March 5th, 2010
04:49 PM ET
8 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. yen

    Whatever the process of selection was, we ended up with V.P. who took the country to war for the wrong reasons. There is no justification to the lose of American and Iraqi lives....most American Young lives.

    March 5, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  2. different perspective

    Haha Jason,

    I can only imagine the president telling the kids that a plane just flew into the WTC building.

    Those poor kids would be instantly terrified and would immediately want their parents.
    Sure doesn't make sense to scare the bejeezus out of young children and not have an appropriate support mechanism for them. The president quickly finished the story to keep the kids calm, and then left.
    There was an interview of the principal of that school and she said that the president's actions were very appropriate for the protection of the children.
    As a parent, that's what I would do and would hope someone else would do if my child was in that situation.

    March 5, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  3. LacrosseMom

    ********************Please Post CNN**********************************

    Rove is a criminal just like Bush, Dick & Rummy. They deceived the American people and lied about the REAL reason to attack Iraq.

    This is quite different from lying about "having sex with that woman"! To LIE about WMD's, to have thousands of American lives on your hands because of greed for oil, to have killed countless Iraqis and displaced thousands more...... is...... simply immoral.

    What Rove and the others in the Bush Regime did, was sullied our good name as a Nation, throw the U.S. Constitution and the Geneva Convention (that was signed & written to protect POWs) under the bus.

    History will prove Rove wrong, you can't spin truth.

    March 5, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  4. Robert Tulloch

    Any of you leftist scum in MI?

    I really need to vent my hatred so lets get down.

    March 5, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  5. Doug

    Add me to the list that doesn't care what Rove has to say, because he's the creator of: "Keep telling lies until everyone believes it's the truth."

    All those kids in the military who think they're "fighting for our freedom" in Iraq.
    That was the tagline after WMDs failed to materialize, and after "saving" Iraqies from Saddam (by killing them) failed to be a good enough reason for America to squander a trillion dollars and some hundreds of thousands of lives.

    March 5, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  6. lyn

    Cheney squirmed???? Worms usually do!

    March 5, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  7. TommyD

    Rove is no diifferent then Bagala or Carville. he had a job to do and did it well, like Paul & James. Bottom line is we need Rove back! Obama wins a historic election, both houses under dem control and most of the media are on the left....and what do you have? A Prez on the ropes, sinking ratings and the GOP winning every post-election race. November is gonna be ugly. Gotta love Scott Brown and the new GOP!! yeaaaa babbbby!

    March 5, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  8. Dva

    Yea, right, we believe you Rove.......didn't then, don't now and never will.

    March 5, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  9. Mike

    By a hair Cheney became VP ... what a disaster that turned out to be

    March 5, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  10. Gloria

    Karl Rove has deceived the American people too many times to be believed. He always twists and evades issues and policiy decisions ~ especially concerning the Iraq War, George Bush, & Dick Cheney.
    Rove is revising history, not using facts. He tries to justify his underhandedness and trickery. He is truly a disgrace to the Republican Party with his lies, self-serving attitude, and continually spin to avoid being thought of as a failure and poor advisor. He receives an "F" for not being honest and forth right.

    March 5, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  11. Tony Arvish

    Cheney, "too much of a patriot"? Dick Cheney? The guy who couldn't find enough ways to trample all over the Bill of Rights? Cheney a patriot....that's a good one.

    March 5, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  12. bud

    Really not interesting, politicians are all a bunch or crooks, liars and conspirators. Why should the average American be honest?

    March 5, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  13. m smith

    well cheney was right it wasn't a good idea. for him or this country.

    March 5, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  14. luan issuffi

    That's how we got two arrogant, incompetent morons for 8 years.

    March 5, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  15. mike.texas

    Bush went to war with no way to pay for it to save american lives.And not 1 peep from the right or the tea baggers about paying for it.Now 44,000 americans die every year from we know what and the right wing dosent want to spend 1 penny.Whats up with that philosophy

    March 5, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  16. Jack

    I'd love to see both Cheney and Rove squirming on the defendants chair in Federal Court on Treason charges for leading our country into war on false pretenses.

    March 5, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  17. JLM

    I squirm just by thinking about these two clowns as VP.

    March 5, 2010 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  18. Larry

    Rove and Cheny-two animals that deserve each other

    March 5, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  19. jonathan

    Who'll waste valuable dollars on this crap?


    March 5, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  20. jonathan

    It's frightening that actual voters believe this scumbag.

    March 5, 2010 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  21. A keen observer

    Only a fool would believe a word Rove says. The man is a compulsive liar.

    March 5, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  22. Dave

    Bush, Rove, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz and Pearle should all be tried for treason.

    They are all cowards and liars.

    Thanks for all the dead under your watch, the 5 Trillion in debt that you created yourself and the complete and utter incompetance and disreguard you have for this country.


    March 5, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  23. Dave Sly

    Dick Cheney was the worst "PRESIDENT" we ever had.

    March 5, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  24. Albert R. K. . L.A., CA

    Cheney was picked because all Republican campaigns are based on fear and nobody sings that, “Ya Got Trouble” in River City song better than Cheney. All he did for the next 8 years, and is still doing, is beat that drum of fear while marching with a swagger and a sneer all wrapped-up in our flag and look where are we now. In Trouble my friend, with a capitol “T,” and that rhymes with “C” and that stands for Cheney!

    March 5, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  25. Shaking my head

    It never ceases to amaze me how people (both from the left and the right) can know so little yet have so much to say (I'm talking about the people commenting here).

    March 5, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
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