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. Houff

    Cheney SHOULD be quiet– as quiet as Gore, Clinton, Obama and others were for the 8 years he and Bush were in office. In other words, the shoe is on the other foot, so put up with a little dissent.

    December 30, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. jerry

    It is odd that Cheney never has anything positive to say about anything. When he was Vice President you never heard nothing from him, now when everybody is trying to clean up his and his cronies messes you cant get the guy to shut up. In my humble opinion this idiot should have been tried for war crimes and manufacturing a war in Iraq along with Bush and Rumsfield and Rove. If they would have been from any other country in the world they would have been tried and convicted. Not to mention the fact that Cheney lied about the Plume situation and had another one of his crooked cronies take the fall for it. What a loser.

    December 30, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. mac

    Cheney is a coward. He hid out in his "man cave" during the entire 9/11 tragedy and didn't come out till the "all clear" was given. Cheney has got to be the worst vice president this country has ever seen. It's a shame he never reads these blogs. What a shameful little man!

    December 30, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    Bob in PA: The President is responding because he's not going to stand by and let the liars promote their anti-American agenda.

    And that's exactly what it is: The GOP wants our president and our country to fail.

    How anyone can support that agenda and still call themselves an American, is beyond me.

    GOP = Party Before Country

    December 30, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  5. Steve

    Why in God's name do you give this loser any airtime..9/11 happened on his watch for crissakes!!!..Using Dicky's logic, the attacker was Nigerian, thru Yemen..Therefore people in Norway, or Peru better duck...He is an idiot!!!

    December 30, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. gerryluimes

    Mr.Cheney is not the only problem ;The American citizen is.
    Quite obviously,the country needs to be renamed from USA to DSA(divided states of america) Insecurity,criticism,political infighting and
    apparent impotence to personal discipline could very well result in a country that is ungover nable.......Her "regal" status is melting away.
    Perhaps amalgamation with Communist China which was previously vigorously derided , but now has been adopted as our financial savior , may prove to be an attractive looking solution.
    How times change..............

    gerry at Edmonton,Can.

    December 30, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  7. david thompson

    darth vader cheney needs to keep his corrupt mouth shut...he was in power when 911 happened and he personally screwed up the war in iraq of which was a lie to the american people....he need to zip his big lips..no one want to hear what spews out........sit in your wheelchair and just grow old...

    December 30, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  8. Justin

    Maybe Obama should invade another country. Say ... Indonesia, this time. Would that make Cheney happy?

    Talk about fighting the last century's wars. Cheney is a fool.

    December 30, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  9. Ray in Phoenix

    Unfortunately for our nation, Cheney is 100% correct.

    December 30, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  10. Paul H

    I'm not a fan of Dick Cheney. But I agree with his statements. I mean after the statements made by Obamas top officials trying to play down the incident. This administration want's to treat these terrorist like a common criminal. It's crazy.
    And Pfeifer is basically ranting just like Cheney, only on the opposite end of the issue. This is what our politicians do now. Play patty cake back and forth, and it's enemy's laugh at us.

    December 30, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  11. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    Gee, I miss have a REAL vice president.

    December 30, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  12. Fitz in Texas

    Once again the White House has proven it's very difficult to deal with the truth.

    December 30, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  13. commonman13

    is Cheney still hiding in the bunkers and playing hide and seek with his grand kids?

    December 30, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  14. True Blue American

    Oh please. Cheney criticizing the Obama Administration is like the Detroit Lions criticizing the Indianapolis Colts for not going undefeated.

    December 30, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  15. Pete

    No terrorist attacks on Bush's watch after 9/11? What about Richard Reid? Or the Anthrax murders?

    Granted, Spain and England WERE attacked, but those countries managed to arrest and convict the terrorists responsible in civilian courts without devolving into fits of paranoid panic and fear.

    December 30, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  16. MERC

    CHENEY: The poster boy for Al-Qaeda recruitment.

    December 30, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  17. Bob (Illinois)

    Cheney is DANGEROUS and has been for many years!

    As I keep saying: He has earned some "quality time" in Leavenworth.

    December 30, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  18. Republicans for Obama

    "He and Bush kept us safe."

    You mean by releasing two of the guys responsible for the Christmas day attack? Yeah, heck of a job, Dick!! Keep us any "safer" and we'll all be dead.

    December 30, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  19. hereslauphinatcha

    It's time to issue some Federal indictments starting with Bush, Cheney, and the entire Republican party.

    December 30, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  20. Sandy

    We need to heal our broken country, the Obama administration is doing the best job they can given the mess of the last 8 years. I am 100% behind the president and I commend the white house for standing up to Darth Vader (Cheney). Is there any way the media would just stop printing the vindictive things he says? He is a bitter man and karma will get him for all his evil doings.

    Thank you President Obama and the entire White House administration for all you are doing!

    December 30, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  21. Danny J

    If the Obama administration was this forceful with foreign policy, maybe we wouldn't have as many issues with terrorists.

    December 30, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  22. mjm

    Looks like Obama needs someone else to fight his wars for him.

    He can't stand up to Cheney himself, so Pfeiffer has to step in....wuss.

    Cheney is a greater American than Obama will ever be.

    December 30, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  23. Chtei

    Cheney is one of the the worst enemies we have in the America today, this is a man that has started a false religious war and costs us trillions of dollars and more than 4,000 American lives for no reason while terrorists cost us 3,000 on 9/11. Why isn't this man in prison? Or on the waterboard? He is lucky his name isn't somehow on the terror watch list.

    December 30, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  24. Bassman

    Sarah Palin was attacked for suggesting we should have "profiled" Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter. Now former VP Cheney is attacked for stating what we already know, Pres. Obama has tryed to lower the "bellicose rhetoric" on terrorism, and it has not kept us safer. It is now time to listen to the Republican hawks

    December 30, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  25. RightWingNut

    Cheney is an embarrassment to all Americans. The man avoided serving his country and then has the gall to assail this President? Cheney is a coward.

    December 30, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
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