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. GaryL

    Cheney would rather see America burned at the hands of terrorists than to see Obama's ways succeed. Like a scorned groom, he whines and runs down the better man. He and Palin would make a pair, wouldn't they?

    December 30, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  2. Steve

    Cheney is right on with his comments and would be a much better president than Obama. To think otherwise is simply foolhardy, but then most on the left are fools. They vote based on emotion rather than logic. Cheney in 2012!.

    December 30, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  3. Albo58

    Dick Cheney is right! After this President gets off the back 9 in Hawaii, the first thing he needs to do is fire the incompetent Napolitano and hire someone that realizes these people are TERRORISTS and we are at war with these TERRORISTS! Then, he needs to realise that his and Holder's political stunt of trying these illegal combatants in civil court is a huge mistake and turn them over to a military tribunal in Guantanamo. War is Hell, but it is even tougher when you can't admit that you're in one!

    December 30, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  4. Dickej

    if you hadn't been military then i guess you would not know that even though the President was smart at not rushing in his decision to send more troops (like George W. Bush did in the IRAQ WAR). would know that even if the President had rush his decision it would have taken still months for troops to arrive in Afghanistan. I am sorry because i was in the Military and know these things. During the Vietnam War i wish we had a SMART President Like PRESIDENT OBAMA then.

    December 30, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  5. civil

    Mr Cheney, if you don't agree with Obama then wait till 2012 and run for office. American spoke in 2008 and your party and ideas were declared losers.

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

    It makes me sad to read that Chenny is out there critisizing and distracting the current adminisration.It was under their watch that the country was attacked.Why didn't they stop it?Mr Chenny, go to your retirement. You have no credibility.

    December 30, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  7. Margaret Lehmann

    Has he forgotten that he is the 'most despised' person in the USA according to a significant poll. We can thank him and his administration for the hatred fomented by his illegal war. Will he EVER go away!!!

    December 30, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  8. Henry

    I believe it was like a full week before President Bush said anything about the shoe bomber incident after it happened. I also don't recall President Obama saying we're not at war. But "War on Terror" was always stupid. War on an abstract concept? Might as well say "War on Fear." Makes as much sense. We are at war against Al-Qaeda and Obama has never said we're not.

    December 30, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  9. John

    I think water boarding Dick Cheney will make America safer.

    December 30, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  10. tee

    We ned to combat the terrorist from within-GOP.......they talk tough in groups....act tough only in the movies.

    December 30, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  11. Deb

    The only headline I want to see Cheney's name in is one that says he has been arrested for his war crimes.

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

    Mr. Cheney gave the shoe bomber a lawyer and a
    trial. The shoe bomber's case is almost exactly the same
    as this recent incident. So, why was it OK then but now it
    indicates that the president doesn't think we are at war.
    Could it be that Cheney is a hypocrite? I think even Hannity
    listeners realize this fact.

    December 30, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  13. Mlhall

    Hey Dick , don't piss President Obama off he may come after you to put your tied behine in jail for starting a war that killed a lot of USA troop for no reason at all.

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

    Hahaha, well Cheney certainly knows how to make the country less safe. He's the only VP to have a major terrorist attack happen on his watch. I wish the admin would respond to his crticism with an indictement, that man belongs in jail.

    Seriously, who cares what this nitwit has to say?

    December 30, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  15. Wake Up Please

    Cheney should be in jail. Really.

    It's not only that the Cheney/Bush administration was completely incompetent as well as arrogant, but many of Cheney's actions seem to be completely illegal.

    December 30, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  16. Clay

    Why isn't Cheney rotting in jail somewhere?

    December 30, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Cheney is the modern American Goebbels. His word should be mud after what he dealt in for 8 years, thanks very much. Anyone who lost a loved one in Iraq since the war began should send Tricky Dick a thank you note, and then ignore him forever now that he is out of office. Still can't believe you not only gave him a term, but a SECOND one. Enjoy your new Vietnam.

    December 30, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  18. jeff

    What a hypocritical pile of garbage. This administration has spent the last year blaming Bush for everything from global warming to indigestion. Not to mention their time on the campaign trail or the dems in general during Bush's tenure.

    These egotistical pukes have no shame.

    December 30, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  19. overit

    dick cheney should just be thankful this administration isn't looking into his instigating comments that got us involved in the iraq war. he's a war criminal and he knows it. putting him behind the bars that he deserves would shut him up.

    December 30, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  20. shmeckell

    This is shameful on both sides. Cheney has valid points, and I believe if he would discuss them face to face with white house officials in lieu of making them public his points would be taken into consideration, and not defended against. At the same time I wish the white house would understand that it takes two to play politics.

    December 30, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  21. Tim

    Cheney is such an idiot (with a dead brain) that he doesn't remember that good old boy Bush took 6 days before he ever responded to the shoe bomber. The shoe bomber happenned under Bush's watch and was attempting the same type of bombing using the same materials.

    Oh yeh, 3000 Americans also DIED under Bush's watch.

    Cheney needs to go away, because his comments ecourage terrorism.

    December 30, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  22. A Republican

    AMEN to :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 republican party has lost my vote for good!

    December 30, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  23. Dave

    Dick Cheney is a disgrace!

    December 30, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  24. Stuart Smalley

    Wasn't the Death Star vaporized a while back? It seems that the spirit of Lord Vader and the Emperor will just not go away.
    Hey Dick....behave yourself. Go clean your shotgun or something will ya? Notice how quiet Dubyah's been? Maybe he should invite you over for some of Laura's delicious chocolate chip cookies and some nice warm milk to help you fall asleep for your afternoon nap.

    December 30, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  25. Bob

    All Cheney cares about is perpetual war. He is an evil man.
    The twin towers and building 7 were taken down by controlled demolition. If the truth ever became mainstream Cheney and co.
    would be tried before a world court and the United States would be
    reviled around the world (it is already). The truth is hard to face:
    Our own government was complicit in the 9/11 attacks. Cheney is
    the real terrorist. How many innocent people died because of his lies?

    December 30, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
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