March 15th, 2009
05:22 PM ET
6 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. Michael

    Wow Glennis -

    The current administration didn't inherit a country on it's knees from your "heros"?

    You must have the most selective of memories and you have obviously suffered no losses, either human or financial, at the hands of these criminals.

    Well, good for you. Now go check your local listings for the next Rush Limpprick show. Too busy here to join you.

    We'll be busy. Some of us have a country to fix.

    March 15, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. jake

    this guy is the original axis of evil. go away, dick! we don't want to hear from you!

    March 15, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  3. Sarah

    Cheney. The very definition of a domestic terrorist.

    March 15, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. Kimberly in Arizona

    they should have HUNG him alright. They should hang cheney and boy who would be king bush too!! CRIMINALS all three of them. Too bad the kool-aid drinking republicans just trusted them with all the secrets they had. THANK GOD our new president doesnt keep secrets and has put EVERYthing out in the open. What a dark time in America, when these fools ruined this country, and whiped their butts with the constitution...

    March 15, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  5. Alfred E Neumann

    I just have to laugh at the absurdity of some of these posters.

    Political interviews are nothing more than entertainment, please get a grip and attempt to establish more serious priorities in life.

    I. Scooter Lewis Libby is a convicted felon. Now get on to things just a tad more important which would be anything.

    March 15, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  6. Scott

    ". . . left Scooter sort of hanging in the wind . . ."

    Considering his act of revealing the name of an undercover CIA agent for political retribution is an act of TREASON AGAINST THE UNITED STATED OF AMERICA – and treason being punishable by the death – it is an interesting (Freudian?) choice of words.

    March 15, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. Appalled

    This is disgraceful. CNN why are you subjecting yourselves and your audience to the messaging of this total sham of an officeholder? Why are you giving him a platform? At least if you interviewed Bush for an hour it would be comparatively harmless. This man is trying to write stories around reality– that's all he's been doing for ten years. And you're aiding him. Congratulations.

    March 15, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  8. ran

    You Chaney have left us the american people less safe/more in debt. You should be in jail and if there is any justice in this land you someday will be.

    March 15, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  9. Rohan

    Nonsense!!

    March 15, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  10. timkens

    Why is anyone still listening to this man?

    March 15, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. C W

    Glennis says in part regarding the Obama Administration: "Not only that, they don't have the knowledge, the courage or the moral turpitude deal with our enemies."

    "Turpitude" means depravity, vile. You think to be a successful President one must be morally depraved.

    Well, Bush & Company, with their contempt for our Constitution, illegal wiretapping, lying to take us into a wire, certainly fit the bill!

    Regarding Cheney's claim that torture is the way to get good intelligence: Those with first-hand knowledge, such as John McCain, will tell you it is an unreliable means of getting accurate information.

    You and everyone else who believes Cheney's lies about interrogation should read Matthew Alexander's book, "How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq".

    March 15, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. mary,florida

    Fear,Fear,fear its ok I'll take my chance and fight them here.

    March 15, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  13. Steve H.

    Cheney would have fit into a totalitarian government very well.

    March 15, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  14. Barry in Maryland

    I agree with almost everything Cheney said:

    1 – Libby was unjustly accused and prosecuted. The accusation and prosecution should have included Cheney and Rove.

    2 – Cheney shouldn't give out the title of his book. He should keep it a secret from the public just like he did with policy decision-making.

    3 – The details of administration discussions should be left to history. But that would contradict the agreement I have with Cheney cited in item 2. Oh well.

    March 15, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  15. John Smith

    Just compare Halliburton's stock prices before and after invading Iraq (from $10 a share in March 2003 to $50 a share in July 2008).

    I rest my case as to why the guy is a criminal.

    March 15, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  16. just today

    libby did not deserve a pardon. cheney needs to be in jail along with most of the last administration, our country may be attacked again, the last administration opened so many doors for them, OUR President is trying his best to clean up the awful mess that bush and cheney left for us.

    March 15, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  17. Jerry

    GWB deliberately did not pardon Libby in order to prevent him from testifying before Congress. Libby can not be forced to testify before Congress because he will invoke the Fifth Amendmend in order to not incriminate himself in further crimes committed (treason, etc). If GWB gives him a pardon for all his crimes, then Libby can not hide behind the Fifth Amendment–and must answer all questions truthfully (or else face perjery charges). So, he would be between a rock and a real hard place. Thus, by NOT being pardoned, LIbby can hide behind the Fifth Amendment forever. However, he still has the secrets of the GWB administration in his head–and who really did what. Anyone want to place bets on the future lifespan of Scooter Libby? I am amazed he is still alive today–if he hasn't already set up an "insurance policy" that will "tell all" if he dies "prematurely/accidentally"....

    March 15, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  18. Rubin

    Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Gonzales and a number of other characters in the Bush administration... they got us into a horrible mess... in so many ways. And Cheney has the nerve to criticize Obama for trying to get us out of the bad situation that THEY created. These higher ups in the Bush administration should be tried for treason... for what they did to our country, and it's citizens... at the very least!

    March 15, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  19. who cares

    Who cares what this idiot has to say anymore!!!!!

    March 15, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  20. David

    I wish CNN would have asked Mr. Cheney why so many no bid contracts on rebuilding Iraq and selling Army detail jobs to companies like his previous employer and why his former company moved its corporate offices out of the United States. I guess to avoid legal intanglements it would have certainly been faced with if it were still here. Mr Cheney you need not worry about Scooter I'm sure he will get a good paying job with the rest of you good old boys.

    March 15, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  21. Henry

    It was late in the game but W. finally stood up and said NO to Cheney.

    March 15, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  22. KJ

    Note to Mr. Cheney – he is a criminal and so are you but you are going to get away with your crimes against this country.

    March 15, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  23. Ed in Arizona

    Even if he were to read the comments here, Cheney would not care even a tiny bit. That, of course, is the mark of a sociopath. Throw "criminal" into the mix and one has plenty of early 21st century examples in addition to Cheney. Saddam Hussein comes to mind. Odd that Cheney should use the word "hanging".

    March 15, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  24. C W

    My corrected comment (bad proof-reading on my part):

    Glennis says in part regarding the Obama Administration: "Not only that, they don't have the knowledge, the courage or the moral turpitude deal with our enemies."

    "Turpitude" means depravity, vile. You think to be a successful President one, must be morally depraved.

    Well, Bush & Company, with their contempt for our Constitution, illegal wiretapping, lying to take us into a WAR, certainly fit the bill!

    Regarding Cheney's claim that torture is the way to get good intelligence: Those with first-hand knowledge, such as John McCain, will tell you it is an unreliable means of getting accurate information.

    You and everyone else who believes Cheney's lies about interrogation should read Matthew Alexander's book, "How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq".

    March 15, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  25. R A Smith

    After watching Cheney's interview, I have changed my mind about him. He's not a lying War Criminal. He's an Unmitigated Lying War Criminal who knowingly and purposely subverted the Constitution for his own personal gain.

    A flag waving, draft dodger who claims to be a Super Patriot. He's a despicable excuse for a human being.

    He should be prosecuted and jailed for the rest of his miserable existance.

    Ron Smith (Vietnam Veteran)

    Springfield, Oregon

    March 15, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
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