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. Robert MacDonald Canadian

    one right winger lies and the other right winger swears to it.

    March 5, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  2. Most Republicans - Wrong about everything, Wrong for America (and GW Bush was the worst President ever)

    Courage and Consequence? Should have been called Ignorance and Consequence.

    March 5, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. Harriett in Chapel Hill

    No one needs to read any of it in order to know that, because of his past, Karl Rove is a lying criminal who is revered by the right, and reviled by the Left!

    March 5, 2010 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  4. Jason laughing at liberals

    Ha ha ha...I love seeing all these people say, "murderers, should be brought up on war crimes." I find it compelling that we have a Democrat President and Democrat House and Senate, and no one has brought them up on so-called war crimes. The reason being? There were none. You cannot create crimes out of nothing! If they had something, they would have surely pounced on the Bush Admin in the first year. So everyone go back to your fantasyland and believe everything the media is telling you, because they are always right!

    March 5, 2010 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  5. Nick San Diego

    Chaney,Rumsfeld,Wolfkowitz,Pearl and that click, were the ones that pushed Bush for the Presidential nominee of the Party.
    They knew they could control and use him, so as to push thru their agenda they had worked on a few years before.
    These plus others belong in jail. Their Lies, torture, borrow and spend us into this mess we have today.
    I do believe that Bush II finally woke up to this bunch, but too late.

    March 5, 2010 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  6. Objective Thinking

    The comments on this board show that a liberal calling a conservative a hater is a pot calling a kettle black.

    March 5, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  7. Phyllis Hammons

    This is for "SJB" and the other blind liberals. You insinuated that O'Reilly, Beck, and other conservatives have low book sales! For your info O'Reilly's latest book has been on the best seller's list for a year and a half, and Beck's books do almost as well! It is liberal books that sell 300 copies!

    I thank God for Bush, Cheney, and Rove.... all honest, great men. Obama and other progressives will go down in history as destroying our once-great country UNLESS the people of our country get back to basics and realize a UTOPIAN state is pie-in-the-sky and GOVERNMENT CANNOT SUPPLY ALL NEEDS! People must work for what they get. Charity (welfare) is a responsibility of individuals, churches, and private charity organizations....NOT GOVERNMENT! Everyone in a race is not a winner! Both children and adults need to be allowed to fail SO THEY WILL LEARN HOW TO SUCCEED!

    God bless America!

    March 5, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. Theresa in Bozeman

    Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice: the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Rove is just the fat stable boy running behind them.

    Some of my favorite comments about how Bush kept us "safe" and that the current administration is full of half-wits makes me wonder how these neocons after 8 horrendous years can still be gulping that kool- aid.

    March 5, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  9. Dave

    It was not that Chaney squirmed, it was the rest of the country shivering in horrified anticipation.

    March 5, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  10. jeff jackson, alabama

    Well now, this just can't be true. The media has
    always said Cheney was an egotistical power
    hungry maniac. They even have half America
    believing it. So undoubtably this isn't true because
    we alllll knowww the media wouldn't LIE TO US....
    R I G H T ???????

    March 5, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  11. I am the Great and Omnipotent Wizard of Rush and I Say . . .

    Some fool, who calls himself "write_wing" posted at 4:28 p.m. "You people are forgetting that Bush/Cheney kept us safe"

    Hello? You are forgetting 9-11 happened on Bush's watch, when he failed to keep us safe.

    The fact that this poster acuses Bush detractors from forgetting a lie underscores the sick, sociopathic, reptilian right-wing mind.

    March 5, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  12. Solo75

    Rove, Bush and Cheney are HEROES.......

    ....... for the American GOPTaliban Movement.

    45,000 Americans die every year because they can not afford health insurance.

    March 5, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  13. Tom S.

    How ya' figure, J. Jones?

    March 5, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  14. Minnesotan

    Dear Mr. T. Blossom: We just don't care.

    March 5, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  15. LetsBeCivil

    Why would I buy a book written by the guy that has done more damage to our respect for politicians than anyone else in history?

    March 5, 2010 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  16. ted

    The truth comes out? Is Rove's book a tell-all? Trust me, the whole world squirmed when Cheney became VP. He has the worst record of being a VP and was actually the president as Bush had no brains for the job of prez and that is why we have the stupid insane wars going on. If Cheney hadn't been in there doctoring the evidence, we might never have invaded a sovereign country based on lies. I hope The Hague subpoenaes Cheney for war crimes trials and sentences him to daily water boarding at Gitmo. He could be like that last Nazi that was in that prison all by himself for many years. I also wish ex-VP Cheney would just shut up and go back to Wyoming.

    March 5, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  17. John

    Good god, I despise leftists!

    March 5, 2010 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  18. jean2009

    Dang how much does his book cost I'm out of toilet paper!

    March 5, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  19. Most Republicans - Wrong about everything, Wrong for America (and GW Bush was the worst President ever)

    If you want to know why the GOP is in trouble, just look at some of the posts from conservatives right here. 'George W. Bush was the best president ever." " George W. Bush kept us safe from terrorists attacks". "President Obama spends like a drunken sailor". The third one is my favorite. Conservatives wan't to ignore the facts that not only did GW spend billions on an ill-conceived war, he thought that if he didn't include this spending in his budget or deficit figures, nobody would notice.

    March 5, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  20. Enitan

    I do not believe a single word out Karl Rove's mouth, he is opportunistic, a coward and pathological liar.

    Is this not the same Karl Rove who refused to testify when called by congress to reveal all he knew about the firing of judges that refused to carry out George Bush's agenda while on the bench??

    I do not know why these republican liars think that some of us American have brains and can remember what happened a few years back.

    As soon as the oven got hotter Karl Rove resigned to avoid questioning. A good percentage of us Americans with funtioning brains still remembers.

    March 5, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  21. Jason

    It wasn't good for the country either to have Bush or Cheney in charge. Seriously, Rove is deranged!

    Now will Karl tell the "truth" about 9-11? And will he explain why Bush sat in that classroom after being told the news about being attacked and didn't say anything to the kids? Why didn't he just leave? What was with the grin on King Georges face after the news? Was it a "holy $h!t they did it" look?

    America needs to try Rove, Bush & Cheney for violation of the U.S. Constitution!

    March 5, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  22. John Weinbrecht

    Cheney "squirmed..." you mean like the worm he is?

    March 5, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  23. PissedOff Republician

    What makes this lil troll think anyone cares what he has to say.I say put this guy in general population of a federal prison and his bfff bush and that scum bag cheney .

    March 5, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  24. Jim

    You believe Obama's books? Get a life

    March 5, 2010 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  25. Stuart

    You have to love the hard core Reich-Wingers. "Can't blame Bush now, it's all Obamas fault" BUT...it's ok for them to continue to blame Carter & Clinton for everything and almost NEVER bringing Nixon, Ford, Regan, Bush 41 or 43 to task on anything. Rove is a perfect fit for the right. Let all fingers point away and never ever accept blame for anything.

    March 5, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
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