December 30th, 2009
06:25 PM ET
7 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. C Spurgeon

    Cheney is a cowardly pig. Don't give him any attention and he will fade away. This draft dodging bully is much of the reason this country is in the trouble it is. Someone ..IRS.. needs to audit this thug before and after the whitehouse and that should keep him too busy to blow off his mouth. Don't respond too him. He is irrevelant.

    December 30, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    GOP 2010 2012 writes "Bush and Cheney prevented terrorist attacks on this country for 8 years." Apparently he forgets September 11, 2001, the worst ever terrorist attack on the USA, which took place under the Bush-Cheney administration. Oh how memories can be short.

    December 30, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  3. Michael, Gallatin, TN

    Cheney is the worst sort of coward. He sits, and has always sat, safely on the sidelines shouting warrior words and reaping the riches of conflict while others shed their blood because of his belligerence.

    December 30, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  4. Brad

    I always listen to Dick Cheney. Dick Cheney told me that criticizing the president in a time of war is un-American. Therefore, Dick Cheney is un-American by his own "logic".

    Seriously, it now requires a complete ignorance of fact and logic to find people like this credible.

    December 30, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  5. GOP Lies! You Lie!

    Hey GOP 2010 2012,

    You say – "Bush and Cheney prevented terrorist attacks on this country for 8 years."

    Ever hear of a minor little terrorist attack called 9/11?

    I am pretty sure that occurred on Bush/Cheney's watch, not Obama's.

    December 30, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  6. Lia

    Oh – but it was OK for Bush/Cheney to wait 11 days to respond to the shoe-bomber? Please put that thug Cheney in prison

    December 30, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  7. Emma

    For those of you who see Obama as weak and soft on terrorism, what is your problem? On what do you base your distorted thinking and what facts do you have to believe you are analyzing this in a way your fellow citizens will buy into your claims? I think you dislike the President and your negative thoughts are influenced by your negative emotions. You are exposing your limited reasoning and that is very telling about you.

    December 30, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  8. Kate

    Cheney continues to show what a hateful, fear mongering man he is. Are we supposed to attack Britain where the Underwear Bomber was raised? The Netherlands, where he boarded the plane with no luggage and a ticket paid for in cash? Oh, wait. We should send our over-stressed troops into yet another war of convenience so Cheney and his buddies can further fill their pockets? The man is a menace to our civil liberties, our freedom, and all that is right in America. He had eight years to curb terrorists in Yemen and didn't do squat, except get his jollies over water boarding.

    December 30, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  9. David

    So wait...was the Mission Accomplished?
    Just curious.

    December 30, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  10. Georgia

    Cheney is a Moron! How a guy that was that much of a yellow belly himself (5 deferments from serving in the military himself) can use the rhetoric he prefers to use to attract people with such small IQ's.

    The deadliest terror attack ever on American soil was orchestrated under the watch and full knowledge of Mr. Cheney. Then he lets Bin Laden get away!

    It just proves: Republicans = Incompetence!

    December 30, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  11. betty

    I do have family in the military. I am glad the president took the time to make the right choices in Afghanistan. Personally I believe the right thing to do is just leave the God forsaken country, but I respect the position the President was put in by the last administration. He had to make the tough choices and did it very well. Chaney is a liar and a fool. His administration got us into a war based on lies and no idea of what they were doing. This president is doing everything he can to try to fix our country in spite of the hateful Mr Chaney. He is not even worthy to mention Obama's name much less criticize him.

    December 30, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  12. Nancy VanCise

    Why did we hear almost nothing from Vice-President Chaney for the 8 years he was in office now all of a sudden he has to complain about every thing our President does. Yes Mr. Chaney, Obama is our President and you should atleast show some respect and everyone should try to work together. President Obama didn't start this war, President Bush did and maybe we are where we should have been fighting from the beginning instead of iraq.

    December 30, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  13. bill

    This political cor-ectness is to get us all killed. Cheney is right they are not extremists but terrorists & have absolutly no rights once they are caught as they are not in uniforms. You know what happened to combatans in world war two if they were caught not in uniform.

    December 30, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  14. steve

    Just answer these questions DICK!

    Which administration allowed 9/11 to happen?
    Which adminstration started a needless and costly war to find 9/11 perpetrators where they weren't hidding?
    Which adminstration set up all the intelligence after 9/11 to prevent it from happening again?
    Which administration freed the terrorists from Getmo that gave the Christmas terrorists his bomb materials?
    Which former VP is the biggest hypocrite? Let's have a CNN poll!!

    December 30, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  15. Stephen Rifkin

    Mr. Cheney seems to believe that by invading two countries, Afghanistan and then Iraq, and then waging botched, ruinous wars, he and his boss brought stability and democracy to the world, and security to the United States. Is that his point?

    December 30, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  16. pbsm444

    GOP 2010 2012 your revisionist history is typical. To say:"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. " Is a flat out LIE. Hello 9/11 was in 2001. You can't revise that history. FACT

    Dick Cheney dodged the draft 5 TIMES with deferments. Funny how he's had no problem calling everyone else cowards.....

    And people wonder why others hate Americans? It's because of the people like Dick Cheney that give the rest of decent Americans, both Republicans, Democrats and everything in between, a bad name.

    December 30, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  17. Ryan

    I still find it amazing that the R's argue from a position of "we keep America safe" considering the biggest attack ever on this country happened on their watch. I understand that they are filled with guilt, but must they really continue to try and make the rest of us as fearful as they are. Most important thing in this article..."we are not at war with a tactic (terrorism), we're at war with Al Qeada." It's also funny to hear members of the GOP say that the underwear bomber shouldn't have the luxury of our legal system...funny because it didn't bother them when the shoe bomber was tried and convicted. Either we stand for something or we fall for anything.

    December 30, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  18. Brad

    OK Bess, the generals in Afghanistan have been saying they are undermanned for a few years now. Lots of people died due to the fact that Dumb and Dumber took their eyes off the ball and invaded the wrong country.

    If you applied one percent of the criticism you foist on Obama to Republicans, you would not be able to look at them with a straight face.

    December 30, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  19. Lenny Thorell

    OMG, here he is again in the news. Can someone ask Cheney to get on with a real life or get a life. Perhaps the media should not give him the time of day. Then we could hope he would just go away. I'm sick of him!!
    He has nothing positive to say. Period.........

    December 30, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  20. lovable liberal

    Dick Cheney belongs in prison, not in a weekly slot on CNN's ticker.

    December 30, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  21. Remember

    Everyone seems to forget that Mr. Cheney was in office when the worst attact on American since 1814 occurred. And, he was warned about before hand and chose to ignore it! Talk about an incompetent anti-terrorist. Ask Richard Clarke.

    December 30, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  22. GOP Lies! You Lie!

    And the shoe bomber also occured on Bush/ Cheney's watch. But let's not concern ourselves with facts.

    December 30, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  23. DNC 62-38 4 life

    Didn't 9/11 happen when he was president...

    December 30, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  24. Perusing-through

    Darth Cheney is upset that the incompetent 'underwear bomber' failed in his attempt to blow up a plane and kill Americans.

    Arrest Cheney for treason, NOW!

    December 30, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. Tony Rosario

    Same guy who outed a CIA agent and a principal architect of the most financially devastating 8 years in the history of the US. Sitting Vp when we were warned about possible terrorist attacks and the warnings went unheeded for political face value was at stake. 3000+ americans died in one day because this guy wanted to look good. Go and sin no more DIck

    December 30, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
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