December 30th, 2009
06:25 PM ET
6 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. Hammerer

    It is OK for Obama to point fingers at Bush and blame Republicans for the sky falling but to criticize the Obama for it's bumbling and incompentence is not acceptable.
    Obama ran a campaign of finger pointing and blaming Bush now the blame is pointed at Obama and he does not like it.
    This is the most incompentant administration, from top to bottom in history, in the history of American politics!

    December 30, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. Future expat

    GOPers aren't happy unless brown people somewhere are being carpet bombed.

    December 30, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Christian

    oh you silly republicans, you are exactly like The President of Iran, tyrannical, manipulative and so hell bent on turning facts into fiction to rally everyone to go against the US and the president! silly silly republicans

    December 30, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  4. phoenix86

    "Criticizing the administration" instead of "condeming the attackers".

    Sounds similar to Obama's response to the Iranian protesters, Hamas, and other terrorist organizatons.

    This administration is weak. The enemies of the U.S. know this and act accordingly. When Obama grows a set, things may change.

    December 30, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  5. Carmela, Longwood, Florida

    The more Cheney talks, the more he reminds me of Hugo Chaves.... They are both pathetic losers; the difference is that Chaves is dangerous, whilst Cheney is simply irrelevant.

    December 30, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  6. Bill

    Obama, you LIE, you LIE!

    December 30, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. Kate

    We have a president who is soft on terror. It upsets me that my taxes are providing lawyers for these terrorists. They are not Americans and they should not have our rights.
    Hooray for the lawyers!

    December 30, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  8. Clt

    I'm disappointed President Obama didn't have people from the Hague ready to arrest Cheney for war crimes immediately after the inauguration when he was sitting there faking a back injury in that wheelchair. He only had the lady pushing him so he wouldn't have to stand for the President. President Bush 41 was there in that cold weather walking and he's older than Cheney and in iller health at that time. If President Obama tries to have Cheney charged with war crimes now it's going to look like he's doing it because he's being criticized. Cheney is just mad the Christmas day attack wasn't successful. He can't wait for this country to be attacked. Anyone says that is not true is blind or lying. This terrorist got his visa under Bush/Cheney. Let's see if anyone mentions that.

    December 30, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  9. GOP 2010 2012

    I see you did not post my comments earlier so I will say them again for you.

    Bush and Cheney prevented terrorist attacks on this country for 8 years. Obama has been in office less than a year and we have had two terrorist attacks.

    Terrorist and for that matter leaders all over the world know Obama is WEAK. Expect more attacks!

    Also it is funny how Obama's poll numbers are sinking faster than the Titanic. People are catching on the lies he is selling and no longer want any part of his administration.

    December 30, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  10. think4urself

    Cheney looks, sounds, and is just about as relevant as Khrushchev or maybe on a good day Brezhnev.

    With a little more effort he could possibly make it to Gorbachev but that kind of foresight would take real effort. Putin is more his style.

    December 30, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  11. tony

    dick is the reason the terrorists hate america
    if we give dick to the terrorists, would they go away happy?
    its worth a try!!!!

    December 30, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  12. RepublicansFillTheirPockets

    Who is paying Cheney to still be involved? Will someone please hire a private detective to look into this shriveled low-life.

    December 30, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  13. Allen Hussein

    "i wish this white house would respond as forcefully to terrorist threats as they do to conservatives and republicans"

    Supporting the Yemenis in two airstrikes against Al Queda in the last two weeks isn't enough for you? Those strikes probably took out several that were involved in the planning of this attack.

    December 30, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  14. Americal

    The current administration refuses to acknowledge the existence of Islamic terrorists. The President called this latest terorist an isolated extremist and refers to those who want to kill Americans in general as extremists, not terrorists. Political correctness is the name of the game rather than doing what is necessary, wherever and however keep this country safe and to advance American interests. Cheney calls it like it is...that's what get's these apologists so upset...they know he is right.

    December 30, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  15. Rick in AZ

    Why isn't this trreasonous coward in prison?

    December 30, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  16. No more career politicians

    What kind of trial have domestic terrorists like say, Timothy Mcvey, or the Unibomber had? Oh that's right they were terrorists too! Don't forget about the facts. Terrorism has existed in some shape or form for much more than a decade. Maybe it is too much to think about the people who have always lived in terror.

    December 30, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  17. zago

    Everyone knows that Dick Cheney would be thrilled by an attack on Americans just to find a reason to faul pres. Obama. This is no brainer, and he just did it. He finds it normal that Americans are attacked so that he can justified his claim. Thank you Mr Cheney, but for someone who served this country at its highest level like you, it is a pitty that you have no restraint. By the way, we suspect that you are more vocal when your Secret Service privileges getting expired as you running scared. Is it expiring soon since yours is not lifetime it's just a 6 months privilege. It may be a tactic to show that you are at risk and therefore they need to keep protecting you for being yourself a terrorist

    December 30, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  18. bess

    to Gary in Portsmouth who said: "I just hope the rest of America get's it. I am glad we don't have a President with a fast food mentality. I love intelligent well thought out decisions. There safe and reduces the possibilities of undue, unnecessary harm."

    Well, I doubt the families of the 114 American's who died in Afghanistan during the 93 days it took for Obama to announce his "well thought out decision" see it the way you and your liberal friends do - and then add the additional American's who will also die over there in the extra months it will take to add the troops requested because of that delay.

    For those of us with family members fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, Obama's "dithering" was extremely stressful.

    December 30, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  19. Smarten Up!

    Cheney is right on this one. It is unfortunate that neither the left or right can take valid critism. The hateful nonesense I read in many of these posts points more to the ignorance of the mob that it does the legitmacy of Cheney's comment.

    December 30, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  20. Msg from Houston

    Does Pretending There is no War equate to sending more troops to Afghanistan? Cheney needs to start helping America be a better place and stop trying to put fear in all Americans.

    December 30, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  21. Jet

    Cheney is just proving that all the NEW GOP wanted is for the administration to fail and they only think about themselves. Real Republicans or Democrats think about the country first and not their party.

    No more war based on wrong information. There is no reason to panic(which is what the Bush administration always wanted). That's why they always bring up 9/11.

    Whoever is president in any country, things like the 9/11 or the december 25 bomber can still happen. Nothing is impossible in this world.

    Let's all be realistic and always live life to the fullest.

    December 30, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  22. Jake

    Where was Cheney for the 8 years he was VP?

    He's had more press releases in less than a year than he did for two terms as vice president.

    Sorry Dick. The fear-mongering doesn't work anymore.

    December 30, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  23. Lisa

    Cheney is a sick man and a sore loser.

    December 30, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  24. Regina P

    Yap it up while you can Cheney...soon will come the day when you will have to pay for your war crimes...initiating the Iraq war based on fear mongering and lies...the lost lives of thousands of US troops and Iraqi citizens rest squarely on the shoulders of you and your evil, dim witted comrade, Bush...

    December 30, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  25. James

    Nobody really takes Cheney seriously anyway. He is pure evil.

    December 30, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12