December 30th, 2009
06:25 PM ET
10 months ago

White House forcefully responds to Cheney

The White House is responding forcefully to former Vice President Dick Cheney's comments Wednesday that are sharply critical of President Obama's response to the botched terror attack on Christmas Day.
The White House is responding forcefully to former Vice President Dick Cheney's comments Wednesday that are sharply critical of President Obama's response to the botched terror attack on Christmas Day.

(CNN) - The White House is responding forcefully to former Vice President Dick Cheney's comments Wednesday that are sharply critical of President Obama's response to the botched terror attack on Christmas Day.

"It is telling that Vice President Cheney and others seem to be more focused on criticizing the Administration than condemning the attackers," White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer wrote on the White House's official blog. "Unfortunately too many are engaged in the typical Washington game of pointing fingers and making political hay, instead of working together to find solutions to make our country safer."

The response comes hours after Cheney delivered a blistering statement saying the administration's response is proof that the president "is trying to pretend we are not at war."

"He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won't be at war," Cheney said in the statement. "He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of 9/11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civilian court, we won't be at war. He seems to think if he closes Guantanamo and releases the hard-core al Qaeda-trained terrorists still there, we won't be at war."

Cheney also said Obama outwardly "pretends we aren't [at war]," and the former vice president repeated his months-long criticism that the new president has made America "less safe."

In his blog posting Wednesday, Pfeiffer writes the Bush-Cheney strategy of focusing on Iraq led to a strengthened al-Qaeda on the boarder region between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and maintained it is President Obama's new policy of focusing resources on the war in Afghanistan that has made the country more safe.

"To put it simply: this President is not interested in bellicose rhetoric, he is focused on action," Pffiefer writes. "Seven years of bellicose rhetoric failed to reduce the threat from al Qaeda and succeeded in dividing this country. And it seems strangely off-key now, at a time when our country is under attack, for the architect of those policies to be attacking the President."

Pfeifer also takes issue with the former vice president's contention that Obama "pretends we aren't at [war]," saying the president and members of his administration have referred to being at war with al Qaeda several times.

"There are numerous…public statements that explicitly state we are at war," writes Pfeifer. "The difference is this: President Obama doesn't need to beat his chest to prove it, and – unlike the last Administration – we are not at war with a tactic ("terrorism"), we at war with something that is tangible: al Qaeda and its violent extremist allies. And we will prosecute that war as long as the American people are endangered."


Filed under: Dick Cheney • Extra • President Obama
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. unemployed by Obama

    We would condem the attacks if Obama and his administration would be upfront and say the system DID NOT work, but instead Obama and his administration has said it worked and puts all the resposibility of protecting America from terroists on the passengers of the plane. Come on Obama why dont you MAN UP and accept that your administration and you are both where the buck stops. Obama Quit playing the blame game and stand up and man up.

    December 30, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  2. boubouille

    I was once a republican, but no more. Thanks to Cheney and dumbo.

    December 30, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  3. jewelee

    Funny how the GOP critisizes Obama and easily forgets they were in charge when we watched those planes go thru the twin towers. Who was asleep at the helm then?

    December 30, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  4. T

    Labeling the struggle against terrorism as a "war" only legitimizes those fringe groups and increases their ranks through propoganda that the US really is at war with Islamic nations. Instead of legitimizing them, marginalize them as the heinous criminals they are.

    December 30, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  5. Obama Mama

    I don't think toadstool cheyney said this many words while he was vp. He should be behind bars. He should be kissing Obama's hindparts for not investigating his criminal activities further. This man belongs in a cave. He should work on his poor posture

    December 30, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  6. jim

    Dick, go take care of your wife and say something that will help.

    December 30, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  7. not entitled to your own "facts"

    Do you think it is possible for Republicans to stop touting how safe they managed to keep the US? I can say without question that I did not feel safe as I watched coverage of planes being deliberately flown into buildings on September 11, 2001. Perhaps what the distortionists should say is: "...except for that pesky 9/11 where thousands were murdered...oh, and Richard Reid..um, of course that little Anthrax problem...well, then there was the DC sniper attacks on innocent people as they pumped gas or walked to their cars at Home Depot and let's not forget...."

    Children blame other people for their actions and the subsequent consequences. Sound familiar?

    December 30, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  8. Oliver

    how quick we forget that the 911 terrorist attack happened under the watchful eye of Bush-Cheney. Lets also not forget how many American lives were lost and private contract firms enriched fighting a war in IRAQ because they had weapons of mass destruction......

    December 30, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  9. JC

    Mr Cheney we have seen your ability to protect America. 9/11.
    Never again should you and your kind have an opportunity to defend this country. I may not like everything about this administarion but compared to you and your lack of values the choice is easy.

    December 30, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  10. Roxanne Auge

    I think you nailed it with, "It is telling that Vice President Cheney and others seem to be more focused on criticizing the Administration than condemning the attackers," – very profound.

    I find the lack of integrity and respect for the truth exhibited in the sound bite rhetoric of the government officials who make it their job to criticize and attempt to obstruct every action of the current administration much more frightening than anything foreign terrorists might do to us.

    December 30, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  11. w a patterson

    Cheney is no longer elected for anything.......dog catcher, anything. Why is he fondled over? We really need to move on from that old guy.
    He wants to remind us of his reign of terror and fear. He wants everyone to know he was "right" about this war against America he and his crazed followers thrust upon us.. I am sorry to report..."the man is of the Idiot Class".

    December 30, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  12. Mary Mary

    Poor Dick...he must be SO bored.
    Not to worry, the Karma Fairy will take care of him soon enough.

    December 30, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  13. sharp2

    Obama has made us less safe. Obama still refuses to admit there is a War on Terror. He is too afraid of offending anyone. He is the "I'm Sorry" President. And I am sorry that I thought he would be a great President.

    December 30, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  14. Stephen Charchuk

    What's even worse is Cheney, and the Bush administration, pretending that it was at war with Iraq for 9/11 and almost completely abandoning the efforts in Afghanistan to everyone else ..... Cheney should learn to just shut up already. He's a major disgrace and a fool....

    December 30, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  15. Jim

    I find it reprehensible that Mr. Cheney chooses to atttack Obama's firm and focused response to the terrorist attack.

    I used to think Spiro Agnew was our nation's worst Vice President, but now Dick Cheney holds that dishonorable prize!

    December 30, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  16. veritas

    Does anyone doubt that Cheney and his fellow right wing extremists were sorely disappointed that this recent attack failed? The real truth is that Bush and Cheney allowed the greatest act of terrorism in this country's history..................and then went after the wrong people.

    December 30, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  17. amazed

    911 happened on your watch DICK. And Richard Clark tries and tried to warn you boneheaded Good Bushies burt you refiused to listen.

    December 30, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  18. AnProf

    This terrorist should be roughly interrogated for more information as he is an unlawful, enemy combatant at war with us and targeting civilians, rather than treated as an "alleged" criminal citizen with constitutional rights. Cheney is absolutely correct.

    December 30, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  19. James

    I hope this is not an interruption to Obama's golf game and he can continue to enjoy his $4000 a night rental in Hawaii without the stresses of dealing with the problems; unemployment, terrorism, foreclsoures etc. that Americans are worrying about.

    Remember, for Obama it is all about Obama.

    December 30, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  20. jfs Memhis, Tn

    We need to stick together against the radical terrorists and keep our political differences amongst our USA family. The weakness is loose cannons(as the former VP)shooting their mouths off and trying to make politics at the expense of the security of American Citizens. It is shameful, and we will not forget on voting day. Not this time Dick...never again. The line has been drawn by you and the individual GOP fractions. The Republicans are all about NOTHING so far. Our strength as nation will not come attcking each other under the micrscope of the militants. It will come as working together for the common cause of irradicating our terrorist enemies. This is shameful.

    December 30, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  21. Cindy- St. Louis

    This troll needs to stay in his undisclosed location, or under the bridge, or wherever he nests, and keep his mouth shut.

    All that ever comes out of it is vile.

    December 30, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  22. nat from sc

    Cheney, once a moron always a moron.

    December 30, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  23. Justin

    Cheney's hard-line fear mongering didn't stop the shoe-bomber attack, so he's on thin ice to pretend that the Obama administration's approach is somehow flawed because of the underwear-bomber attack.

    Further, Cheney's military tribunals and prison camps have been horribly ineffective at convicting the loathsome criminals who attacked America, compared to the civilian courts that locked away the D.C. sniper and the unabomber.

    December 30, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  24. matt

    The Obama administration goes on the rhetoric to blame the past Bush administration for almost everything even the ineptitude of his administration and his own clumsy handling of Islamic radicalism and terrorism - something he believes is non existent that his admininstration cannot accept the fact that terrorisim exists. Even the word is a no no in his administration resorting to terms such as "man-made disaster". America has to wake up as Obama is only interested in "photo-ops" to prop up his stature and not the security of the U.S.

    December 30, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  25. Olu Amey

    if Chenny is half intelligent about security as he claims to be now – there will be no 9-11 and there will be no IRAQ, please Mr. President get him a job since he is too idle now

    December 30, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
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