May 22nd, 2009
03:52 PM ET
6 years ago

First on The CNN Ticker: Ridge disagrees with Cheney

(CNN) - Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge told CNN former Vice President Dick Cheney's repeated charge the Obama administration has made the country less safe is wrong.

"Yeah, I disagree with Dick Cheney," the Pennsylvania Republican and former Bush administration official told CNN's John King, adding he does not think the country is more vulnerable to an attack under President Obama.

Ridge's comments come after both Obama and Cheney gave dueling speeches on national security, during which the president sharply condemned Bush administration interrogation practices while Cheney vigorously defended them.

In the interview with CNN, set to air in full on State of The Union with John King Sunday, Ridge said he disagrees with "the approach both men are taking."

"It's just the whole notion of a Republican vice president giving a speech after the incumbent Democratic president," he said. "It's gotta go beyond the politics of either party."

The former Pennsylvania governor also took issue with a portion of Obama's speech, during which he said some Bush national security decisions were based on "fear, rather than foresight."

"I'm surprised that President Obama, who I really, truly believe knows better, would make such a statement," said Ridge. "The men and women in charge of America's security, whether they're military, or the intelligence community - the president, the vice president, the attorney general, the FBI director - did everything they could at the time to prevent another attack on America. And did it consistent with the Constitution and the rule of law."

Ridge, who served as the country's first homeland security secretary in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, said he's "disappointed in the president" for spending time criticizing past actions of the Bush administration."

"He keeps looking backwards to justify what he's doing now and I don't think at the end of the day - I think that becomes more politics than policy, and I don't think it's the kind of approach that we need to bring America together on this very important issue," he said.


Filed under: Dick Cheney • Popular Posts • State of the Union • Tom Ridge
soundoff (304 Responses)
  1. souljbs

    If bush put the effort in Afghanistan that he put into Iraq, there a great possibility we would not be at war and the republicans would still be in office, and if we had an economic plan other than going to war to war we might not be in th financial mess that we are in. I don't see myself ever voting republican again.

    May 22, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  2. jay

    cnn always does this. they always try to refute a story by finding a republican who does not agree with the party and try and make a big deal about it. you could do the same thing with democrates and most isssues to.

    May 22, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  3. Keith

    You, Mr. Cheney, you terrified more Americans than did any terrorist in the last seven years, and now it is time for you to desist, or to be made to desist.

    May 22, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. Claudia in Houson

    Ridge is right. If you listened closely to Cheney's speech yesterday, Cheney said that after 9/11(under the Bush administration) there were several attacks, amthracks?, and many others which he went on to name. Cheney is absolutely wrong and he said it himself, not Obama, but Cheney himself.

    May 22, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  5. MoodyBlue

    Had McCain picked Tom Ridge to have been his running mate, I can't help but feel we would have a different CINC.

    May 22, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  6. Jim

    "The CNN Ticker: Ridge disagrees with Cheney"

    Hey, news flash – Ridge disagrees with Obama too.

    Friggin' bone headed reporting!

    May 22, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. Randy

    Hmmm...I wonder he he has plans to run for the senate. Middle of the ground, moderate is what he needs to be.

    May 22, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  8. Romelus

    Some of these Rethuglicans have "amnesia"....Cheney and Bush kept us safe for 71/2 years!!!!! Yet thay keep forgeting the GREATEST terrorist attack in the US happened on THEIR watch.....9/11 happened while you guys were at the helm.....and now you expect us to believe what Cheney says on national security.....right.

    May 22, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. LISA

    So let me get this straight. Dick is parading around on TV saying its okay torture. Smart move DICK! I'm sure our enemies around the world loves to hear that. Will someone shut him up please! I think he's a danger to America especially now!

    May 22, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    Coming soon to a closet near you: Manson, Moussoui, Bundy and a whole slew of other murders, rapists and hard-core criminals currently bein held in maximum security prisons. Apparently, according to the GOP, our facilities are so poor, we can't keep anyone safe no matter what. Hope you guys can sleep at night...I sure can't...I just know Manson's gonna break free and plan a killing spree, then fly a Cessna into my back yard and paint Beatles lyrics in my blood all over the ceilings.

    May 22, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  11. Kevin Denver Colorado

    donttreadonme" This is the same weak liberal mentality the was our down fall in Veitnam. War is fought to win it is not a game with rules

    Buddy you are a psycho!!!!!!!

    May 22, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  12. Rick

    Hey CNN,
    I bet you have really been scrambling to find a Republican to diagree with Cheney.

    May 22, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  13. Kevin Denver Colorado

    EDR, the stimulus from Obama was simply an extension of the policies put in place by shrub. The economy was collapsing idiot!

    May 22, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  14. Louise

    I do not criticize Mr. Ridge for his comments except about the timing of Vice President Cheney's remarks. President Obama is the one who scheduled his talk almost 2 weeks after Vice President Cheney's was scheduled.

    May 22, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. Antony

    Dick is wrong.
    I don't see how torture makes a nation stronger. Period.
    someone please prove to me that we are stronger by going to the middle east, rounding up a couple of Arabs then torturing them.
    torture does not make us a stronger nation. If there was another attack it is not because we did not torture.

    May 22, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  16. J. McKenna

    Do we give Clinton kudos for no attacks on US soil from the bombing of the WTC in 1993 through 2000? He sure as hell kept us as safe as Bush did, without torture.

    May 22, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  17. sb

    Please sit down Dick, give us a break you and your daughter

    May 22, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  18. Jimmy the Greek

    @ Another Minn writes,

    "We could live in an entirely militarized state in which we are watched 24/7 by soldiers to "protect us" and that would not necessarily prevent a terrorist attack from happening. "

    Have you even STOPPED to think... had Obama been in charge the last 4 years.... the TERRORISTS would have hit the LA Airport and other locations!! Handling Al Qaeda leaders with kidd-gloves would have yielded NOTHING.

    And not to worry about me "moving to China"... Obama is bringing communism here!

    May 22, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  19. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    One truth lacking:- the truth from an independent investigator or commission of truth.

    May 22, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. Melissa

    Everything the Republicans do is based on fear mongering. The Republicans can claim otherwise all they want, but thats exactly what it is. And we are tired of it. Are you listening yet fascists?

    May 22, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  21. Dan

    Since when is Tom Ridge a "Top Republican"? He is a half-hearted Republican, at best.

    May 22, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  22. Henry

    9/11 happened on Cheney's watch, period! Navy commanding officers have been relieved of command for far less.

    May 22, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  23. tj

    @donttreadonme
    in ww2, americans did not torture or experiment on pows, unlike the japanese, did not mistreat civilians in occupied lands, like the nazis did in europe yet they won; largely by staying within the ideals of the nation.

    However, in vietnam, not sure if u missed out on what happened, but quite a few soldiers did pillage/rape/murder civilians, burned down whole villages, committed massacres....and then lost the war.

    May 22, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  24. Dave C - NJ

    To all the stupid conservatives that talk about waterboarding our own troops: The sign up for it. The are volunteers. They do it as training so that they can resist torture techniques if captured.

    I am related to 2 of them...and yes, it is torture according to them. Get a clue.

    May 22, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  25. steve

    Cheney should be tried for war crimes, and anything he has to say now is irrelevant!! We saw very little of Cheney for eight long years, and now he is the expert on everything. Cheney is irrelevant!!

    May 22, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
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