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. Proud American

    Bunch of BS, Cheney lead the team to pick the V.P. and chose himself. What you don't know is Rove and Cheney were gay lovers and had a horrible break-up. After the break-up the two have never gotten along and hate each other. I'm not sure if this is true, but rumor has it that McCain is accused of breaking up the relationship by having an affair with Cheney.... I bet you won't find any of this in the book.

    March 5, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Tob

    DISASTER, the whole sordid story.

    March 5, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. Skysearch

    First Cheney, then Palin...

    Safe to say picking VPs isn't a republican strength.

    March 5, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  4. Winkandanod

    I've Rove says it, believe the opposite.

    March 5, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. Scott

    CNN is so funny. Keep trying to keep the decieved, decieved. Nice evaluation of the book (:

    March 5, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain

    This is BS!

    Everybody knows Cheney was tapped to head the committee to pick the VP candidate for Bush and he .... chose himself!

    If Cheney was “squirming,” it was because he was creaming his jeans, knowing that if Bush won, he’d get to be president – something his evil little self could never have accomplished with him at the top of the ticket.

    March 5, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  7. BLemberg

    Boy,reading these comments is so revealing about persons espousing liberal viewpoints. You claim the highroad yet are so very vile in your comments. You claim to be so understanding about viewpoints different than your own yet cannot see that actions of others may have been based on opposite but sound judgements based on facts that were present at a different time.You are truly no different than the most vile of those you denounce.

    March 5, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  8. SJB

    We bet he squirmed when he received his notices of DRAFT during the Viet Nam war. Didn't stop him from getting FIVE DEFERRMENTS though, did it?

    March 5, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  9. h

    The left have got nothing left but coursing and they call themselves Liberals. The first thing is to read the other opinion. None of these people have read any book. First read and then render an opinion. As the saying goes "you are entitled to your opinion but not your own facts". Little knowledge is a dangerous thing. This is a book written by a man that beat the liberals twice, no wonder he has blinded the crying baby Demos

    Go Karl

    March 5, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  10. Samuel

    I think the story of Little Red Riding Hood has more truth-telling than anything these crooks would ever speak, write or document! That's our history lesson in a nutshell.. change what makes us look bad!

    March 5, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  11. SJB

    This book will end up on the CLEARANCE PILE at major booksellers soon! Look for it right next to Glen Beck, O'Reiley, etc.

    March 5, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. Michael

    Sounds like ol' Tricky Dick was torn between the lure of being a step away from the most powerful job in the world, and the fear of playing back-up to a President with a rep for running companies into the ground.
    In the end, greed won out.

    March 5, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. Ann

    Rove is the biggest liar in the history of our great country.

    March 5, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. Randy, San Francisco

    Rove's book belongs in the delusional fantasy category of fictions in bookstores, next to Palin's book.

    March 5, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  15. Dwight

    I'm no great fan of Bush/Cheney/Rove, but they still seem a whole lot better than that crackpot (and inventor of the internet) Al Gore.

    March 5, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. Marie MD

    Sounds familiar to the mccain vetting process except that mccain's brain below the waist happened at dinner with the quitter.
    They should all be in jail.
    Almost forgot, and the supreme court gave us these people to destroy the country in the short span of eight years!
    To squirm you need a heart and conscience. cheney has neither.

    March 5, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  17. Susan

    I'd line my cat's litter box with this book but he'd probably look at me and say, "Now that's redundant."

    March 5, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. Sheba

    SanantonioSlim - Just because he and Cheney were criminals, and they were, doesn't mean they get prosecuted. Look at wall street.

    March 5, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  19. michael

    You all are a bunch of losers. Bush and Cheney kept us safe. Clinton had the chance to kill bin laden and blew it. All you people are idiots, cheney runs circles around you fools in terms of knowledge and intelligence

    March 5, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    Karl Rove is a blight on humanity. I hope he suffers the fate of his mentor, Lee Atwater.

    March 5, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  21. Carolyn

    He wasn't comfortable with being offered the Vice-Presidency? Actually he was probably just ticked off because he wasn't nominated for the Presidency or for a royal position such as King of America.

    March 5, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. beevee

    This guy Rove is a crook and a liar. CNN should not even bother to cover any thing about this weasil. Don't give his book a free publicity.

    March 5, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  23. Karen

    Was the filling in that cake cream cheese or strawberry? We will NEVER know the truth! Who are these yoots trying to convince Bush? Makes sense why they would write everything upside down and backwards then!

    March 5, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  24. leonardofru

    I would take Rove and Cheney any day over the half-witted thugs sitting the White House now.

    March 5, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  25. j

    I've always considered Rove to be an underhanded sneaky weasel so I figure it's at least a 50-50 shot that Rove is lying. In other words, I wouldn't believe a word in his book.

    March 5, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
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