April 22nd, 2009
12:44 PM ET
5 years ago

Cheney hits Obama again: 'Devastating' economic policies

Cheney's war of words with the Obama administration continues.
Cheney's war of words with the Obama administration continues.

(CNN) - President Barack Obama's expansion of the federal government into the financial sector is likely to have "devastating" effects in the long term, former Vice President Dick Cheney said in his latest salvo directed at the new White House administration.

In an interview on Fox News - portions of which aired Tuesday night - the former vice president said he is "very concerned" about where the Obama administration is taking the country economically.

"I worry very much that we're in a situation now where there doesn't appear to be any limitation whatsoever in terms of the spending commitments that this administration wants to make," he said. "Vast expansion in terms of the deficit, but it also says a lot about what they intend for the role of government in this society."

White House officials have predicted the country's deficit will soar to $1.75 trillion this year, after the administration's efforts to bail out troubled financial companies and stabilize the nation's flailing economy. Obama has also pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term, a promise critics doubt is possible to keep. (Related: Obama defends budget as essential to recovery)

But beyond rising deficits, Cheney said he is concerned the administration is fundamentally "redefining that relationship between government, on the one hand, and the private sector on the other."

"I'm one of those people who believes that part of the greatness of the United States is our private sector. "It's what we do as private citizens for ourselves and our companies," he said, later adding, "I think we have to be very, very cautious. I think we've gone beyond what reasonably we could expect by way of intrusion into the private sector."

Cheney's comments are only the latest in a string criticisms he has publicly aired in recent weeks about the administration that succeeded his, though they appear to be his harshest words to date about the new president's economic policies.

In past interviews the former vice president has sharply questioned Obama's national security policies, telling CNN he thinks the country is less safe than it was under the Bush administration.

Cheney's comments have led to criticisms from Obama aides that he is confounding his role as an elder statesman, but, in the interview with Fox News, Cheney said people should not be surprised he is speaking out.

"I've been criticized because I've had the temerity to speak out and done a couple of interviews since I left office. I don't find anything surprising about that," he said. "I don't say - I've been careful not to get personal in terms of my criticisms for my comment, but I think the issues are simply too important for the future of the nation for us to operate as though those of us who disagree somehow shouldn't speak out and be heard. I think we need to be heard."

As for Cheney's contention of the detrimental effects of government expansion into the economy, Americans appear split on the issue,  with 35 percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll conducted earlier this month saying that government involvement has gone too far. Forty-two percent felt the increased government involvement in big business was about right, and 23 percent said Washington had not gone far enough.


Filed under: Dick Cheney • President Obama
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Todd

    Sort of sounds like the arsonist blaming the fire department for doing a bad job putting out the fire!

    April 22, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  2. Linda

    Funny how Cheney never spoke out this much when he was in a position to actually DO something .. he was too busy out hunting and taking time off. Leave Obama alone while he attempts to get our nation back on it's feet from the mess you & Bush created ... you're nothing more than a cranky old man. Go away.

    April 22, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  3. Doc Ray

    Surprise, Surprise! The former executive of Haleburton believes the private sector is the basis of American greatness. Next thing you know Chaney will suggest that CEOs are our new monarchy and "let them eat cake" should be the official economic policy. Devastating, indeed!

    April 22, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  4. soho

    Hindsight being 20/20 and all, we should have certainly demanded the impeachment and prosecution of Bush and Cheney before their dynasty of evil left office. They were the "evildoers" of which they spoke.

    April 22, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  5. Prevaricator

    Cheney is still up to dirty tricks with his disinformation. He is deflecting actions against himself, Halliburton, et al, from various prosecutions including the deaths of 19 American Soldiers who served in Iraq and were electrocuted in their showers, etc, from poor electrical installations.

    Cheney must be getting ready to run for President as the Republican standard bearer. He certainly fits the description.

    April 22, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  6. HJA

    He should not even speak. The GOP and their deregulation of the banking industry starting with Regan are the cause of all our current troubles. And G.W. released the first $700 billion with no accountability at all. If Cheney wants to talk he should apologize or just stay uot of it. Business must be regulated or corporate greed will prevail.

    April 22, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  7. Shaun / Buffalo NY

    Its so funny to me how the only time I heard about this guy in the news when he was in office is when he shot his friend in the neck. All a sudden a democrat gets in office and he starts doing tv interviews bashing Obama.. Maybe Cheney should keep his mouth closed because of the mess himself and Bush got this country in and maybe go to a shooting range and take some lessons? You have some nerve judging Obama due to the fact you did a TERRIBLE job in office. Go away dick!

    April 22, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. huskee33

    NOW Cheney is concerned about the financial direction of the country? His head was stuck up his ass the last god knows how many years (feels like centuries) and now he decides to take it out and look around??
    His greedy admin is the one that put us in this position!! His senility must be kicking in , the media has to stop giving him any attention.

    Also to comment on his 'disapproval' of the ending of waterboarding – again do we care what he thinks? He has no regard for the security of the country and heshould be tried for treason for exposing the CIA agent Plume – we will never know how many agents were compromised because of his viscous vendetta against her husband. ENOUGH ALREADY!!

    April 22, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  9. Kelby In Houston, TX

    I don't think that Dick Cheney realizes that he should be in jail. I don't think that he realizes the only reason that he is breathing the free air is by the good graces of the current administration. Somebody should put a list of all of the bad things that came from the Bush administration. Something comprehensive, covering all 8 years. Something that connects the dots from the patriot act to the conviction of Eliot spitzer to outing a CIA agent (THAT'S TREASON!) Something similar to Farenheight 9/11. With lots of CNN news clips.

    April 22, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  10. Sharon

    Hahahah, this coming from a close minded old white man that has shown a proclivity to stand behind anything that benefits his "stock price." Someone so clueless that he was hidden in the closet, the final years of the Bush administration. Oh yes! As a blue collar, white female, I am certainly hanging on every word that Dick Cheney has to say. Sheesh

    April 22, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. Marcella

    I think Mr. Cheney would do well to just be quiet. It seems the current administration is getting too close for comfort at letting us now see how hurtful to our country the policies of the prior administration were. This must be why Mr. Cheney is making such a spectacle of himself in the news.

    April 22, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  12. David

    I can't believe the nerve this guy has after the disaster he left us in.

    April 22, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  13. Evan

    Perhaps due to his advanced years former Vice President Cheney is having some trouble with his memory. I would like to take this oppurtunity to remind him of the last eight years where he had a major role in leading our country and indeed the world down a path to the worst economic depression we've seen in the last 80 years.

    I'd like to suggest that former Vice President Cheney keep these facts in mind before he decides to open his mouth and make statements that are critical of the current President.

    April 22, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  14. Gary Wayne

    Please Mr. Cheney, keep talking. I don't think there is a better spokesman to remind the American people why they voted for change!

    April 22, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  15. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    I don't often agree with Cheney, but he's right about this. Economically, Obama is very, very, scary...

    April 22, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  16. Jack J

    You guys still have your backside because of Cheney's intelligence. You don't understand how they protected us – it's so maddening when he's still trying to warn us to "watch out".
    Americans elected the most inexperienced novice in Nov 2008, and many are catching on, but some are stubborn as they watch him make a mess of the economy and our safety.
    Jack J
    CO

    April 22, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  17. walleye

    I'm glad Cheney is concerned about where the economy is going. Too bad he didnt think about it 8 years ago when the Bush Administration was running up a $10 billion a month deficit with a war that no one wanted and was sold to the American people on LIES.
    DICK, go to Wyoming and stick your head in one of your oil wells.

    April 22, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. faith

    Should it be surprising that Dick Cheney, the guy who is the chief architect of the morally and ethically bankrupt Bush Administration policies on everything from the Iraq War to torture to padding Halliburton's pockets to shipping jobs overseas to the gelding of the media now wants to use his Fox News mouthpiece to try and spin a positive light on his misdeeds in office? It is as if he is daring the Obama Administration to put him on trial. The question is, why?

    April 22, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  19. steven harnack

    you would think that someone that literally got away with murder would keep a lower profile. maybe he has a subconscious desire to be punished for his crimes and he's not going to go away until his wish comes true.

    April 22, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  20. JimG

    To Cheney, "devastating economic policies" means "Hey, I'm no longer getting a cut!"

    April 22, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. Peter Johnson

    So, basically:

    spending billions on a useless war = good

    spending billions to keep the economy afloat after 8 years of neglect = bad

    Cheney needs a hobby... start a stamp collection, build a model airplane, anything to keep him away from the press.

    April 22, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  22. Hope

    Hey, you all democrats.... Aren't you for freedom of speech? How many times you attack BUSH and his administration fiercely.... Now that somebody has the guts to tell you how wrong your choice of President was, you scream and pound.... You are indeed brainwashed!! Not only you are just mean, nasty people, but don't want to see the REAL mess we are in because of the bad choice you made in electing OBAMA........

    April 22, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  23. Deboyville

    It was Cheney and Bush Administration policies that got us into this mess, now he's blaming Obama for searching for ways to get us out of this mess. Cheney needs to crawl back under his rock and leave the rest of us to get on with things.

    April 22, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  24. JusticeFor All

    Folks read between the lines, former VP knows that his unsavory secrets are about to come out of the closet he so closely guarded during his tenure. ...if I had something to hide, I'd be on the offensive too. it all comes out in the wash folks, just watch the behavior, it's so obvious.

    April 22, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  25. Ed

    Free speech is a good thing no matter from whom it comes. However, Mr Cheney is really coming across as a sore loser. He could be a useful critic, but the timing is all wrong. He should spend some time away. At least Bush has the sense (did I just say that) to be keeping his pie-hole shut. Do we really have a military ship named USS Haliberton?

    April 22, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
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