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. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Another point on Rove: He attended 9 universities/colleges and yet managed to avoid getting a degree. You only need 8 semesters to get one!!!!!!!

    How'd he manage that? Or did Donald Segretti teach him that trick, too, back in the 70's? Along with creating false letters and memos? Acorn doesn't fall far from the tree.

    March 5, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  2. Patrick McIntire

    If Karl Rove told me the sky was blue, I would look up just to see if it was true, with the full expectation that it was dark out.. The squirmer in chief has been around for far too long. It is time for him to fade away.

    March 5, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  3. RenaP

    i wish somone would take and clipper and cut those strings off the top of Rove's head. Does this man ever look in the mirror.

    March 5, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  4. Rick in Az

    After the Heritage Foundation buys 250,000 copies of this garbage and Fox News buys another 100,000 to give away at bargin basement prices for donations we will here how it"s a "best seller".

    March 5, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  5. Charlie in Maine

    Rove: Cheney 'squirmed' when offered VP spot.

    Yeah and the nation still squirms at the fact that the Supreme Court ignored the election and gave him the job anyway.

    March 5, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  6. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Anything to sell a book. I don't believe a single word out of this shiester's mouth. Rove is the biggest con-artist fraud in the history of politics.

    March 5, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  7. geecee

    Can't believe Cheney actually would squirm over anything proposed to him, but in any event, I sure do wish, if this were true, that he went with his instincts and refused the offer. He sure was right about one thing – "wasn't a good idea for him or for Bush". Just think how much better 2000 through 2008 would have been without him in charge. Just maybe Dumbya wouldn't have started the Iraq War and we would have avoided 4,380 deaths, a World that hated us, and $1 Trillion in debt!!!

    March 5, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. Sherry

    Talk about "Axis of Evil" Rove, Cheney and Bush what a threesome, they led this country to war, brought down America and Americans, I'm suprised Rove had the nerve to write the book the whole 8 year debacle will go down in history with Bush as the worst president, Cheney as the worst vice president, then add in the rest of the cast of characters they all should be on trial.

    March 5, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. Bruce Hill

    For Jon: you must be a TOYALLY out of your mind!! Bush a great President????? You meant it as a joke, right? Unbelievable!!!!!!!!

    March 5, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  10. wbn

    Rove is a brilliant strategist, and I enjoy hearing his insights on TV. His book will be fascinating. A cruel, liberal press was successful in convincing too many Americans that Bush, Cheney, Rove, and others were devils in disguise. I will always appreciate their faithful and excellent service to our country–and especially to our safety. Cheney brought much experience and knowledge to the office of Vice President. For all the loud barking by biased liberals, notice there is never a cruel retort from these so-called "buffoons." They are gentlemen, as well as American patriots.

    March 5, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. Paul

    On this thread it was asked:

    "When oh when will you leftists finally TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for running the government and stop blaming everything on Bush. "

    Answer: When Bush and the GOP take responsibility for the mess that is the last decade.

    March 5, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  12. jack

    Jon-are you serious? The Bush presidency will one day be proven beyond any reasonable doubt to be the biggest scam ever perpetrated on the citizens of this once great country. George Bush was incompetent (aka stupid), dishonest, had no integrity and continuously lied to the American people. "Heckuva job Brownie" during the Katrina disaster was the least of his many indiscretions and a testament to his legacy as the worst President in our history.

    March 5, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  13. VnVet

    DCTWMT March 5th, 2010 4:19 pm ET

    "...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.
    I agree so much with your comment, I just had to copy it and repost.

    March 5, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  14. SanantonioSlim

    Felonious Monk,

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

    Terrible, lousy, UN-American criminal...

    With the evidence that you must have regarding rove's activities i do not understand why you dont go to the authorities and present what you have and get him arrested. Lacking said evidence it would seem appropriate for you to not disparage rove or any other citizen.

    March 5, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  15. Janet from Oregon

    Did Cheney squim before or after Bush bent over? Kidding, we don't need to know the facts do we CNN?

    March 5, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  16. "Curveball"

    I wonder if he mentions how he tried to slander john McCain during the 2000 primaries. When McCain's family picture included an Afican child that his family sponsored, Rove started the smear that "McCain had fathered a black child". Rove is 2nd generation of Nixon's "dirty tricks" squad, sorta reminds me fat Ed Meese,who also proclaimed that he was an honest, sincere guy........LMAO

    March 5, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  17. max

    Gosh, if only DICK had had the heart attack that hot July day ... we can only dream

    March 5, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  18. Cathy in AZ

    In no way do I believe one word of what Karl Rove said or says. The man is a consumate liar. I absolutely believe Cheney manipulated the process in order to become VP of which the US is still paying for and will be for a long time. Both are despicable!!!!

    March 5, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. Jeff P.

    Like I believe one iota of anything this weasel writes/says.

    March 5, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  20. KTD

    I agree with Jon. The entire Bush presidency was distorted and viewed through a biased an ill-informed prism. I can wait to read this book and the former president's when he publishes his. We all know how you libs hate the fruits of capitalism, so I'll buy a few copies for you all 🙂

    Bush WILL be viewed in a far more fairer context than how he was when he left office. BTW how's that hopey changey thing working for you all?!?!

    March 5, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. Kweso

    Tzu-hsia asked Confucius about telling the truth. The Master replied: "What is difficult to manage is the expression on one's face." Just look at Rove's face.

    March 5, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  22. Chad

    write_wing, Bush and Cheney kept us safe? Where were you on 9/11? They were in charge. If Bush had even bothered to meet with the counter-terrorism czar in his first 9 months in office, maybe he would've kept us safe.

    March 5, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  23. Adalbert

    This is just what we need. More lies.

    March 5, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  24. John

    Is there anyone more demonstrably INCAPABLE of disseminating political wisdom than Rove? He singlehandedly managed to drive the Republican Party into the wilderness, slash the tires and leave it to die in the sun.

    March 5, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  25. max

    Bunch of Losers, Phoenix AZ .... Don't be so hard on yourselves repug from Phoenix, you're not ALL losers ... I know a few good people from Phoenix, they're all democrats ...

    March 5, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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