CPAC organizers concerned about jeers for Cheney, Rumsfeld
February 11th, 2011
01:28 PM ET
3 years ago

CPAC organizers concerned about jeers for Cheney, Rumsfeld

Washington (CNN) - Organizers of the Conservative Political Action Conference said they were concerned some of the negative reaction to former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld crossed the line and was inappropriate.

But they said the two speakers did not seem to mind. The conference is the annual gathering of some 11,000 conservative activists and has become an early testing ground for potential GOP presidential candidates.

When introduced both men were greeted with a lot of applause but also with some boos. Cheney was greeted by a few attendees who heckled him about the war in Iraq and other issues. Several of them were escorted from the hall.

Cheney was a surprise guest and introduced his former colleague, Rumsfeld, who was being given an award at the event.

Asked on Friday whether the reception the two men were given did cross a line, the chairman of the event, David Keene, told CNN "I personally think it did, but it didn't bother either of them. They played off of it and it worked fine."

"We were concerned it had crossed the line, but the affected parties" didn't seem to mind, said Al Cardenas, who is succeeding Keene as chairman of the American Conservative Union, the main sponsor of CPAC.

Pointing out that many of the attendees have strong opinions, "You get a lot of rambunctious people on a lot of issues. There were a couple of people who complained about some of, some of the dissenters," Keene said adding he was sitting next to Rumsfeld, and he didn't see any signs the reaction he received bothered him.

"He doesn't feel comfortable unless there are folks there he can play off of," Keene said.

Cardenas said conservatives are known for voicing their opinions and pushing for individual freedoms. "And they take it to heart when they are here."

Both Keene and Cardenas added they believe it is important that the conference maintain civility.

And in the end, the former Vice President seemed to take it all in stride beginning his remarks in typical Dick Cheney style: "Alright, sit down and shut up," adding, "It's the usual spirited exercise."


Filed under: CPAC 2011 • Dick Cheney • Donald Rumsfeld
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Mike Dallas

    'Former Vice President Dick Cheney, a surprise guest, presented former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with the "Defender of the Constitution Award"

    The GOP starts a war for profit to pay back the war machine corporations and does it on the flag draped coffins of young Americans, and now the cons are giving out AWARDS for this atrocity?

    February 11, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  2. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "Cardenas said conservatives are known for voicing their opinions and pushing for individual freedoms."

    Yeah, and Cheney in particular cares nothing at all about individual freedoms. He's a statist who thinks government can do no wrong and that "if the President says it, it's legal."

    February 11, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  3. Former Republican, but never again!

    Nazis booing Nazis? What's the world coming to?

    February 11, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  4. Ted

    Cheney and Rumsfeld as well as Bush Jr are the architects of where the GOP currently is. Bush's administration put us into the IRaq war based on lies that Cheney made up, Rumsfeld did a crappy job of prosecuting the war, Bush did a horrible job of managing the war and all three should report tothe Hague for war crimes trials. Bush and Cheney also are responsible for the financial mess we are in. They expanded government and to hell with any conservative values or opinions. Glad they got booed. Maybe someone shoudl have thrown shoes and tomatoes.

    February 11, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The jeers were from some people who want the US to have a sparkling clean reputation. Cheney and Rumsfeld didn't help us maintain that because of their involvement in torture and an unnecessary war in Iraq. I know that if we have a policy that shows where are real values are, then it is a good thing. The problem is that torture and other actions (using false information for invasion) doesn't help the way we are seen around the world. It is the "soft power" that sometimes helps us more than the gun and bomb.

    February 11, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  6. NC

    So they don't think some of the comments and disrespect that has been toward President Obama by their brainwashed followers crosses the line.

    February 11, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  7. Michael in Houston

    getting bent over these two lying thugs getting booed? Give me a break. These two criminals should have been hunted down with dogs, shackled, and dragged before the Senate for charges and when that concluded they and their boss should be handed over to the Hague to face more charges. That anyone from that administration is walking free, can write books, and make their pathetic revisionist speeches freely is one of the most disgusting miscarriages of justice I have ever witnessed. What is with you republicans? Between the past Bush administration, Palin, Newt, Bachmann, Santorum, there isnt a single one of you that is worthy of anything but loud boos and flying shoes. You are the worst people among us.

    February 11, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. Cosmo

    Of course it is a concern when you bring out two heavy hitters from the Bush years of destroying America and even members of the audience at the "Ship of Fools Conference" recognize them for what they are, Defilers of the Constitution and architects of the problems that helped to bring America to where it is today. The merry band of idealoges of the right can choose to be blind to the facts, history and/or reality, but only at their own risk. It would appear that the pendulum has swung your way as far as it will go. Enjoy it while you can.

    February 11, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  9. Lynne

    It's easy for Rumsfeld and Cheney to joke about their war in Iraq. These chicken hawks didn't have any family members fighting over there. They were all too busy making money off the war over here.

    February 11, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  10. nic

    They are disgraceful, globalist, anti American heathens. they have robbed money, lives and the pride of americans for decades and need to never appear in public again. though CNN seems to like to 'smooth things over...disgusting.

    February 11, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  11. Darth Vadik, CA

    Dick Cheney actually gave Rumsfeld a "Protector of the Constitution Award", I guess it must have been for going to Ashcroft’s bed side in a hospital and trying to force the Attorney General to cede power so Alberto Gonzales can go on about the business of spying on Republican political opponents.

    This is like the Devil giving Halo Awards to Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan.

    Republicans really have some nerve!!!!

    February 11, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  12. they call me "tater salad"

    But lying to the American people, torturing people, war profiteering, mass murder, and theft by deception are appropriate????? Is that what you're tying to get me to believe??????? These 2 war criminals as well as Bush and the rest of his cabinet should be facing execution by firing squad!!!!!!

    February 11, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  13. Liberty Queen

    Dick Cheney and Ronald Rumsfeld lied about WMD's in Iraq and are War Criminals.

    February 11, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  14. Peggy - TX

    When the theocrats, the haters, the racist, and the narcissistic-rich get together, no one is safe from their viciousness. It is so sad to watch the once formable Republican Party disintegrate before our eyes. In fact, the Democrats now need a strong opposition party with strong leaders that will work with them to get the countries business done.

    Unfortunately, the last remnants of the dying Republican Party is now so weak that the extremist in their groups are just creating havoc destroying the Party from within.

    Conservative is a bit of a false name for this group, as it is rare indeed to actually hear a truly conservative ideas from the pack of wantabee presidential candidates presented at this conference.

    February 11, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  15. TB

    I hope that neoconservative military imperialists like Cheney and Rumsfeld are paying close attention to was is happening in Egypt. Foreign dictators can and SHOULD be removed from power BY THEIR OWN PEOPLE!

    NOT by the U.S. military!

    February 11, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  16. normajean

    If this is the first time you've picked up a negative reaction regarding either of these two men, then you have been asleep at your job. They both are men who have proven pasts of devious,self serving, very questional behavior. I wouldn't trust either of them in ANY situation. I believe with all my being that Cheney was "EDGAR BERGEN " to Bushs "CHARLEY MCARTHY" for the entire time of that administration. I also believe that a large part of our population thinks the same thing. and that Rumsfeld was also just a very willing puppet..

    February 11, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  17. Tim

    Inappropriate. Are you kidding me. If I preformed as poorly as they did in my job, I'd be fired two years in.

    February 11, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  18. Luke

    The fact that Rumsfeld was recieving the "Defender of the Constitution" award was ironic. The fact that Cheney introduced Rumsfeld was just flat out bizarre.How two men who were in power and are in many ways responsible for the Constitution taking some of its largest blows over the past decade are part of a ceremony celebrating the defense of the Constitution is beyond me (though, I can't say I'm suprised). Its also interesting to see how few conservatives actually spoke at C-Pac.

    February 11, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Hey be grateful that no one ran up on stage with a set of 'silver bracelets' to slap on Cheney, or that someone didn't take it upon themeselves to excercise their Second Ammendment rights like Angle, Brewer, Bachmann, and Palin like to drill into your target audience. They got off quite easy if you just realize that your audience was chock-full of NRA fanatics.

    By the way you notice how violent your women are? Instigating and almost insisting on the use of lethal force via the Second Ammendment? Your male brethren appears almost EMASCULATED and EUNUCH- like in comparison. What is up with that?

    February 11, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  20. Rick McDaniel

    Everyone is a critic, in politics.

    February 11, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  21. ScottyD

    What does it say of a group that needs to "escort" people out of the crowd that disagree with you. This is what America wants? If you disagree you get booted.....Look around what is happening in the world Conservatives. You are next.

    February 11, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  22. 11cavnam

    Lets see, Cheney and Rumsfeld planned or helped to plan the invasion of another country for no real reason other than that Bush wanted to, why would they be bothered by being caleed war criminals. They know, or suspect, that they will never be prosecuted for these crimes, what exactly is there to be bothered about? Now, if they were to be arrested and tried, likely they would be just a tad bothered. If found guilty, they would be bothered, if put in jail, they would be very bothered, but being called something that is essentially true, thats not a mreal bother to either of them.

    February 11, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Cheney is looking more and more corpse like with each snap of the camera isn't he?
    I didn't think ugly could get uglier, but I guess I was wrong.

    February 11, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  24. Protect and Defend Freedom of Speech in the USA

    Probably some looney tune leftists that crashed the event. I'm sure Dick and Rummy are more than up to the task of taking on these heckling weasels.

    February 11, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  25. 2+2=5

    Yes, ok, don't go hurting their feelings, it is inappropriate. ??? please. Go kill a few thousand more people. Sit down! and shut up!. Meanwhile they move to tear down our entire government, because NOW, it isn't good enough after all, which inevitably would lead to all that for nothing no matter how you look at it. Cute, check please...I'm sorry but this type of silliness is scaring anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of what has gone on in the world when people face tough times. You start to hear words like, "living space", and "final solution"....Unreal. If they were dumb enough to be dragged into the middle east again, they are sure dumb enough to follow such a hateful and ridiculously uneducated leader and/or policy, and the war on education will simply move the agenda along faster. People....quit pretending, this is beyond "opinions". Fact is fact, your not teaching my kids stars and stripes over what really happened like you did Vietnam. Keep on booing, no matter what party, and continue to do so to anybody they give us that is this incompetent. Where is Hansen when you need him? LOL. This is the first time I've seen these supporters take responsibility, and Its about time.

    February 11, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
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