December 30th, 2009
06:25 PM ET
8 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. Old-Fashioned Republican

    I truly feel sorry for Dick Cheney. He's become such a... such a... such a... caricature.

    The poor incompetent little fellow is just desperately desperately desperately grasping for anything that will return him to some modicum of relevance.

    Poor poor little guy. If only he'd grow up. Sigh.

    December 30, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  2. Vietnam vet

    Cheney is nothing more than an empty barrel. Where was the tough guy during the Viet-nam war. This chickeh hawk disgusts me. Let that administration rot in hell.

    December 30, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    You GOPers do realize that once Obama wins a second term and knows he doesn't have to worry about re-election, etc., Cheney's clock gets punched, don't you? His robot heart better give out or he better find a nice foreign country to live in sometime before January 2013.

    December 30, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. Sam789

    Finally, we have a real American president, not a forked tongue loser like Cheney. Dick Cheney is your classic American loser. He and Bush dodged the draft and expanded the war... just look what they did to America in just 7 years. Now ironic that we liberals are paying for their cushy retired life.

    Stupid is what stupid does. Conservatives are directly responsible for the war-mess and financial mess....and look how they howl today like they have been "wronged". Then again, what else can they do – they did this to Clinton too, remember? Hey, the stock market is up, consumer confidence is up, and health care will pass....and the rich are going to pay their fair share in taxes next year. GoBama!

    December 30, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  5. lucerot

    Cheney is just furious that Obama's steady, intelligent, and pragmatic leadership highlights the utter failures of his own attempts to govern this nation/world. Cheney's rhetoric won't erase his miserable legacy. He need to crawl back under his hole, and try not to sh00t anyone in the face on the way out.

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

    When he got his multiple deferments from the draft, Coward Cheney pretended we were not at war in Vietnam.
    And when he got his multiple citations (and convictiions) for drunk driving, Sot Cheney pretended he was sober enough to drive.

    December 30, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Cheney had his time in power, and was a member of one of the most hated administrations in history. Now he needs to SHUT UP and stay quite in Wyoming

    December 30, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  8. John

    Islamic Fundamentalist will continue to attack the US regardless of who's president. The problem, after 9 years, is that our intelligency agencies do not communicate. All passengers from foreign countries should undergo full body imaging before boarding a plane, the no-fly list should be expanded, and visa's to the US should be hard to get.
    Our systems failed to stop the first attack and continue to fail us now. All we have done is made flying difficult for Americans trying to move around the country. I wish I had a dollar for every senior citizen I have seen being patted down.

    December 30, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  9. unemployed by Obama

    Obama, man up, accept responsibility for yours and your administrations stupidity and the making of the country less safe by your policies and dealings with terroists. In ther eyes of many, you are part of the problem.

    December 30, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  10. George in AZ.

    Why is this mass murderer not behind bars? He's responsible for 4000 of our troops that have been killed in Iraq and another 3000+ on 9/11 while he and his pal were asleep at the switch. He along with Bush and Rove should be water boarded in Guantanamo since it's so important to him.

    December 30, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  11. robwestchester

    DICK Cheney, you seem to think you are relevant. You seem to think the American people are idiots and have a short memory on the havoc you and your cronies wreaked on this country. Your first name truly suits you.

    December 30, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  12. catlover

    I am so tired of hearing Dick Cheney run his mouth, constantly criticizing and wishing terror on this country.

    You're out of a job now, Dick. Please go away.

    You're one of the reasons I'm not a Republican anymore.

    December 30, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  13. john

    How is Obama weak on terror? Homeland Security was set up by his republican predecessors. The administration was just using the tools handed down to them.

    The country would probably be using body scanners, except the overweight republicans did not want their fat rolls exposed for public consumption.

    December 30, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  14. palou

    chaney seems to forget that he was running the show when the twin towers were bombed and the other plane tried to hit the pentagon. And what did he do to make this not happen.
    why was chaney hiding before the near miss was even anounced.

    chaney needs to get his job back at "haliburton" so we can once again be reminded of his dirty history and present.

    We should send some "School of the Americas" graduates after chaney...

    December 30, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  15. WKW

    As I recall, the 911 attack took place on the Bush-Cheney watch not the Obama watch. Bush and Cheney did NOT protect America from that attack. How are we to accept Cheney's guidance on keeping America safe given that administration's track record? I am not totally satisfied with every thing our present administration has done but I am certainly not about to allow Cheney a pass and elevate him to senior statesman.

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

    who declared war on the USA and when was that done?

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

    For the love of pete hasn't this guy found something else to do yet... Walmart needs greeters don't they?

    December 30, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  18. roy in ky

    So Amsterdam and Nigeria are closing the barn door after the horse is already out. Great! Oh, how about the rest of the world? I feel so much safer already. Ignorance and political motions of our gov and the press astound me. What idiots.

    December 30, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  19. Max Vickers

    Dick Cheney is so scared this Attorney General may get him beyond bars soon or later,he makes noise tempting to justify his evil acts during his terms in the WH.We understand you Dick.Stop saying those same non sense things that caused more than 4,000 young american lives in Iraq.
    You still don`t have any regret.Good for you !!!!

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

    Republicans are "grown up" Democrats. Cheney is right on this one.

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

    Former VP Dick Cheney needs to let go and realize that the rest of us see him for what he is...a war profiteer...either politicaly or financially. He & Bush will go down as the worse administration in American history.

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

    Obama's decision-making process did not delay any additional troops sent to Afghanistan. The general's request was for more troops in 2010, not "immediately". Get the facts, it may give you a headache, but you will see things more clearly.

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

    Cheney and his cronies-supporters-must have Xtremely short memories. Who was on the bridge tower when our beloved country was attacked on 9/11. Who was inept in consolidating the FBI AND CIA?? Who was pre warned that terrorist would attack our homeland and did NOTHING, except vacation in crawford?? Who fiddled while the twin towers burned?? And they call Obama weak?

    December 30, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  24. DawnL,CA

    Why isn't Cheney in Jail?
    1-ignored intelligence paper before 9/11 stating Al-Qaeda to attack USA.
    2-Let Bin-Laden escape from Tora Bora
    3-War in Iraq...no WMD
    4-called any American who did not agree with the adm. a traitor.
    5-outed a CIA operative to get back at her husband for his remarks re adm. Put not only her but her contacts in jeopardy.Ruined her career at CIA.
    6-can't keep his mouth shut.
    Just go spend your money from all the military contracts & Halliburton & let us real Americans pick up the pieces from all the crap you left us with.

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

    I agree with Cheney on this one. Obama is more worried about his personality status around the world then these terror actions on the US. It took him 3 days to get off the golf course to finally make a statement.

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