is still out there! Did you happen to notice? Of course you never really intended to get him. There is a lot more profit to be made with Osama at large, isn't there?
    Jon Stewart should have interviewed this crook. Stewart would have asked the questions Americans really want answers to. John King is a wimp.

    March 15, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
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