March 5th, 2010
04:49 PM ET
5 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. Socrates in Leominster

    A parasite is talking about another parasite...? And I bet both think that they made this country a better place to live. Both of them are criminals and I bet they could care less if 4,300 young soldiers died, 36, are wounded physically and emotionally and all they care is to collect their bribes, (Cheney from the oil companies and from BlackWater) and this Rove to collect money from his memoirs... It seems that the republicans are truly capitalistic.. they want make money in any way possible.. but when you talk about helping AMERICAN families that can't afford health insurance.. they oppose.. and they say that they believe in GOD... what a bunch of self serving and hypcrites they are..

    March 5, 2010 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  2. Gene Brady

    "Cheney was too much of a patriot", when, exactly? When he didn't serve in the service or when he and his band of theives bankrupted the world as they profitted?

    March 5, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  3. Repugnants are Taliban

    If Beck, Palin and O'Reilly write such good books why are they all on the clearance rack and B&N for $2.99?

    March 5, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  4. Fed up with everyone

    Seriously, it is over. The system is beyond repair. Bush and Cheney destroyed our future as a country with their war and bad decisions. History will have nothing good to say about them. Enough said. Obama, had no money left to get his Presidency off to a good start. Bush spent it all. Things can only go from bad to worse. The problems are too few to be dealt with, and the problem we have caused are spreading to every corner of the earth. So there there is no where to run when this situation comes to a head. And since NASA was cut, I guess hiding out on the moon is no longer an option either. Either quit your bickering and fix it, or shut it. I am one of many who have had enough.

    March 5, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  5. johnjacob

    Karl Rove has already chosen our next President and will get him elected in 2012. Our next puppet for Karl to manipulate...Rick Perry. God save us all. The rich can't stop selling off this country piece by piece. The next world powers...Iran and China. The US is soon to fall if the american people don't stop these greedy power hungry freaks.

    March 5, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  6. Repugnants are Taliban

    The reason books like this get written is because when they leave out the pertinent facts you find most Repuglibans cannot remember what happened is why you get comments like Bush Cheney kept us safe and they were conservative minded about spending. If it isn't put into print in simple minded books like this made for the simple minded Repugliban then the average Repugliban doesn't ever remember the facts, remember, the RNC has a lot of respect for their supporters, after all didn't you see the wonderful Power Point presentations saying the average Repugliban supported is stupid and ignorant and can't even begin to grasp the truth? Even the RNC knows it's major supporters are dumber than a box of rocks, and they said it right to their faces and they still do not comprehend they are being used like a bunch of illiterate ignorant fools!

    March 5, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  7. Charlie in Maine

    Hey right wigers consider this.

    Democrats think government can help and they do everything they can make government helpful.

    Republicans think that government is the problem and do everything they can to make government the problem.

    Given that no one is right all the time, there will be sometimes when government won't make things worse and sometimes when it can't make things better.

    The country is much better off when the Democrats are right and the GOP is wrong. Fortunately this is most often the case.

    March 5, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  8. NJD

    There's no justice. Imagine this troll can make all that money when he has no socially redeeming value.

    March 5, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Looks like an interesting book. Why all the hate? Liberals are so unhinged. Look at the commentary here. Pure spittle.

    March 5, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  10. CMG

    Imagine how many books would sell if they hauled him off to jail where he and Crazy Cheney belong. The next 516 pages they could write together. Why do I think a comic book would be more interesting?

    March 5, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  11. NTexas

    You believe Rove's book? Get a brain.

    March 5, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  12. LoveThyNeighbor

    And now we know how the spiraling got out of control and we are experiencing the mess we're in...Sam

    March 5, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  13. Daniel

    Whether Dick Cheney squirmed or not it really doesn't matter that much.However,what does matter,is the fact that back on February13,1991 two American pilots in a B2 steath Bomber dropped one or two bombs on the Amriya air raid shelter in Baghdad,Iraq killing more than 414 civilians while Dick Cheney was Secretary of Defense.The question is;did he order it or did he simply acquiesce to it.Nobody has ever been held accountable for this atrocity to date.

    March 5, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  14. Moderate Man

    Bush had a 25% approval rating at the end of his reign of error. That's 25% of the population that is unreachable by reason and 25% that blames Obama for everything that Bush did.

    March 5, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  15. LMJ of AZ

    Anyone have a copy they want to loan me? I would read it for its sheer comedic value but sure as heck would not pay one cent to buy it!

    March 5, 2010 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  16. Wmscot

    Of course he is a Squirmey man !

    March 5, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  17. reed

    These people should be in jail.

    March 5, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  18. Jack

    Harry Truman, revered by Democrats and Republicans for his character and honesty (President Ford listed Truman as his favorite President)
    said:

    "Do you know how to tell when a Republican is lying?
    He's moving his lips." Harry Truman

    Karl Rove may be the best example of what Harry Truman meant.

    March 5, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  19. really

    We all miss Rove, Cheney and Bush – at least they didn't spend trillions of our dollars and expand our government. Wake up people your American dream is slowly dwindling away and being given to the entiled ones by your chosen one.

    Those who are working – work harder – you have so many more mouths to feed and now medical bills to pay.

    March 5, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  20. ib

    I wish he was still VP; anything; anyone would be better than King Obama and Queen Pelosi. Oh I forgot it's still Bush's fault.

    March 5, 2010 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  21. carrier pauline

    Rove is the last man who should write a book;he was, is now,and will always be the slimy, slithering reptilian entity that he is.

    March 5, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  22. ib

    Jason; they did nothing compared to the way Obama is destroying our constitution. Wake up and open your eyes.

    March 5, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  23. I am the Great and Omnipotent Wizard of Rush and I Say . . .

    Rove will go down in history as one of the biggests pimples on America's political tush in the last 100 years.

    March 5, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  24. Kevin in Ohio

    So you liberal left-wingnuts realize why we conservatives have no problem criticizing the present administration.... the hate and vitriol spewed out by you from 2001-2009 (and continuing to this day) will never be exceeded.

    President Bush's administration was not perfect.... but it was a far sight more patriotic and visionary than Obama can ever hope to be. Obama is set on "fundamentally transforming" this country.... and THAT is frightening.

    March 5, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  25. Lynne in CA

    "with a stack of binders on other prospects"

    You mean like how to make more $$$ off of War, Inc.???

    March 5, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
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