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. ThinkAgain

    BLemberg: I'm a Liberal and that doesn't mean that I like and approve of everything.

    It means that I'm willing to consider different viewpoints – and when I find them to be based on lies, deception and manipulation and result in the harming of my country, I get MAD!

    Karl Rove, with his dirty politics, has made a career out of hurting and manipulating people for his and his cronies' own financial and political gain.

    The only reason Republicans under Rove have ever paid lip service to Evangelical Christians, gun owners and anti-choice activists is because he knows that if you say things they want to hear, they'll vote for you.

    And once Rove's candidates are in office, they use their power to siphon off as much of our country's wealth for themselves as possible.

    I say this based on an objective review of Rove's historical actions and words.

    And I stand by my conclusion: Karl Rove is evil.

    March 5, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  2. Sparky

    When is MC Rove's (the treasure trove) rap CD coming out?

    March 5, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  3. bill

    What an unbelievable waste of human intelligence all these people posting comments are. Go take your meds, cheney haters.

    March 5, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. mike from atlanta

    This is to Michael who said that Bush Cheney kept us safe and Clinton had the chance to kill Bin Laden and didn't.Actually you have that backwards.Bush denied the C.I.A. adequate resources in Tora Bora to get the job done.I guess because the Bin Ladens were close family friends.

    March 5, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  5. Lou

    Hey about all those Dems acting all criminal like...the latest being good ole' Charlie Rangel? He could be on Wall Street with the best of them.

    March 5, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  6. FactCheck

    You all are a bunch of losers. Bush and Cheney kept us safe. Clinton had the chance to kill bin laden and blew it.

    Oh Bush and Cheney kept us safe... well, except for that *one* time. Oh yeah, and what about that document entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike US" that the 9/11 commission told us about? Oh that's right, it wasn't covered on Fox News so you wing-nuts never probably heard about it.

    March 5, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  7. A Guy

    I learned, over years of careful observation, that you can tell when Rove is lying: If you look carefully, you'll notice that his lips are moving.

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

    Bush & Cheney did not keep us safe, Michael. 9/11 happened on their watch. It is amazing how some people try to rewrite history, Michael.

    March 5, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  9. p

    Will the wack-jobs ever stop saying that Bush & Cheney
    Yeah, and the world is flat.
    The was really no holocaust.
    We never really landed on the moon.
    – Oh and Saddam bombed us on 911.
    BTW. Who was running our country, on 911, again?

    March 5, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  10. Dieter Zerressen

    Does anyone still believe Rove about anything? Of course Cheney picked Cheney to be the Veep. BTW all the folks complaining about the present administration blaming Bush/Cheney for our present recession: the Republicans still bring up Jimmy Carter and even FDR! Yes Bush failed on 9-11 (he kept us safe, how?), he failed on the economy, he failed in two wars. The ONLY thing Bush suceeded on was 2 tax cuts that transferred wealth from middle class to the rich. That's success in any Republican's eyes allright.

    March 5, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  11. Regis

    The real true is that Rove and Dick cheney are gay lovers, they almost got cut with that moron Larry Craig that day in the bathroom airport, but that liar Craig was so scared to get shoot in the face like the Texan lawyer who was about to blackmail cheney and M. McConell.

    March 5, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  12. jim

    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.


    So funny. Bush took America into Iraq because he said that Iraq did not comply to UN resolution 1441. Yet, months before the invasion, Iraq gave the UN a 12,000 page document on how they dismantled their WMD. Bush flushed that document down the toilet and attacked anyway. As time went on, the document proved to be accurate.

    Iraq did comply with UN resolution 1441.Bush and company should be charged with treason for putting America solders in harms way without just cause. Anyone who can't understand this is as bad as Bush.

    March 5, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  13. Once Upon a Horse

    Please...NO BOOKS BY CROOKS!!

    March 5, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  14. Judith

    In any book by Karl Rove, one can be assured that every other word is a lie, including "and" and "the." Bush made a horrible, tragic mistakes by choosing Cheney, because without Cheney, 4,000 American soldiers lives would have been saved, hundreds of billions of American dollars would not have been wasted and countless of thousands of Iraqis would not have died. Cheney is a one of the worst war criminals in recent history and Bush was his accomplice in crime. No wonder old Cheney is always sending his incompetent, lying daughter out on the airwaves in a hopeless effort to revise history.

    March 5, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  15. CR

    Does anyone seriously believe there is a word of truth in this thing?

    March 5, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Oh sure "Fact Check" maybe after 9/11.

    March 5, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  17. Porsche911

    Den of thieves and cowards await history to judge them...

    March 5, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  18. la

    Rove & Cheny are responsible for the Iraq war which cost 600,000 Iraqs lives, over 10,000 Americans killed, and thousands wounded.

    Bush was dumb enough to listen to Cheny and look where it got us.

    Also, Cheny outed the CIA agent, because her husband disproved the Bush administration's allegation that Iraq got nuclear material from Nigeria.

    And towhoever said that Clinton let Bin Laden go, who let Bin Laden walk over the border into Pakistan? BUSH!

    Rove & Cheny should be prosecuted as war criminals.

    March 5, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  19. southerncousin

    Dominican Mama 4 Obama, the true face of an Obama supporter. Thugs, gangsta's and liars.

    March 5, 2010 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. royhobbs

    Don't you love the title of his "book?" "Courage and Consequence."
    What a great laugh for a Friday afternoon. The Jerk has no courage and he avoids all consequences. Kind of like his buddies at Fox News ("WE DISTORT...And we're snide.").

    He is very fortunate not to be in prison. The "architect" for the Prez. who destroyed American values until we threw the bums out in 2006 and 2008. Stopped this little Hitler in his tracks. Good riddance.

    March 5, 2010 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. Hugh Jorgan

    Pretty obvious that the internet gen is all democrats... with nothing constructive to say, only venom. Give it 5 years and wait to see what gets into the blogs on Biden, Pelosi, Emanuel... Obama will get tagged as the Pres that bankrupt the US. The pendulum swings hard my fiends.

    March 5, 2010 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. markiejoe

    Cheney and Bush will always have the distinction of being the White House team who allowed by far the worst attack against America on American soil by terrorists in U.S. history. Congratulations on "keeping us safe."

    March 5, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  23. Repugnants are Taliban

    All snakes squirm, what is unusual about that? Look at Rove squirm, one of the biggest snakes of all!

    March 5, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  24. Felonious Monk

    jim March 5th, 2010 5:13 pm ET
    "They are gentlemen, as well as American patriots."

    Cheney told a sitting senator on the floor of the senate to go "F" himself. These are words of a gentleman?

    You are a dillusional fool. Wakey, wakey.

    March 5, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. Julie

    All I know is the war-mongering trifecta continues to bring this country down. With all of his health problems, wouldn't Cheney realize the universe is saying slow down, shut up, retire? I believe Bush is basicallly a nice, impulsive guy. With these two on either side of him pulling strings he became dangerous. Ask ANY Iraqi or Afganian, or veteran of any of the wars this trifecta started by lying to Congress & the American people..

    March 5, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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