Washington (CNN) – Former Vice President Dick Cheney sidestepped a question Sunday about whether former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is qualified for the presidency.
Speaking to ABC's "This Week," Cheney was asked about the woman who ran to replace him - and whom some see as a possible future presidential candidate.
"Is she qualified to be president?" Cheney was asked.
"I haven't made a decision yet on who I'm going to support for president the next time around," Cheney responded.
"Whoever it is is going to have to prove themselves capable of being president of the United States. And those tests will come during the course of campaigns, obviously."
He added, "I think all the prospective candidates out there have got a lot of work to do if, in fact, they're going to persuade a majority of Americans that they're ready to take on the world's toughest job."
Washington (CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden and his predecessor Dick Cheney sparred Sunday over terrorism and the Iraq war, duking it out on the most prominent of platforms: the political TV talk show.
In separate appearances on different programs, Cheney called the Obama administration "dead wrong" about al Qaeda and Iraq, while Biden accused Cheney of trying to "rewrite history" and downplay President Barack Obama's actions against terrorism.
However, the former VP did call himself "a complete supporter" of Obama's Afghanistan strategy. He also expressed some support for Obama's decision to ask the military to drop its "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Citing military chiefs' support for the change, Cheney - whose daughter is openly gay - said he believes "society has moved on" and that it is "time to reconsider the policy."
But much of the three interviews - Biden on NBC's "Meet the Press" and CBS's "Face the Nation," Cheney on ABC's "This Week" - focused on the deep divide between the two sides.
It was a double header Sunday for Vice President Joe Biden who showed up on two Sunday morning talk shows as the White House counterweight to former Vice President Dick Cheney, who made his own Sunday morning television appearance with a litany of criticisms against the Obama administration’s handling of national security matters.
There was a time when the White House ignored Mr. Cheney to defuse his impact. But the decision to try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian court and the decision to treat the Christmas Eve attempted bomber as a criminal suspect with Miranda rights have produced considerable blowback and “who’s tougher on terrorists” now shapes up as at least a secondary election year theme for Republicans.
The V.P. vs. former V.P. terrorist throw down went this way: Cheney says the “mindset” of the Obama crowd dangerous underestimates the nature of the terrorist threat. Biden, in “just Joe” fashion responded that Cheney is a nice guy and all, but he is misinformed, misleading and/or wrong.
The president’s National Security Adviser General James Jones tried to stay out of it – and who could blame him given the pummeling White House Homeland Security adviser John Brennan took after he accused Republicans of playing politics with national security. Still, Gen. Jones suggested that Cheney was misinformed and pointedly noted that the country has a sitting vice president who is well-informed and on the job.
On other subjects, Gen. Jones said the allied and Afghan military operation in Southern Afghanistan is going well and that he is increasingly confident Afghan President Hamid Karzai is capable of bringing political stability to his country.
Oh, and news flash: Cheney says he’s a “complete supporter” of what the administration is doing in Afghanistan and he, like Gen. Jones, thinks the time has come to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” so that gays can serve openly in the military. Despite reports to the contrary, bipartisanship is not dead.
Herewith, the Sound of Sunday.
Washington (CNN) – A leading Senate Republican essentially said Sunday that his GOP colleagues are not terribly interested in President Obama’s recent efforts at bipartisanship.
On two key Democratic legislative agenda items, a jobs bill and a comprehensive health care reform bill, Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, suggested Sunday that Senate Republicans may not support measures backed by leading Democrats on Capitol Hill.
Late last week, in a rare show of bipartisanship, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the Ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, unveiled a $85 billion jobs bill which observers believed at least some Senate Republicans would have supported. Within hours of the unveiling of the Baucus-Grassley jobs bill, however, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, announced his intention to present a much smaller $15 billion jobs bill to the Senate when it returns from an upcoming weeklong recess. The slimmed down Reid version of the jobs bill also contains provisions which Senate Republicans might be expected to support like tax incentives to spur small businesses to hire and buy equipment.
Related: Jobs bill advances . . . or does it?
But, Kyl said Sunday on State of the Union that his fellow Senate Republicans may not back the Reid bill and the Senate Republican Whip made a special point of emphasizing the abrupt way in which the jobs bill has been handled in recent days.
Howard Kurtz criticized the media's behavior on Reliable Sources Sunday morning and asked: "How on earth do media organizations justify reporting what's essentially damaging gossip?" Two top New York reporters joined Kurtz to answer that question.
Washington (CNN) – One of President Obama’s top national security advisers suggested Sunday that former Vice President Dick Cheney, a persistent critic of the Obama administration on national security issues, might not be informed enough to criticize the White House.
Asked on CNN’s State of the Union about Cheney’s criticism of the way Obama has chosen to fight terrorism and treat terrorism suspects, national security adviser James Jones replied, “Well, you know, if it’s informed, then that’s one thing.”
Jones, a retired Marine general, continued, “It’s important that people understand that we have a sitting vice president [Joe Biden] who’s very much involved in the day-to-day operations of our national security. He’s a member of the national security council. He has access to all of the information.”
Asked by CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley whether he considered Cheney to be informed, Jones responded, “I don’t know what his information is. I just would ask people to consider the fact that these are very serious issues for our country and that when you take them on, you take them on in a respectful way. We consult and share with both sides equally of the political spectrum and we’ll continue to do that. In the national security council, we can’t do it any other way.”
"I respectfully disagree," Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, told CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley on State of the Union when asked about comments by Obama national security adviser James Jones.
Earlier in the program, Jones, who served four decades in the Marine Corps, said he supported the positions of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen. Earlier this month, Gates informed Congress that the Pentagon was laying the groundwork for the eventual repeal of the policy and Mullen said it was his personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly "would be the right thing to do."
"I tend to take my lead on things like this from my colleague John McCain," Kyl said. Sen. McCain, the former Republican presidential nominee, has suggested that "Dont Ask, Dont Tell" accommodates the desires of a majority of service members while still allowing gays and lesbians to serve in uniform.
Washington (CNN) – One of President Obama’s top national security advisers gave his support Sunday to the eventual repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy governing gay and lesbian service members.
Appearing on State of the Union, Ret. Marine Corps Gen. James Jones told CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that he supported the positions laid out recently in congressional testimony by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Earlier this month, Gates informed Congress that the Pentagon is taking the first steps toward repealing the policy and Mullen said it was his personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly was the right thing to do.
“This is a policy that has to evolve with the social norms of what’s acceptable and what’s not. I think times have changed. I think I was very much taken by Adm. Mullen’s view that young men and women who wish to serve their country should not have to lie in order to do that,” Jones told Crowley. The Obama aide also noted that the president has signaled his desire to have the policy changed.
Jones also told Crowley that in his 40 years in the military, he’d seen similar changes in military policy where similar concerns about national security had been raised but proved to be unfounded.
The Senate campaign of Florida Rep. Kendrick Meek is the lead sponsor of a NASCAR vehicle.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
(CNN) - NASCAR stock cars have long been traveling billboards for motor oil, whiskey, even mayonnaise and trashbags, but one of the cars whizzing Saturday along the Daytona International Speedway was a marketing vehicle for a politician.
NASCAR's official kickoff to its season at the racetrack included a marketing vehicle for U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Florida.
"There are a number of businesses that benefit from the presence of this race," Meek, who calls himself a longtime NASCAR fan, told CNN in a trackside interview. "I want to be a part of it, and I want to be able to reach out to the NASCAR world and let them know that I'm a part of it."
Meek was the lead sponsor of driver Mike Wallace's race car in the sport's second-tier Nationwide series race, which began the weekend ahead of Sunday's Daytona 500.