April 22nd, 2009
12:44 PM ET
6 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. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I'm so tired of seeing Cheney in the news. He's not leaving behind a legacy. What he's left behind though was a tarnished a shameful U.S. He should be very poud of himself. Give yourself a pat on the back Dick!

    April 22, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  2. capnmike

    Nobody...repeat NOBODY in the Bush Mis-Administration has any right to criticize Obama's economic policies...the Republicans have practically ruined America with their ridiculous borrow-and-spend tactics. Cheney is himself a notorious liar and criminal, and should keep his fat mouth shut. Hopefully he will end up in jail where he belongs.

    April 22, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  3. andrea

    shut up, and go away, you dick.

    April 22, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  4. carlo

    Oh, yeah, like his and his bosses' policies have made prosperity bloom for us?

    April 22, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  5. Suzanne

    I don't understand why you continue to cover this criminal and give him air time as if he had anything legitimate to say. He belongs behind bars. Time to move on.

    April 22, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  6. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    I Guess the justic Department has cheney running scared,The man keeps talking crazy.

    April 22, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  7. Shirley

    we do not care what Cheney's opinionns are on anything~ ~ ~ Would like to just say Cheney WHO???? He is a has-been loser and troublemaker ~ ~ who needs to just go away and 'enjoy' the $'s he raked in from destroying Iraq ! ! !

    April 22, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  8. Larry from RI

    Is dick showing his fear over the release of these torture memos?
    BTW, Who cares the tiniest bit what this criminal has to say?

    April 22, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  9. Erika

    YOUR policies had devastating economic effects so you probably wouldn't know or understand a good economic policy. He is fighting so hard to better his image but all he is doing is digging a bigger hole for himself and the Republicans. I never thought I would say this but act like Former President Bush and shut up!

    April 22, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  10. What a joke

    "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."
    _________________________________________________

    Now he is worried? Wiretapping is the ulitmate "big brother" and Cheney is only now concerned with "the role of government in this society".
    Cheney has an ego he has to keep inflating.

    April 22, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  11. Nick - Arlington, VA

    What a disrespectful POS this guy is. Never has a former administration official this high up relentless attack the next administration. He started, what, about 20 days into this administration. Its pathetic.

    April 22, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  12. Jessica in Charleston

    Why won't this man just go away?

    April 22, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  13. Enlightened Voter

    Bush was given a blank check to invade and rebuild a FOREIGN country and he bankrupted the country in the process. Now the rethugs are complaining because President Obama is spending money to rebuild our country. What is wrong with this picture?

    April 22, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  14. Ray

    Why doesn't he just go away? Maybe he can take Rush, Sarah, Anne and some of those other idiots hunting.

    April 22, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  15. Watchful Cowboy

    I don't consider Cheney a financial expert – and he had his chance when in office to make things right. As for involvement – I think the government has to be involved but I am getting tired of the fourth, fifth and sixth strike being given to companies that seem to not get it right. GM and Chrysler were put on notice – then I read where they are being given more money while they fumble around for solutions – turn the money machine off Washington!

    April 22, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  16. AbysinnianLion

    He hasnt spoken this much in years. Hmmmmm? A little nervous Dick?

    April 22, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  17. Alan

    Why is it that Cheney is the only one who is complaining? Wasn't Bush the President? Have we heard anything from him?

    April 22, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  18. Marydoe

    Isn't it interesting, too, that Cheney was nowhere to be found at the end of the Bush administration, but now we just can't get him out of the news? He's been on CNN's site more in the last month than the prior year he was still in the White House! Why keep giving this crook a mouthpiece? Keeping up with Fox, since they are the only ones he'll talk to??

    April 22, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  19. Tim

    Dick Cheney complaining that Obama is spending too much money to fix the broken economy is like an arsonist complaining that the fire department is using too much water .....

    April 22, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  20. Nonsense

    At what point can we all agree that this Dick should be publicly flogged?

    April 22, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  21. Patriot

    Ooooh, Dick Cheney doesn't like Obama!!!!

    I'm sure President Obama must be crying his eyes off right now.....lol

    April 22, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  22. tee

    Go away, you are no longer important!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 22, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  23. New Yorker

    Cheney is right but the left just can't see it. The left won't be happy till this country is totally destroyed. Of course, then they would say everything is fine and dandy. Why don't they all just move to Cuba or Venezuela and leave this country to freedom lovers?

    April 22, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  24. DOC

    Mr. Cheney plays his "boogeyman" part real well.

    Political theatre can be so boring though...

    April 22, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  25. Buckeye Chuck

    Every day Dick Cheney is the face of the Republican opposition is another news cycle lost by the GOP. Another way to interpret the poll numbers is this: 65% of Americans like the level of government involvement or would even prefer more. Cheney's comments might fire up the Republican base, but they're out of touch with the mainstream line of thought, and they're out of touch with the reality that it was GOP policies which drove the private sector into the ground and now others are left to clean up the mess. Until the GOP starts offering up a mea culpa or two and offers legitimate alternatives instead of petty, dogmatic criticisms, they will continue to be a minority party.

    April 22, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
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