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. Joseph

    Cheney said almost nothing during the presidency now he just cant be quiet

    April 22, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  2. Butch Dillon

    Cheney's mumblings in recent days amount to an expenditure of more words than he used on the public during his 8 years as VP. But none of what he's saying is intended to inform, it's all defensive. What were hearing from him now are the sounds of a hunted man sweating.

    April 22, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  3. jow

    Well if Cheney doesn't like what Obama's doing, then the President must be doing something right. 180 degrees from what Cheney wants is probably spot on.

    April 22, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  4. Operation Crush Rush

    Looks like Cheney is doing everything he can to keep from having to wear an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs.

    April 22, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  5. skyhouse

    cheney is a treasonous, non-patriot idealogue whose time has come and gone. the most reviled VP in our history. the man who orchestrated what evolved into our current national crisis is judging and antagonizing our new prosident. shame on him. torture him now and see how long that schmarmy little grin lasts.

    April 22, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  6. Bob (Illinois)

    What a galaxy-size hypocrite? Unbelievable!

    I sincerely hope that Cheney eventually gets to spend some quality time in a Leavenworth cell.

    April 22, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  7. goofus

    I hope Dick goes to jail.

    April 22, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  8. Ted

    There he goes again – the hypocritical Dick Cheney who with George Bush saw the extraordinary expansion of the deficit by the $10 billion per month off budget appropriations for the misguided and stupid war in Iraq. Who does he think he is kidding? The policies of the past administration of war spending and further borrowing/spending and the construction of the dept of homeland security, yet another bloated costly bureaucracy that does not keep us safe have all ballooned the deficit.

    All Obama is doing is to right the ship of state that co-presidents Cheney and Bush nearly sank.

    I am tired of Cheney and his mouth and his hypocritical statements and all his other garbage. He needs to put a cork in it and go back to Wyoming and live out his retirement on the federal pension and the billions he made at Halliburton.

    April 22, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  9. former republican

    What Dick is really trying to say is that its devastating because he may be under investigation! We all know that George W was not smart enough to make any decisions on his own, and Dick was the puppet master. Well when your in prison Dick...I'm sure it will be devastating for you!

    April 22, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  10. Nate

    Is Cheney out of his mind?? Really! He's the author of a war the killed 4000 US soldier and 100K Iraqi's. This war has cost hundreds of billions of dollars while he gets richer. To Cheney, Iraq was just a business opportunity. Like a big money laundering scheme tax payer money went in and came out as corporate profits for his company- big defense contractors. Meanwhile he approves or torture and uses fear to wield power.

    Now he has the nerve to place blame on others who are trying to clean up the legacy of destruction and abuse of power he created. He has no shame and it's apparrent he doesn't care one bit about this country. He's a piece of garbage.

    April 22, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  11. Jeff Fyke

    Dick Cheney has absolutely no credibility. His attacks can only help Obama.

    April 22, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  12. a canuck

    Mr. Evil should just climb back into his bunker ......no one cares what he thinks.

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

    Cheney you need to go and enjoy your ill-gotten wealth from Halliburton by the illegal Iraq war you helped to engineered .
    You are a fraud and have no credibility.

    April 22, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  14. Ramses - Chicago

    First of all let me start off by saying I am not one that really follows or that's really knowledgable of politics. Nore am I one to completely ignore it. Having said that, I do believe there is some unclarity as to where we are headed under our current administration but I strongly believe we are a lot better off now than we were a number of years ago under the Bush administration. It does seem to be a large amount of money being spent but I am pretty optimistic that all this will pay off in the long run. Our current economic status is something that will take longer than 4 or eight years to stablize. One thing we as a country and as a global nation cannot afford, economically speaking, is a continuous downward spiral.

    April 22, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  15. Daveyboy

    Cheney has absolutely no credibility in terms of what the Founding Fathers originally intended. His twisted, paranoid policies forcing a "them" against "us" situation is anathema to what our society really is about. He's now shooting off his mouth about as accurately as he shot his gun back in the past.

    April 22, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  16. Some Guy

    Dick knows that if Obama's policies work the GOP is pretty much finished forever. It's fun to see him so scared. Squirm Dick, squirm. Have a nice day!

    April 22, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  17. Sue

    Who cares about Cheney'ideas or concerns. What we are expeiencing now is the result of 8 years failure policies of Bush/Cheny.Now we have a smart President after 8 years and people like Dick Cheney can't stand it. Tough live with that.

    April 22, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  18. Ren from Baltimore

    Former VP Cheney appears to be engaging in a "suicide by police action." He is drawing fire by making moves dangerous to himself and others. Classic guilt-resolution behavior. Is anyone surprised?

    April 22, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  19. GBryant

    Why doesn't Cheney just go somewhere and shut up. Who cares what he says. No one cared when he was VP.

    April 22, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  20. SUNSHINE

    OK so in the eigth years that you were the vp you failed to show your face and barely commented on anything. If Cheney could do a better job, why didnt he at least try to run for president?? His comments arent conducive to the improvement of the US so be quiet Cheney!!

    April 22, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  21. Bev - NYC

    Why is Dick Cheney being such a chatty Patty. I've seen him more than in the 8 yers he was being paid to help run the country. Can someone find out where his undisclosed location was and send him back. Anytime you want to apologize Vice for your mis-mangement of the country we will all tune in.

    April 22, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  22. Arvidel

    Dick Cheney is irrelevant. He has proved that he gives terrible advice and has little to no foresight. I wouldn't be surprised if Dick Cheney ended up in jail within the next five years.

    April 22, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  23. white plains mark

    who CARES what Dick Cheney says? The guy virtually ran our country for 8 years and got us into a war we didn't need to fight and enriched his old employer, Halliburton. He is a scary, creepy guy and he's out. so either prosecute him or move on.

    April 22, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  24. bar m chopper

    "Devastating" because Cheney's financial interests in Halliburton Corporation are going to take a hit. Do I smell a 2012 GOP Presidential candidate wannabe?

    April 22, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  25. Looloo

    Obama owns the next attack.

    April 22, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
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