March 5th, 2010
04:49 PM ET
4 years ago

Rove: Cheney 'squirmed' when offered VP spot

Karl Rove's memoir offers a look inside the Bush campaign's VP selection process.
Karl Rove's memoir offers a look inside the Bush campaign's VP selection process.

Washington (CNN) - A new memoir by Karl Rove details the circumstances that led to the selection of former Vice President Dick Cheney as President George W. Bush's running mate.

The highly anticipated release of "Courage and Consequence," purchased by CNN Friday at a Washington area bookstore ahead of its release date next week, is a wide-ranging look at Bush's rise in politics as seen through the lens of his longtime strategist and aide. Rove also chronicles his life and political career.

The parts of the 516-page book that cover the selection of Cheney as Bush's running mate suggest that the longtime Republican insider was not comfortable when offered the position.

"Cheney arrived at Bush's Crawford ranch in early July with a stack of binders on other prospects," Rove writes. "After they had worked their way through the pile, Bush took Cheney out to the backyard. I'm sure Cheney wondered what was up: Crawford in July is hot. Bush surprised Cheney by asking him to think about becoming his running mate. Cheney said he'd consider it but wasn't certain it was a good idea for Bush or for him."

Rove goes on to deny that Cheney, who was tasked with helping Bush vet potential vice presidential candidates, somehow manipulated the selection process to his advantage.

"Some people have suggested that Cheney engineered his own selection. This is far-fetched. I saw the man squirm as Bush pressed him to accept," Rove writes. "Cheney had a clear understanding of what John Nance Garner, FDR's first vice president, had said about the office - that it was 'not worth a bucket of warm piss.' Cheney was too much of a patriot to act on that knowledge."

Before settling on Cheney, Rove writes that Bush considered nine other candidates: Govs. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania, Frank Keating of Oklahoma, and John Engler of Michigan; Sens. Jon Kyl of Arizona, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, and Bill Frist and Fred Thompson of Tennessee; former Sen. John Danforth of Missouri and former Gov. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.


Filed under: Dick Cheney • George W. Bush • Karl Rove • Popular Posts
soundoff (292 Responses)
  1. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Wow, I can't believe Rove actually managed keep his out-right lying and duplicity to a mere 516 pages.

    March 5, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Squirmed like the worm he is. Soembody should've stepped on him!

    March 5, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. I am the Great and Omnipotent Wizard of Rush and I Say . . .

    Rove's books will make a good lining for my bird cage.

    March 5, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. runswithbeer

    Book should be called RATS!!!

    March 5, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. The 3 Criminals

    Karl Rove, you belong in jail!
    Dick Cheney, you really belong in jail!
    George Bush, you need to be deported!!!

    March 5, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Everybody knows by now that Cheney was picked by old man Bush to watch over his son who had failed at everything he attempted and Cheney helped him fail has President. Go away Rove, you should be in prison.

    March 5, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. anotherGDlefty

    "Courage and Cosequence"

    Karl Rove doesn't know either personally.

    March 5, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. Avg Guy in Red State Kansas

    So. There's the "Big Bang", or, the beginning of the universe which led to life as we know it. Then, there's the "big screw-up" which was Cheney's selection as VEEP, or, the beginning of a political black hole which sucks in America's credibility and the good will this country spent decade upon decade building.

    It's nice to be able to get a policital lesson AND a lesson in physics all at the same time.

    Thanks, Mr. Cheney. Now, please crawl down your worm hole and vanish!

    March 5, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  9. Kentucky

    What? Cheney and manipulating something to his advantage in the same sentence? Ha. Stunning!

    March 5, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  10. Robert T., New Orleans

    Is it any surprise that both Rove and Cheney are desperately trying to rewrite history? They should be sharing a cell together, not a headline.

    March 5, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. Hwy91

    "Cheney was too much of a patriot to act on that knowledge."

    Eeew... I just threw up a little bit in my mouth...

    March 5, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. Steph

    Rove makes my skin crawl.

    March 5, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. stan jakubik

    that's the first (and last) thing Cheney got right...it wasn't good for either Bush or for Cheney...or for the US and the rest of the world...

    March 5, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  14. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    why ANYBODY wouild want to read less known buy a book by Karl Rove spilling the dirt on people is beyond me...please NO BOOKS BY CROOKS!!

    March 5, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  15. GI Joe

    Like he'll squirm in court if we ever get around to THAT.

    Maybe he was peeing his pants thinking how easy it was going to be to run the country his way with a puppet like Bushie sitting on his hand.

    March 5, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. Ken in NC

    Bush considered 9 other people for the VP slot and we all know how that turned out. Problem is now we know it couldn't have been much better had he chosen one of the other nine.

    March 5, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. Ron

    More interesting was Rove's confrontation of Sen. Obama about Obama making up "quotes" for his book, "The Audacity of Hope" that Karl never said.

    March 5, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. gary a proud canadian

    All these criminals should be locked up for the rest of their lives. Only in America do criminals prosper so well from their crimes. Rove, cheney, bush all should be tried for crimes against humanity.This is why you as a people are so hated around the world.

    March 5, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  19. double standard

    And the rest is history,Jerk !!! You also have blood on your hands for the BS in Iraq !!

    March 5, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  20. Pat Murphy

    It's good to see Rove using an entire book in his attempt to rewrite history. Did Bush really reject nine candidates suggested by the vice president selection committee only to decide the committee chair was the man for the job. Was that because he respected the committee's work or didn't?

    March 5, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  21. Austin

    "Cheney said he'd consider it but wasn't certain it was a good idea for Bush or for him."

    Wasn't.

    March 5, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  22. hannan

    Then the activist supreme court stepped in and decided everything and America had a wonderful eight years...right?

    March 5, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  23. Bluesman Doc

    Rove is full of it. The Project for a New American Century guys needed Cheney in there in order to get their war against Iraq. That whole VP vetting process was a set-up from the beginning. I don't know which exacted a higher toll from this country, Bush's incompetence or Cheney's competence. The combination of the two was a tragedy of epic proportions. No surprise that Rove is still selling BS and re-writing history. That is his stock and trade.

    March 5, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  24. Megan

    This guy made a career out of fabricating lies. Why would anyone believe anything he puts in a book.

    He has no character and should be in prison, in a cell right next to Cheney.

    March 5, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. ross berg- Buffalo NY

    Well if you put any stock whatsoever in the Gallup poll, he picked the absolute worst possible VP.

    Gallup says that Cheney left office with the highest negatives since they started counting them in the 1930's!! According to thier polling nearly 62% felt that Cheney was on balance bad for the nation and a whopping 74% said he was "untrustworthy"!!

    WOW!! Hard to imagine being thought any worse of than that!!

    March 5, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
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