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. Mike in Dallas

    Cheney may have squirmed at that time but I have been squirming ever since.

    March 5, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  2. pho

    Murderers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Both of these men along with their other merry bands of life-robbing thieves in the Bush Administration should be brought to trial for at the very least warcrimes! The blood of all of the wonderful servicemen and women who have lost their lives are all over these scoundrels hands. Shame on them and shame on this wonderful country for turning a blind eye and deaf ear! SHAME!

    March 5, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  3. Norm

    So this is Rove's own account of his eight years of lying. The reader, and it sure won't be me, simply needs to figure out which of the 516 pages are his new lies.

    March 5, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. Regis

    Soon convict to be : Rove , Cheney and Bush , the title of the book , the threesome neo-con republikkkans.

    March 5, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  5. Julie

    Hugh Jordan: The journalists on faux news as well as their evil counterparts in print & on radio are already saying these things. And look what happened when Natalie Maines said 1 little innocuous, personal thing about Bush. The hate coming out of the mouths of many on the right is accepted as truth. It's sick.

    March 5, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. Repugnants are Taliban

    Isn't that how snakes get from one point to another? By Squirming, Hmm, lets see you walk Rove, yep, Knew it, you squirm too, snakes of a scale squirm together.

    March 5, 2010 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  7. RHall

    Birds of a feather flock together..we must all keep our eyes and years pealed for this man, his ex boss and the whole group that supports him and his kind.

    March 5, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. Squigman

    If I could arrange prison time for Bush, Cheney and Rove, we'd see all three squirm. All three would be placed where easy access was the watch words of the day, and night. Count your blessings you motherless creeps.

    March 5, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  9. Steve (the real one)

    The left finger wags the right and the right finger wags the left. Folks ,
    There is good and bad in BOTH parties. Stop broad brushing evreybody because of the actions of a few! How interesting , the same folks bad mouthing Bush wants everyone to speak respectfully of Obama and vice versa! You want Bush to go to jail, fine! Send ALL who voted for the war (Edwards, Clinton, Kerry) to jail as well! ALL OF THEM! They all read the reports! ALL OR NONE! Bush a war criminal? Congress (those would voted for and FUNDED the war ) are accessories!

    March 5, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  10. LouAz

    Cheney agrees to be Bush's VP . . . a pact with the devil.

    March 5, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |

    And Cheney is still squirming, trying to keep himself out of prison. I'm not sure how anyone could believe anything Rove would say anyway. He should have named his book "The Big Lie".

    March 5, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  12. Mark

    I bet you all are missing Bush/Cheney now.

    Obama couldn't be more clueless, as to how to run a country.

    March 5, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. hollando

    Two liars like two pea in a pod...none is better and both as evil as darkness!

    March 5, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  14. J JONES

    thank goodness –we had bush and cheney rather than the clinton & obama crowd in there. they may not have been perfect but they were far better than what we have now.

    March 5, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  15. Ain't life strange?

    516 pages, huh? I hope there's lots of photos 'cause Carl can spin a mean tale that will only confuse the right wing-nut population.

    March 5, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  16. Mike in Dallas

    BLemberg March 5th, 2010 4:46 pm ET

    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.

    I see so many of this type of posting from obvious right-wing individuals talking about the "venom" being "spewed" by "persons espousing liberal viewpoints" and such and such.

    I guess these holier than thou, right-wing folks haven't been reading any of the comments on any news articles concerning Pres. Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi etc.

    Well BLemberg, if you would like to see real vitriol just surf on over there and see with your own eyes plenty of examples of right-wing types who "claim the highroad (sic) yet are so very vile in their comments."

    Please, don't take my word for it, just surf on over, or better yet take a gander at some of the posting on Fox News, then come back and tell me about those high and mighty standards followed by the right-wingers.

    March 5, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  17. BlackMANinterested..........

    SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO being a professional LIAR counts as what today? A "somebody" Rove grow some hair.

    March 5, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  18. jack

    Rove said it all, "they went outside to talk in the HOT Texas sun."

    That alone will melt you brain. No wonder there was no intelligent thought. Everything just ran together.

    March 5, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  19. Cy

    you actually belive this clown? one of Bush's top cronies, of course he is going to make these guys look good, he is as crooked as they are lol

    March 5, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  20. Ed

    I doubt I could believe >5% or anything Rove said. I think his life is governed by the rule of the hidden agenda. If he faces tough questioning on a polygraph maybe I'd tune in otherwise it's probably a book of lies.

    March 5, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  21. TM

    "Courage and Consequence"?!
    HA! Bush, Cheney and Rove showed NONE of the former and avoided ALL of the latter. Still, based on these excerpts, the title probably fits, as the book is clearly a work of FICTION !

    March 5, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  22. Ain't life strange?

    @Hugh Jorgan

    Excuse me.... it didn't happen within the last year. The bankruptcy procedings began 8 years ago when your favorite leaders allowed intel to be ignored which created the 911 attacks. It was all down hill from there my friend.

    March 5, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  23. McNeil

    Bush is a honest straight shooter. Cheney is devious, treacherous. Should surprise no one that Cheney manipulated Bush to get himself selected.

    March 5, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  24. Nosey Canadians should mind their own business

    Im glad there are no time limits on war crimes,and we can find this crud behind bars some day.

    March 5, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  25. JohnM

    Obviously this will be in the fiction department.

    March 5, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
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