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. lilacluvr

    Did I miss the part where Rove was with Bush and Cheney in the backyard? If he was not there, then how could Rove see Cheney 'squirming'?

    This book sounds like alot of self-adulation of a washed up, political has-been.

    March 5, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. JasV

    Who cares about this Halliburton dick of a rogue?

    March 5, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. Indepenmdent_me


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

    Who cares they are all gone now. Let them just go in peace. I never liked them but now that they are gone I just do not care about them anymore.

    March 5, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Jim in Florida

    Well, ooooo kay here we go, a chance for the brainless leftist media to bash Bush again.

    When oh when will you leftists finally TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for running the government and stop blaming everything on Bush. I can just hear Obama on the campaign trail in 2012 still blaming Bush.

    Guess what:
    1. Blaming Bush during the midterms in 2010 ain't goint to work
    2. Sure as heck won't work in 2012 either. By then we'll have a better idea on how far Obama and his Merry Band of Drunken Sailor Spenders have run this country into the gorund.

    March 5, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. Jon

    I am looking forward to reading this exciting and insightful book to set the history straight from the sustained liberal lies about President Bush. Indeed, the history will view President Bush as one of the greatest presidents in American political history.

    March 5, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. RCasson

    Who cares?

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

    Meh...when does he not "squirm"? Is that not the primary method of movement for worms?

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

    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.

    Just like we are supposed to believe the right wing nuts that no terrorists attack took place on American soil under Bush? Yeah, keep listening to that Fox News of yours... humanity has long passed all of you by.

    March 5, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. Felonious Monk

    Does he discuss when he planted a "bug" in his own office and called the feds stating that then Governor of Texas Mark White planted it. Then he calls the media and the feds and the media met Gov Mark White as he exited a plane and ambushed him.

    He lied to the feds, not once but many times.
    This guy should be behind bars...period.

    Terrible, lousy, UN-American criminal...

    March 5, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  11. David Wells

    The only purpose for this article and Rove's new book is to put out a few names of Republicans that Rove would like to see run against Obama in 2012, because rove knows that Romney, Palin, Paul, and Huckabee have no chance!

    March 5, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. l kern

    Here is a feel good idea-if there is an afterlife Cheney is screwed–evil doer. beware.

    March 5, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. Bob

    A criminal writes a book. History will judge his actions not his book.

    March 5, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. Frozone

    And if you believe that Karl Rove lie he's got a WMD in Iraq to sell you.

    March 5, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    According to an interview I saw with Bush, Sr., it was Bush, Sr. that foisted Cheney on "W". So who's telling the truth here.

    Wait a minute, my bad, the truth, outta this group?

    Never mind!!!!!

    March 5, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. Bette

    And why would we believe anything Carl Roves says???

    March 5, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. I voted for Obama and proud of it in Oregon

    if Cheney and Rove were a house pet they would have already been put down or water boarded or neutered oh hell yes that should have been done when the first wanted to bread as young pups LOL but you can't catch al the chicken eaters . but you can put them down when they get caught killing chickens ( humanity) . so america needs to demand both be put down for war crimes and ripping off america and using George Bush as the pupet of there pupet show sick bottom feeders

    March 5, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  18. write_wing

    You people are forgetting that Bush/Cheney kept us safe. Saddam was just waiting for the sanctions to run out to build nukes. Also, Saddam said that his only regret when he invaded Kuwait was that he should have waited until he built the Bomb first. You guys are the ones re-writing history.

    March 5, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  19. Felonious Monk

    "Cheney was too much of a patriot to act ."

    Cheney is anti-American...this guys should be behind bars.

    Look at the list of undesirables in the running for VP.

    Pathetic, simply pathetic...

    March 5, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  20. Felonious Monk

    Jon March 5th, 2010 4:21 pm ET

    You are an idiot. Look at the record...actually look and investigate the record. Don't just listen to the talking points.


    March 5, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. Bunch of Losers, Phoenix AZ

    What a bunch of losers with nothing to do but complain. What are you left wing dingbats waiting for – another handout from you incompetent Pres?

    March 5, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. bones

    Somehow, I don't think I am going to buy this book. I wouldn't want Rove to make a penny of me. Maybe he can write stories for some of the tabloids for a living.

    March 5, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. waltinAZ

    Who cares? I have no interest in understanding anything from Karl Rove's perspective, as the man as some serious character and credibility issues. Understanding Bush's rise to power and Rove's political career is like trying to comprehend the rise of Hitler and the Nazis rise to power in Germany. (All of which are crimes against humanity –in my opinion.) At some point, I'm sure I'll be able to stomach an hour long documentary on the subject. This Rove memoir chronicles eight (8) of the darkest years of our American lives (i.e., the two terms of the "reign" of " King" George W. Bush, who was never legitimately elected. Bush, Cheney, and Rove treated governing like a dictatorship and are responsible for having brought the U.S. economy, reputation, and general health to ruin.) Maybe it's a good read, as comprehending the catastrophic disaster that was the Bush presidency can help us to never allow something of such a negative magnitude to never happen again!

    March 5, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  24. maryd

    Why would anyone believe a word out of this criminal's mouth. He was part of the evil group ( like Cheney, Wolfiwitz, Feih, and the other nuts that want war after war to keep the military industrial complex wealthy) that pulled the puppet strings of the worst president in history. But like all republican books, some religious group will buy a million copies, give them away, then get a tax deduction, all so the book will seem to be popular – just like 'Going Rogue'

    March 5, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  25. Gary

    Ohh – I hope Rove spills the dirt on the firing of the US attorneys who would not conduct political witch-hunts and the political prosecution of Don Siegelman – oh and outing Valerie Plame and Brewster Jennings and all the agents tracking WMDs in the Middle East so no one could spill the beans on the truth about Iraq (of course blinding the US ability to track actual WMDs for years to come).

    God knows this man has dirt to tell – hopefully both in his book and under oath.

    March 5, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
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