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. horsechick

    I'm sure Rove's book is a big fat lie too!

    March 5, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. TheTruthForOnce, NOT BS

    And we're supposed to start believing what Karl Rove writes now (as he attempts to sell his book and make millions). Sure, where do I sign up for the free koolaid?

    March 5, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. dle3100

    The bad asked the ugly to be vp,where is the good

    March 5, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. hockeybear1

    "Cheney 'squirmed' When Offered VP Spot."

    So did the rest of America......

    March 5, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. billp

    Liars typically aren't believed even on the occasions when they tell the truth. If both Cheney and Rove claim Cheney didn't manipulate the VP selection process to his advantage, then (as with the Valerie Plame matter), then the opposite is most likely true.

    March 5, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. Chipster

    Wasn't it Cheney's job to find a Vice President to run with George W. Bush? I think Rove is simply trying to rewrite history. I wouldn't believe Rove if he told me water is wet. I'd need verification from a more reliable source. He, Cheney, Bush, Wolfiwicz, & Rumsfeld beat the drum for invading Iraq and had 70% of Americans convinced that Iraqis flew airplanes into the Twin Towers. Every time they opened their mouths, Iraq – 9/11 came out. They knew Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 all along but were determined to invade. They can't pay a high enough price in this life but perhaps the next...

    They all committed treason when they outed a covert CIA agent for nothing more than political punishment for Joe Wilson reporting that there was no evidence of an Iraq yellow cake deal.

    Why do you think Bush said, "According to British sources...."? He didn't quote U.S. intelligence agencies because they all told him there was no evidence! The entire bunch should be in Gitmo!

    March 5, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. Mark

    Rove also thinks they all live in Avatar. Nobody but the truly right wing nut jobs believe this idiot's version of history.

    March 5, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. dora

    And I am supposed to believe anything that either Rove or Cheney say?

    March 5, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. Sam

    Rove complimenting Cheney....yep...good buddies and took America to the depths unknown before ...good grief

    March 5, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. JB

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

    The only thing Dick Cheney has been right about in his life.

    Quite a bag of tools Bush was considering other than Cheney, but any would have been a better choice for the country.

    March 5, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. Phil T.

    Does anyone believe this man?

    March 5, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. big pete

    I do not believe Karl Roves statement--–end!

    March 5, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. if I was crazy, I'd be a conservative too

    Cheney may have squirmed, but not as much as America squirmed for having him as a VP. Isn't history, according to the deranged mind of Karl Rove, entertaining, even though he uses no facts?

    March 5, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  14. JB

    Does Rove really think that anyone believes his story to be the truth? Really?

    March 5, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. Waldo

    So I'm guessing the title of Rove's book refers to "Courage" as something the Bush administration was completely lacking in, seeing as how their fear led them to do Al Quada's work for them, wrecking our economy and boosting terrorist recruiting. And the "Consequence" is something that Bush, Rove, and Cheney managed to avoid when they weren't brought up on war crimes charges for their endorsement of torture, or their outing of a CIA operative.

    It's amazing how "values voters" seem to keep electing the people who have the worst values. "Values" is always a talk-the-talk thing with them... the walk just never gets walked.

    March 5, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. Chas

    Is this just another lie from Rove? Cheney acted as if he was the President from Day 1 and he didn't really want the job? Right! I have a bridge for sale, too. Interested??

    March 5, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. elcrabo

    Squiming is the standard method of locomotion for the Bush-Cheney crowd.

    March 5, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. shooter

    Put this crook and liar Cheney into jail now.

    March 5, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. JLS

    It certainly wasn't a good idea for our country.

    March 5, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. Repugnants are Taliban

    Even among snakes snakes turn on one another, imagine that.

    March 5, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. pianofan

    "Cheney was too much of a patriot"? Oh puh-leeze....Where was that patriotism when Cheney engineered all those deferrals from serving in the army during Vietnam? (But of course, when his rear end isn't on the line, he's the biggest chickenhawk on the planet.)

    Cheney has always been about money – and he certainly manipulated his position as VP to great financial advantage. I'd love to see how much his personal portfolio multiplied as a result of all of those non-bid contracts Halliburton got during the Iraq War. Is anyone ever going to dig into that?

    March 5, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  22. Tram

    Both Cheney and Rove should squirm. They're guilty of crimes they should be spending life in Leavenworth for.

    March 5, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  23. Repugnants are Taliban

    This clown as well as Bush and Cheney deserve to be in prison for treason of the highest caliber, where is justice when clowns like this get to walk the streets when other who commit far less disgusting crimes get sent away for life? Rove, Cheney, Bush, life in prison for Treason!

    March 5, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  24. DCTWMT

    "...too much of a patriot" my ass. An arrogant draft dodger, he saw his chance for power and influence and took it. Less civilized countries than ours would have shot him by now.

    March 5, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  25. beevee

    why the mdeida bothers about covering this crook and his book. Ignore him you have better news to cover.

    March 5, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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