December 1st, 2009
11:18 AM ET
10 months ago

Cheney hits 'radical' Obama

Obama is 'far more radical' than Cheney expected.
Obama is 'far more radical' than Cheney expected.

(CNN) –Former Vice President Dick Cheney is again weighing in on President Barack Obama's foreign policy, declaring the relatively new commander-in-chief is projecting "weakness and is "far more radical than I expected."

The latest round of hard-hitting comments from Cheney come as Obama is set to detail his long-awaited plan for Afghanistan in a speech Tuesday night at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point. White House officials told CNN Tuesday the president's plan includes sending 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan within three to six months.

But in an interview with Politico published early Tuesday, Cheney suggested the president is making his foreign policy decisions based on political considerations.

"I begin to get nervous when I see the commander in chief making decisions apparently for what I would describe as small 'p' political reasons, where he's trying to balance off different competing groups in society," Cheney told the Web site.

Cheney also repeated his criticisms that Obama has taken too long to arrive at a decision about how to proceed in Afghanistan.

"Every time he delays, defers, debates, changes his position, it begins to raise questions: Is the commander in chief really behind what they've been asked to do?"

"Here's a guy without much experience, who campaigned against much of what we put in place ... and who now travels around the world apologizing," Cheney added later in the interview. "I think our adversaries – especially when that's preceded by a deep bow ... – see that as a sign of weakness."

Cheney also beat back statements from White House officials arguing Afghanistan's current instability is a result of the Bush administration's failure to provide adequate resources to the fragile country when it decided to invade Iraq.

Asked if he thinks the Bush Administration is responsible for any part of Afghanistan's current volatility, Cheney said, "I basically don't.

Cheney gave a series of interviews and speeches last spring in which he declared Obama had put the country's security at an elevated level of risk. The former vice president remained relatively quiet over the summer but forcefully reasserted himself in the center of the national security debate over the past two months.


Filed under: Dick Cheney • President Obama
soundoff (208 Responses)
  1. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    who cares what this fascist thinks?

    December 1, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. steven harnack

    How typical of him to not accept any responsibility for the current situation in Afghanistan. If not him then who? What did his administration do for 7 years? The Republican mantra of personal responsibility always seems to fail when put to the test.

    December 1, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. cardog

    Why can't Mr. Cheney just go away? You had 8 years to make the world perfect and you failed miserably. You and your party involved us in two wars and left both hanging in the wind. You and your party left the country almost bankrupted but blame it on President Obama's stimulas package and most importantly, you and your party had 8 years to present this country with a health care package but did NOTHING.
    Now you profess to have all the answers for what should be done? Give me and the American public a break...Pleeeeeze..just go away.

    December 1, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. wycliffe

    I hate to call the former VP now acting STUPID

    December 1, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "Every time he delays, defers, debates, changes his position, it begins to raise questions: Is the commander in chief really behind what they've been asked to do?"

    Translation: Every time he bothers to use facts, consult experts and put actual forethought into the decision whether to endanger the lives of our troops, is he really bothering to exert control over the military like a good CiC instead of being a puppet of the Joint Chiefs and Haliburton like Bush and Cheney were? Oh for shame....you're supposed to fly off the handle and place thousands upon thousands of young people in danger whenever the military suggests it.

    "I begin to get nervous when I see the commander in chief making decisions apparently for what I would describe as small 'p' political reasons, where he's trying to balance off different competing groups in society,"

    Translation: I really get nervous when it seems Obama is making tough decisions in an informed and responsible manner, because Bush and I sure didn't. Our only calculations prior to making military decisions were (a) war industry/war economy profit and (b) political profit furthering the neocon agenda in an attempt to entreanch the GOP in power for the next few decades. Of course, in true GOPer style, I'm now going to play the "I know you are but what am I game" and accuse Obama of pandering.

    December 1, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. sammieb51

    This from the guy who used the coded national "alert level" system to do nothing more than get votes. Give me a break. Particularly when the RNC is applauding the President's actions in Afghanistan. Get over yourself Dick. Check out his comments on April 14, 1994 re: going into Baghdad. Quite a contradictory guy, this one.

    December 1, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. Brice

    Obama was right things to do. He needs his time to review for a plan. While I remembered looking back in 2000 after 9/11. I bet George/Dick just wanted to go a war for just ignoring how plan at the beginning. However, where is smoking gun? I dont think Colin gave the message like that. The one who Dick advised Colin just to be bragged how excellent intelligences. 90 days for Obama did right thing to take his time. Maybe Bush decided within 30 days and ended, no nuke in Iraq since 2001. Also, what happen to OBL? He got away? huh Bush let OBL having fun in riding horse went into Pakinstan huh?
    If Bush caught OBL, today 12/1/2009 will tell big different story in world.

    December 1, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. JimB

    It is hard to take this guy seriously. How can he accuse Obama of making foreign policy decisions for domestic political reasons, when Bush/Cheney under-resourced the Iraqi invasion, under-resourced the blown capture of Bin Laden at Tora Bora and down-scaled the Afghan operation prematurely, all for political reasons?

    December 1, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
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