December 30th, 2009
06:25 PM ET
10 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

    And Cheney selected the secretary's of Homeland Security, CIA, FBI, Defense and ordered them to enforce rules that every action taken by their subordinates first be politically correct and not offend any person.
    Right!

    December 30, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  2. Suzi

    Cheney and Bush had warnings about 9/11 and ignored it.

    "If an underwear bomb means we're not safe under Obama, does a shoe bomb mean Bush didn't really keep us safe after 9/11?"

    Bush took six days to even comment on the shoe bomber.

    A full 108 Republicans voted against the conference version of the bill which included more than $4 billion for "screening operations," including $1.1 billion in funding for explosives detection systems, including $778 million for buying and installing the systems.

    Jim DeMint has had a four-month hold of Obama's appointment of chief of Transportation Security Administration which would oversea this security.

    The Republicans are making a political point, not a valid point. They have lost all credibility, especially Cheney.

    December 30, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. Dean in PA

    Cheney is human slime and a waste of precious oxygen. There aren't many people that I've actually completely despised, but he is definitely at the top of the list.

    December 30, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  4. Four and The Door

    Dick Cheney understands better than most of the politicians currently occupying Washington DC that the government works for the American people, not just the political ambitions of the current residents on Pennsylvania Avenue.

    December 30, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. orionsway

    cheney is finally irrelevant..........and the world is a better place because of it.

    December 30, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  6. Michael Johnson

    Is this the same Dick, that had no problems with Richard Reid being tied in federal courts when Tom Ridge was head of Homeland Security and W. was in the White House? Why didn't Cheney attack these two?

    Bush praised the outcome of the federal courts regarding Richard Reid.

    Cheney is gaming conservatives who, blinded by racism and hared , will believe any lie tossed their way like a starving dog thrown a bone.

    My opinion of conservatives being domestic terrorist has more conformation.

    December 30, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  7. Candido

    Dick Cheney is an excellent terrorist fighter. He should be sent directly to the front lines in Afghanistan to fight Al-Queda terrorists barehandedly.
    Unfortunately during the Viet Nam era, when he was a young colt, he deferred from fighting this country's enemies five times.
    I think it's about time this draft dodger shuts up.

    December 30, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  8. Joe citizen abroad

    Would someone please stick a fork in Dick Cheney? He's done. Let's move on and stop treating him like some kind of policy guru every time he farts in public. He had eight years to make the US safer, and he failed. His only agenda now is to rewrite history and shape his "legacy." That's what dried-up old politicians do. Some just do it with more dignity and class.

    December 30, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  9. WhySoHypocritical?

    The Obama administration has been pointing fingers since the day he got in office so for his people to complain about Chaney is a bit hypocritical. It seems to be the Democrat way to always complain about one thing and turn around and do the very thing your crying about, it's time people wake up and see that neither the Rep or Dem parties can get anything done, we need a THIRD PARTY!!

    December 30, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  10. Hot Dog

    Cheney has no credibility as far as I am concerned. He is the worse elected official that this country has ever had. When he stated that Nelson Mandella should remain in jail after spending over twenty behind bars as a result of the Apartheid regime in South Africa indicates that he is a racist. He was out of touch than and he is out of touch now. I hope any of you have not forgotten the profane language that came out of his mouth on the floor of the Senate. Not to mention the fact that he got five deferments during the Viet Nam war. I am a Viet Nam Veteran and Iam proud of the fact that I did serve. Cheney is a low life. End of story

    December 30, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  11. lola

    Who cares what Dick Cheney says about anything. He is SO OVER!

    December 30, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  12. Perusing-through

    THINK PEOPLE!

    Where was Darth Cheney when shoe bomber Richard Reid failed in his attempt to blow up the plane he was on, and Bush Jr. took 6-days to ‘weakly’ respond through his press secretary.

    THIS ILLUSTRATION OF HYPOCRISY SHOULD BE PROOF TO ALL THAT REPUBLICANS HAVE ONLY ONE INTEREST, , , ,AND THAT IS TO TEAR THE PRESIDENT DOWN, ALONG WITH EVERYTHING ELSE GOOD IN AMERICA FOR AS LONG AS OBAMA IS THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF.

    December 30, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  13. Rick in Sneads Ferry, NC

    Quote Dick: "trying to pretend we are not at war".

    Where were you during your war in the 60's Dick? Hiding out in grad school with your deferrments. Still didn't finish that degree, did you?

    You and your dumb tail-wagging dog GW both skipped that one, yet you sent thousands of your country men and women to die in Iraq for a war based on lies.

    You are a coward, Dick. For you to keep running your mouth about the current CINC and the current political party in power shows the depth of your hatred and lack of caring for the people of this country.

    When will your wife wisen up and divorce your sorry butt like your bro Karl's did? I'm sure she has another Dick to replace you.

    You are a scumbag.

    December 30, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  14. bdm

    cheney is the prince of darkness. why would anyone expect anything less from him? evil begets evil.

    December 30, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  15. Shut it up

    Why do you twats post this tripe? Nobody cares what Cheney has to say.

    It may be time to boycott CNN.

    December 30, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  16. Keith

    I find it interesting that the White House can respond more quickly to comments made by former Vice President Cheney than to an attempted terrorist attack .

    Terrorists have attacked Americans and American targets for years. Regardless of what party the president is from, unless a hard stand against them is taken, we will always be vulnerable. I can name many different attacks under many different presidents. It is simple, they hate us and our way of life.

    December 30, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  17. John

    Wow... Cheney sure is filled with hate.

    December 30, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  18. Ted

    It does not serve anyone for Cheney to be criticizing Obama. Cheney is all about partisan sniping, but Cheney's main problem is that his legacy about dealing with terrorism is horrible. His other problem is that because of his incompetence and lies, we are in two insane wars that have become quagmires. Cheney needs to just shut up as his eight years as VP were failures.

    December 30, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  19. Dave C

    I believe Mr. Cheney is being disingenuous with his comments about 'not being at war.' President Obama is doing what he is doing not because it helps or harms our fight against terrorists but because he feels is it the right thing to do, both legally and ethically.

    December 30, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  20. Chris - Denver

    What did Cheney do to prevent the shoe bomber, or the anthrax mailer? He needs to keep his mouth shut and be thankful he's not in jail.

    December 30, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  21. Rickster

    Once again, Dick Cheney is right on the money. Nobody is better at national security issues than Cheney. And, unfortunately, it appears that nobody is worse than Obama because Barry just can't admit that his muslim buddies are to blame.

    December 30, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  22. Tony Rosario

    Bush-Cheney allowed 9-11 to happen and they had fair warning. Dick Cheney has an agenda based on deception and profit. Say Halliburton real slow, then 9-11, then Richard Reid (Shoe-bomber). Shut UP DICK!!!

    December 30, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  23. Indy

    America
    Do you really think that if Obama calls the terrorists, instead of extremests they will all of sudden stop what they are doing. That is the stupidest thing I ever heard. We all know what Obama or anyone means when they are called extremists. Do you think that is sounds like a tougher stance because of a word difference ? Whether they are called extremests or terrorists does not make a lick of difference to them, they still want to harm Americans for the past foreign policies that had nothing to do with Obama.

    December 30, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  24. charlotte, nc

    GOP 2010-2012: Bush/Cheney did not help prevent terrorist attacks for 8 years....have you forgotten 9/11 UNDER Bush/Cheney?!?!?

    December 30, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  25. SP09

    Did "GOP 2010 2012" forget who were in the White House when 9/11 happened? If you forgot, it was Bush&CHENEY!

    December 30, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
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