December 30th, 2009
06:25 PM ET
3 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. terry,va

    Keep denying Obummie.. Love or Hate Cheney, he has forgotten more about how to govern and protect America than you know. Go back to community organizing because that is all you are good for.

    December 30, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  2. Steve in Kent, WA.

    Let me get this right....Obama, Carville, and Emmanuel got together and built a campaign strategy focused on demonizing the then current President, Bush. Their pollsters told them that if they were successful in convincing the American people that President Bush was responsible for everything wrong in this world, from terrorism to hurricanes, that they would win the election. I find it refreshing to see the President get a dose of his own medicine. Besides, Cheney is right, bringing enemy combatants captured on foreign soil to New York City in an effort to expose the previous administration's interrogation techniques is an all-time political low point for Democrats.

    December 30, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  3. Robert W Watson

    When the brave,and honorable Pat Tillman gave his life for his country,Cheney and his dishonorable pal ,Bush were going to use him as a propaganda story to enhance their illegal war in Iraq,however General McChrystal,the present Comander in Afganistan sent a secret memo to Cheney telling him not to lie about the circumstances of Pats death,which Bush and Cheney reluctantly did.If there were ever two bad people in our gov.,it's Big Mouth Cheney,and the cowardly Bush.They nearly destroyed the U.S.They should both be locked up in Levenworth,breaking rocks.

    December 30, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Dick Chaney IS the reason we are in a war.

    December 30, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  5. westcoast

    Dick Cheney is the United States worst citizen.

    December 30, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  6. CheneyLovesAmerica!

    Cheney is a very wise man that should be listened too!

    December 30, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  7. so true

    I was a life long Republican until this last presidential election. Were Republicans so misguided this entire time or did this just happen in the last few years?

    All politicians have to have an agenda–otherwise they'd have no purpose. But, when the agenda is to deprecate their "opponent" at all cost, they've missed the plot.

    Someone tried to blow up plane, for goodness sakes. Cheney has chosen to take this opportunity to make snarky, baseless attacks against Obama. What's more demoralizing is that so many people seem to buy into it. Unfortunately, the White House needs to address these irresponsible comments because there are so many ignorant people that will listen to them.

    December 30, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  8. Future expat

    Did Cheney know about the 9/11 attacks and let them happen anyway? Did he know anything about the underwear bomber in the days and weeks leading up to the attack? I'm not saying he did, nor do I have any proof, I'm just asking questions GlennBeck- style.

    Seriously, there's no point in listening to someone like Dick who WANTS terrorists to attack America.

    December 30, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  9. Joe Phelan, Los Angeles CA

    Cheney's imprint is all over the intelligence gaps and screw-ups of this latest burning-undies attack. Bush-Cheney should have made the appropriate reforms/adjustments after 911, and then at the very latest, after the shoe-bomber fiasco. The elephant in Cheney's echo chamber is that it was just our dumb luck that we weren't hit stateside during their time in office. Now we'll see a forceful, if belated, tightening and integration of the intelligence protocols by the Obama administration. Cheney the Shameless peddles self-serving political porn and CNN shouldn't be pushing it. And by the way, Obama seems to be pretty fully engaged in the "war," or whatever you want to call it, with eyes wide open.

    December 30, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  10. Emma

    Cheney is seeming less and less rational and more and more immature in his reasoning as each day goes by.

    December 30, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  11. Med

    Obama needs to go.

    December 30, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  12. Tina

    Bush & Cheney took care of US post-9/11, taking care of the shoe bomber, sniper and homeland attacks thus IMPROVING our security over their tenure.

    Now Zero is supervising the deterioration of homeland security as only a "peace-loving" liberal can do.

    Keep the heat on Zero. He is a child who rode into the White House on a sea of MSM froth and adulation. He is no CIC.

    Gimme back my Bush & Cheney!!

    December 30, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  13. Karen

    Too bad Cheney still believes he's superior when he's so flawed... Also it's time to quit pointing fingers and get down to business about working together. Cheney is arrogant, spoiled and beligerent. Even the time when the President was referred to as a "liar" was never heard before of any other president by congress. There are so many disrepectful people calling him Mr Obama and President Obama. The country had spoken and we need to work together.. Our war was caused by the terriorists and they do need to be dealt with. I guess I'm old fashioned in thinking all's fair in love and war. We have to play by the NATO rules in war but we can never win that way because the terrorists don't play fair. Good Luck President Obama...

    December 30, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  14. Bob

    Cheney of course is an expert on when situations are or are not wars. For instance, in the 60s, he clearly didn't believe Vietnam was a war, seeing how he dodged the draft.

    December 30, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  15. Larry

    And I suppose is was not important that among the terrorists that Bush/Cheney released, two went on to become al Qaeda leaders in Yemen. No trial.....no nothing.....no justice. Dream on Dick.....you're nothing more than a bitter old man who doesn't make a difference anymore.

    December 30, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  16. Hudson

    I'd like to know how Chenney would have responddd to this botched attack. Would he have just bombed the perpetrators country, which would have led to the radicalization of more somalis/arabs, etc...? Would he have sent the guy to Gitmo for torture with the same end result (more terrorists enlisted)?
    His response to this attack has been right, although the screenings proposed at airportsby others will have no effect whatsoever. X-rays/bodyscans won't find a powder/explosive tucked into someones underwear!

    December 30, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  17. Indy

    Cheney loves to what the terrorists want him to do.The terrorists love it when Cheney divides the nation. Ironic that it was the Bush/ Cheney policies that caused thie terrorist to attack on Christmas day.Everything in Cheneys ramblings is exactly what the terrorists want and crave. Everything Obama is doing is not giving what the terrorists want.Cheney is as un American as you can get. He must want more non competitive military contracts to line his pockets because he sure does not care about re acting with dilligence. I would take Cheney's views as serious as I would take any war criminals advise, without merit.

    December 30, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  18. heelgirl78

    Cheney will never be happy with anything Pres Obama says or does. The man is just EVIL! And he's not doing a thing to help the GOP anyway.

    December 30, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  19. David Ottson

    Cheney Just go away and bring your hate with you.

    December 30, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  20. David

    Says the guy who led the United States into 2 losing wars resulting in the deaths of far too many of our service men, women, and innocent civillians.
    Its just a shame this country is built on political gridlock. Nothing will ever get done.

    December 30, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  21. Tina in AZ

    I like the fact that Obama could not respond within an hour of the terrorist attempt on the plane and also that he stayed in Hawaii instead of flying back to Washington where is is needed. Oh that's right...his personal time is more important than running this country. Golf anyone? And also adding that he doesn't get it...guarantee, there will be more attacks on us during this administration on our soil. A social speaker doesn't cut it to run a country. Heaven help us for another three years. Maybe if he works in a few earmarks for the terrorists it will have an impact.

    December 30, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  22. libs are funny little critters

    Obama should be indicted for treason.

    December 30, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  23. George

    Hasn't anybody told this idiot that he's not in office anymore and nobody cares what comes out of his pie hole. He's like a big wad of bubble gum on the bottom of your shoe. It just won't go away. Lighter fluid works for bubble gum....

    December 30, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  24. Duhhhh

    Let's not forget that the successful attack on the US happened on his watch.

    Cheney has nothing to be smug about. His policies did nothing to stop the 9/11 attacks – duhhh.

    December 30, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  25. Wake up!!!

    We're not upset so much about Cheney, it's the blind followers like the ones on here. We all want to say, After all the failures, lost lives and financial disaster of the last 8 years, How can you believe anything Cheney, Bush or Fox News has to say?

    Are you really all that stupid?

    December 30, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
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