December 30th, 2009
06:25 PM ET
9 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. Joshua

    Simply put, Darth Cheney really, really likes terrorism. He wants it to happen. A lot. When people get terrified, they voluntarily give up more of their rights for a false sense of security. Cheney's dream come true would be multiple attacks and lots of death so that Americans would give up the Bill of Rights.

    President Obama has another approach to our safety: basic human decency and the rule of law.

    December 30, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  2. Michelle

    Lord, shut up, Dick Cheney. You had your eight years of fear-mongering and money-grubbing and rights-stomping. Take your morally bankrupt self and go away. Far away.

    December 30, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  3. JR

    And Cheney thinks that acting like we had cause to invade Iraq is enough, that denying people a day in court by hiding them in secret prisons is American justice, that enabling surveillance of ALL Americans including grandmothers in Florida is some how making us safe. Cheney is an idiot.

    December 30, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  4. Richard L

    Dick Cheney was VP for an adminstration that FAILED for 7 years to get the person responsible for 9/11. His leader, Bush, said he wasn't concerned about bin Laden.

    Cheney has ZERO credibility.

    December 30, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. M. H. - Ky.

    "Uncle Dick" just can't accept that he is no longer President but still wants to tell everyone how it should be done!!!!

    December 30, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  6. Mike S., New Orleans

    Dick Cheney.... wasn't he one of those guys who said we have to sacrifice american troop's lives because Sadam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction? Isn't he the one who showed congress pictures of Iraqi cement trucks and said they contained uranium? And wasn't Dick Cheney one of the guys who ignored the bipartisan Hart-Rudman report that said terrorists were going to use airplanes against American buildings? Yes, it's the same old Dick.

    December 30, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  7. B

    Has there ever been a more Despicable person in politics that you can remember than Cheney ??

    Cheney is more destructive to people actually trying to END these Wars that he and his War monger patner Bush started!

    December 30, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  8. JD from Moraga, CA

    To "karen":

    You said "He [Cheney] and Bush kept us safe. Lets see how this passive attempt by Obama keeps us safe.So far I would say he is not convincing."

    Did you miss the whole part where 9/11 happened while they were running things?

    December 30, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  9. djames

    Dick Cheney is nothing more than a chicken-hawk loser Republicon.
    He is a true "hero" to all the FASCIST TEA BAGGERS out there.
    Message to the wignnuts: "America, Love it or Leave it !!
    HA HA HA !!!

    December 30, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  10. mjm

    "President Obama doesn't need to beat his chest to prove it..."

    Because he bruises easily.

    December 30, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  11. Sandy Witherspoon

    Dick Cheney seems to think....never mind, he doesn't ever seem to think!!!

    December 30, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  12. HatesCheney

    Pretending is what your administration did with Iraq. You pretended there was a crdeible threat from there so you can have YOUR war. This president is focused on the facts not just what you want to pretend.

    December 30, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  13. jerseylou

    Mr. President if you play soft ball with the so called heart attack man you are not going to get know where. The American People want to see you slap the bracelets on this war criminal , that's the bottom line.

    December 30, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. NC

    Cheney should be indicted for treason.

    December 30, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  15. Arlene, Illinois

    Did someone turn over a rock and out popped Cheney?

    December 30, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  16. Marta

    Mr. Cheney has no shame. The Bush administration got us into a war that was a lie, destroyed the economy and ignored warnings about 9/11. They didn't keep us safe. That's the biggest lie. What ever happened to "if you're not with us, you're against us". It is going to take years to undo the damage done by this loud mouth and his cronies. His continual barage against the President of the United States is ridiculous. Go quietly into the night Mr. Cheney, you've outlived your relevance.

    December 30, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  17. lynn

    its sad that when Dick Cheney was vice president he never had any thing to say.. half the time we did not know if he was dead or alive.. now all of a sudden he has a voice.. go back under the rock and stay there.

    December 30, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  18. Otto

    Cheney should know his five minutes of shame/fame was up long ago. When is this buffoon going to go away as he did for eight years; while pulling the puppet strings? I guess he thinks he is still in control and sits in his bunker. People are tired of his blasphemy, hypocrisy and arrogance.

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

    Oh Dick, please stop. For god's sake, pleeeease stop. You amaze me. Please live in peace and let others live in peace. You are old now – your day may or may not be too far. Everyone has to die one day. You too, Sir. Don't you want to at least be a human and enjoy life as a human before your day arrives? You are robot who is technically maligned.

    December 30, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  20. dave

    I hate Dick Cheney and his cynical political games more than just about anything in this world...except for Karl Rove and HIS cynical political games. Both of you slimebags have done just about enough to damage our country. Will you both just stand in front of a speeding freight train? Please?

    December 30, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  21. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    why isn't Cheney in jail?

    he must be so disappointed the Detroit plane didn't blow up

    December 30, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  22. Cheneyisadickbogler

    That is so unamerican of dick to say. He must hate the US because he doesn't support the commander and cheif of the troops.

    December 30, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  23. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    I would like to see the white house call Cheney a lying piece of crap, like the rest of the right wingnuts, but I know they will always be diplomatic.

    December 30, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  24. Allen Hussein

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

    If the Republicans are going to count Ft. Hood as one on Obama's watch, then the DC sniper should count against Bush.

    December 30, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  25. Democratic

    Sadly, Cheney is right.

    December 30, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
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