Washington (CNN) - The ballroom at the Conservative Political Action Conference was divided Thursday between boos and cheers as two Republican giants faced the crowd.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney, a surprise guest, presented former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with the "Defender of the Constitution Award" at the annual conference of conservatives which this year has gained significance for being a cattle-call for potential GOP presidential candidates.
Just the mention of Rumsfeld's name drew boos from the crowd, and when Cheney took the stage two attendees screamed at him. One yelled "Where Bin Laden at?" and the other said "Show us the shackles Dick." Both comments were met with chants from the crowd of "U-S-A."
Both men served in the administration of former President George W. Bush and are considered key architects of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Cheney addressed the ruckus when he was eventually able to speak.
"Alright, sit down and shut up," Cheney told the crowd, which broke out in laughs. "It's the usual spirited exercise."
- CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report