March 15th, 2009
05:22 PM ET
5 years ago

Cheney: Not happy we 'left Scooter sort of hanging'

Photo Credit: Josh Rubin/CNN.
Photo Credit: Josh Rubin/CNN.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Vice President Dick Cheney told CNN Sunday that former President George W. Bush should have pardoned former side I. Scooter "Lewis" Libby, and that he was unhappy his former chief of staff had been left "sort of hanging in the wind."

Bush had turned down Cheney's request for a Libby pardon. "Well, it was - it was one of the moments that occurred in the administration where we had fundamental difference of opinion," Cheney told John King on State of the Union. "I believe firmly that Scooter was unjustly accused and prosecuted and deserved a pardon, and the president disagreed with that."

King asked whether any of the discussions had been angry or tense ones, or involved shouting. "Those kinds of details, I think, are best left to history," replied Cheney. "Maybe I'll write about it in my book."

Cheney is writing an as-yet untitled memoir about his four decades in Washington.

He told King he and the president had spoken by phone three times in the past few weeks, and that the two men had "built a very solid, lasting relationship" - although he remained unhappy with Bush's decision on Libby. "I was clearly not happy that we, in effect, left Scooter sort of hanging in the wind, which I didn't think was appropriate. I think he's an innocent man who deserves a pardon," he said.

Cheney also defended Rush Limbaugh from charges by some conservative commentators that the radio host was electoral "kryptonite."

"Rush is a good friend. I love him," Cheney told King. "I think he does great work and has for years. He's now offered to debate President Obama on his radio show. Hell, I'd pay to see that! It would be interesting to have developed. I think Rush is a good man and serves a very important purpose."


Filed under: Dick Cheney • State of the Union
soundoff (360 Responses)
  1. bw

    Until Vice President Cheney really understands that it was he who left Scooter Libby hanging due to their joint ilegal activities, I for one will have no respect or sympathy for the last administration or his role in those events.

    If president Bush felt he had been manipulated once too often by his vice president, and wanted to leave open the possiblity that someday responsibility would land in Cheney's lap, well good for him.

    March 15, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  2. jason

    how about all those wrongly accused/convicted that are sitting in jail right now, and who don' have the benefit of being buddy-buddy with the president? where's the outrage over them? at least libby's a free man.

    March 15, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  3. pat

    he won't be the last...

    March 15, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  4. jonnierae

    Why on earth are you all still covering Dick Cheney? He is all over the news. What is the point? Who cares what he thinks now? Cover him when he gets indicted, which I hope he will.

    March 15, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. Jim

    Why would a Nation that has suffered from the decisions of Cheney and Co. even listen to them?
    What does King want to achieve?
    In a time where the Nation has some many battle front, isn't this the least we should be wasting our precious time with?
    CNN- please post this comment

    March 15, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  6. Cystem Phailure

    It's not surprising Dick feels such a debt to Scooter. After all, Scooter saved Dick's bacon from being investigated. If it weren't for Scooter, someone else would be talking about whether Dick should be pardoned.

    March 15, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Cheney feels guilty that he let an underling fall on his sword for him and then Bush finally stood up to Cheney when Cheney couldn't get the promised pardon.

    March 15, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. reggie

    I like the former Vice President. He is missed.

    March 15, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. LA

    The only 2 good things Bush did as president was to NOT pardon Scooter Libby or Carl Rove. They committed criminal activity and they should suffer the consequences. Libby was already found guilty, but Bush commuted his sentence, wow, thanks a lot. At least we still have Carl Rove to hang in the public square for his illegal and blatant interference in the justice system.

    March 15, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  10. Linda from Minnesota

    To quote cheney: "So".

    March 15, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  11. Axel

    Scooter should have been left hanging. Along with Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, and the rest of the Bush gang. I was far more worried about what do on a daily basis than I ever was about terrorists. They should all be rotting in a dank cell somewhere for crimes against humanity.

    March 15, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  12. meh

    conservative> My "liberal" posts often don't go up either, so whatever.

    And I honestly don't know how ANYone can defend these crooks.

    March 15, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  13. Avi Shlomo

    how about you lil Cheny keep scooter comoany in some remot prison?

    March 15, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  14. obama08

    Scooter was first; you're next Mr. Cheney.

    March 15, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  15. curtis in WI

    Cheney may see Libby's actually having a punishment as some huge betrayel, but everyone else sees Libby's actual punishment as an insultingly light wrist slapping.

    I guess in CheneyWorld, it's only criminal behavior if it doesn't benefit you.

    March 15, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  16. Lila

    Dick Cheney is a poor pitiful excuse of an individual and a worse vice-president. The less said about him and the failed policies of the past administration the better. By the way I see he could get his decripted butt out of the wheelchair to slam the present administration.

    March 15, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. W.Derksen

    Cheney is nothing less than a criminal with lots of blood on his hands.

    March 15, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. joseph coyle

    Scooter is a traitor, and so is Cheney- they unmasked one of our coverts and endangered the lives of others in the field. That is a hanging offense. And they did it for partisan political reasons- to cling to political power. They are an abomination. Cheney should be in Federal prison, not on CNN spreading his venom..

    March 15, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  19. Ex-Republican

    This man is disgusting/.........and why all the softballs?

    March 15, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  20. chuck

    Dick Cheney should be where Scooter(hid buddy) is. In JAIL.

    March 15, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  21. No Hillary = No Obama

    Why is CNN giving Cheney any air time at all? Isn't 8 years of this guy and his pal Bush enough? What do you think he is going to say – something that isn't self-serving and distorted? Giving this guy a microphone to undermine the Obama administration really sucks. I'm not an Obama fan and I didn't vote for him, but one thing is for sure, Obama's policies are more humanitarian than the coporate crap Cheney and Bush represented.

    March 15, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  22. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    They're concerned about Scooter...Indeed! How about the two Border Patrol agents, Ramos and Campean Imprisoned for doing heir jobs defending their counrtry.

    Hopefully Obama will right this terrible wrong

    March 15, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  23. robert

    Don't forget Halliburton for their help to the troops that served in Iraq (and the American taxpayers). that's something we can't forget. thanks, Dick.

    March 15, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  24. Jim Alvarez

    Amazing how polititians remain blinded to their grievous mistakes. I am sure happy this man (Cheney) no longer is in government and find it offensive the media has given him the podium to make these statements. When will he own up to the failaures caused by the past administration?

    March 15, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. Murray Forbes

    The only reason Dick is pushing for a Scooter pardon is probably because Scooter lied in order to cover for Dick

    March 15, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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