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. Jeff

    Doesn't he ever get tired of being wrong?

    April 22, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. JAG

    It was the Bush/Cheney administration that bailed out Wall Street, the banks, AIG, the mortgage giants and the auto companies. His crediblility is zero.

    April 22, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  3. FreeNLovIt

    The private sector is like a train, carrying goods. The government is like the railroad tracks. Without the train, the railroad tracks may lead to the universe, but there's no goods and no customers. Without the government, the private sector is like a train without a railroad track to slide on. They NEED each other in Holy Matrimony. Government in the end, serves a purpose to REGULATE GREED. That; is it's only purpose.

    April 22, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. VICKY

    Chaney hid for eight years and now he the limelight. We hated him when he was vice president and we really hate him now.

    April 22, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  5. The Dude

    Cheney is concerned about where the Obama Administration is taking the country economically? He thinks there's too much free spending? Has the Alzheimers finally set in?

    April 22, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  6. The Real Slim Shady

    This is what I do not comprehend about Cheney. When he was Vice President and the finicial crisis was in ful bloom, he remained silent. During crucial times in his tenure as VP, he never weighed in. He never showed any interest in the issues that were affecting the American people. Now that his job is officially over, he has so much to say?

    April 22, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  7. Ancient River

    WAAAH! He never opened his mouth during the Bush years as he & Bush & Friends all silently drove the credibility and finances of the US off a cliff with their criminal or barely legal and ehtically challenged leadership. Now this same pig dares to criticize. Of course Obama is not pursuing the Bush/Cheyney policies that got us in this mess. Why would any sensible person? I hope they throw Cheyney in jail and lose the key. Obama could find the cure for cancer or singlehandedly create world peace and Cheyney would be there with his shameless
    accusationa and whining.

    April 22, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  8. Ron

    Where was Cheney the last eight years! NOW he has a voice?

    April 22, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  9. adamandkanani

    You had no problem spending all of our hard earned tax dollars on an illegal and unjust war with Iraq. Maybe if we weren't in two wars right now we wouldn't have this problem. Hypocrisy knows no bounds.

    April 22, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  10. fed

    Mr. Cheney there is treatment for what you've got: the truth. Telling a bit of the truth everyday for the next, lets' say thirty years, might allow you to speak put of the front of your mouth again.

    April 22, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  11. Unbelievable

    GO AWAY CHENEY!!! I find it amazing that he is so very visible to the public now that he is out of office but couldn't be found when he was supposed to have been serving the American public.

    Also, I find it unbelievably hypocritical for someone who increased the national debt immensely through consistently irresponsible policies to be lecturing Obama's administration on spending.

    April 22, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  12. Bill

    Mr. Cheney~

    You certainly have the right to state your opinion. And based on your past record, President Obama has the right as well as the duty to completely ignore anything and everything you have to say!

    April 22, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  13. Shyla Swamy

    Dick Cheney has been wrong on everything. This is a creature who should never have been born. He is a scourge on humanity. He does not have one single redeembale quality in him and the few people who like him are either as evil as him or too stupid for words

    April 22, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  14. Cheikh Cherif

    I just don't get it are they actually for real the last time i checked the news this GUY and the Other Texan GUY put the country on a nose Dive traight to Hell and the new president is trying to get the bus out of the distch why are we even listening to these Jerks who used the politics of fear to govern....

    April 22, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  15. Tom Berry,Murray, Ky.

    Typical whining Republican. Cheney/Bush loused it up and now all they have is criticism for the ones that have to clean up the mess.

    April 22, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  16. Cherry M. Felton

    I have heard and seen Cheney more now than in all the two terms he server with President Bush. Please go away its over you had your chance.

    April 22, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  17. natkat

    why is this crook even giving the opportunity to speak? he should be doing so from behind the bars??? horrible... horrible...

    April 22, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  18. steve Ta

    Cheney should spend eternity in the Hell he imprisoned the country in for 8 years, and is still trying to undermine. This man loves himself and his cronies – NOT his country. He has gone insane with anger that Obama has been in office for 92 days and hasn't bombed anyone!

    April 22, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  19. Tom S.

    Dear Dick,

    We don't care what you think anymore. We only cared when you were in office because you had power. Now you're irrelevant.

    I'm sure the new way of doing business WILL be devastating - to you. Now you know how the rest of us felt when you subverted our country for your own personal gain and screwed everyone else.

    Crawl back under your rock. Good bye.

    April 22, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  20. Limbo

    As a registered Republican all I can say is shut up Dick – it just reconfirms my vote for Obama.

    Dick you had your eight years now go away you are completely irrelevant.

    I'll also add the GW would have done a better job if he hadn't listened to you on issues of policy.

    April 22, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  21. Jason

    Who is this guy again? I didnt pay attention to the last 8 years of the presidency because it was being run buy he who must not be named.

    April 22, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  22. roy

    Cheney is right on the mark, Obamas policies are terrible, and even Democrats dont like them. All the blind Obama followers will wake up someday and see just what a real clown he is. Yikes!

    April 22, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  23. Eric

    I like what someone else said here. Cheney was wrong about everything. He was wrong about the war in Iraq. He was wrong about torture. He was wrong about our foriegn policy. He was wrong about domestic policy. He was wrong about the economy.

    He's still wrong.

    Dick Cheney used our fear after 9/11 against us. He propped up phony falsified intelligence to push his own personal agenda and increase power. He did this at the expense of others- it cost many people their lives. Dick Cheney is a criminal of the worst kind.

    April 22, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  24. SR

    Cheney-Bush were "devastating" to this country.

    Dick, you broke the law and you're a war criminal. You deserve to spend the rest of your life in prison.

    April 22, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  25. Look Forward

    The more nonsense we hear from people like Dick Cheney and Newt (I will say or do anything for my own personal advantage) Gingrich, the better the indication that America is on the right road again.

    April 22, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
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