Cheney 'worried' by GOP calls to leave Afghanistan
September 20th, 2011
05:12 PM ET
3 years ago

Cheney 'worried' by GOP calls to leave Afghanistan

(CNN) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Tuesday he was troubled by remarks from Republican presidential candidates who say it's time for American troops to leave Afghanistan.

"It does worry me because I think after all the effort that's been made and the sacrifice that's come in the form of lives of our soldiers and national treasure, both Afghanistan and Iraq are extraordinarily important," Cheney said in a wide-ranging interview with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. The interview, which took place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., airs Tuesday on "John King, USA" at 7 p.m. ET.

Cheney said he thought the candidates, specifically Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former American Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, were reacting to isolationist attitudes among voters.

"I think they were responding to what they believe to be popular opinion in the country," Cheney said. "I haven't talked to either one of them about this but I do see this sense of 'It's time to head for the exits, let's get out, let's bring the boys home, let's spend the money here in the states.' And I think that would be tragic if in fact it led to a resumption of the kinds of problems that both those nations faced when we went in."

Cheney said that he wasn't endorsing any particular candidate in the 2012 race yet, but that he was ready to assist any Republican looking to beat President Barack Obama.

"Obviously I'm not a supporter of President Obama's," Cheney said. "I will support the Republican nominee. I'll do everything I can to defeat our Democratic friends in the next election."

In the interview, Cheney issued harsh words for Palestinian officials making a bid for statehood at this week's United Nations General Assembly.

"The hope for an ultimate result that you'd end up both with an Israel that is recognized and a Palestinian state that is recognized, and it looks like they are trying to short circuit the process here," Cheney said. "I worry that this isn't going to advance the process and make it more likely that they can reach an agreement. It's likely to retard it, to diminish it."

King asked Cheney if it was appropriate for Republican presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry to hold an event criticizing Pres. Barack Obama's foreign policy during the UN meeting. Perry held a pro-Israel event Tuesday morning in New York.

Cheney said he wasn't keeping tabs on Perry, but that it was appropriate for Obama's competitors to criticize the president's foreign policy.

"I don't know what Governor Perry is up to," Cheney said. "I'm not involved in our presidential primary process this time around. I haven't endorsed anybody, not likely to anytime soon either, but I think there is room for criticism of the president in the foreign policy arena. I was really disturbed when he went off to Cairo and announced a proposition that the United States didn't have any sort of special role in the world, we were just like everybody else and I think that's a mistake. I think that diminishes U.S. influence."

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Dick Cheney • TV-John King U.S.A.
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. gb0423

    war criminal.

    September 20, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  2. Sorensen

    The fact that the US was wrong in the first place, has been wrong for 10 years and will forever be wrong in both
    places does not justify staying 1 day longer. All the lives and all the treasure have been totally wasted for no reason.
    THAT is criminal.

    September 20, 2011 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  3. Sandy

    Would someone please go and arrest Cheney!

    September 20, 2011 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  4. Chris from San Antonio

    Incredibly important to you and your oil buddies, Mr. Cheney, not the American people.

    September 20, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  5. B

    I am amazed that this guy hasn’t been arrested for War Crimes and waiting trial by a International court along with Bush!

    September 20, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. Four and The Door

    Both are incredibly important to the America. We do not want to squander the gains acheived by our fine military because of temporary political convenience. The groups we defeated in Iraq and are defeating in Afghanistan would love nothing more than an opportunity to gather their strengths and harm Americans here and abroad. It's not about oil or bravado. It's about global security. We are showing it can be done. Let's not show how to give it back up.

    September 20, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. Texas Doc

    Didn't he get five deferments from fighting in the Vietnam War? Now he wants someone elses sons and daughtrers to stay there so he can get rich (see Haliburtin and other war profiteering ventures Cheney runs). He should go, and stay.

    September 20, 2011 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  8. MTATL67

    That man has soul or feelings for the American soldiers he got killed for WOMD that were not even there.

    September 20, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. The Decider

    Wait, wait, I'm supposed to say all that stuff. Just because he ran my administration doesn't mean he's smarter than me.......................

    September 20, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    He is so done and over. Even the military experts say that small covert forces is the way to go.

    September 20, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  11. AntiFringe

    "both Afghanistan and Iraq are extraordinarily important"

    Why??

    September 20, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    I guess Mr. Vice President didn't get the memo. Be against anything that President Obama is for, even if it means throwing the baby out with the bath water.

    Never compromise. Be like a Dalek. "Destroy! Destroy! Destroy!" Submit, or be destroyed.

    September 20, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    When you recognize you are in a quagmire with no end, it is time to make an end.

    September 20, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  14. Dick Cheney is the smegma of mankind

    He does not care about the human loss, only the loss to "Mr." Halliburton's bottom line.

    September 20, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  15. once upon a horse

    just love it how many on the right have no problem keeping our men and women in harm's way. Even some of the Republicans are starting to say enough is enough and bring our men and women home. But what do you expect from a group that cheers DEATH like the cheers I heard in the Tea Party debate.

    September 20, 2011 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  16. diridi

    America has any brain, arrest this idiot, and thug...o.k, irreparable damage to this nation by this idiot...o.k, no ethics, no standards, no morality, no national feeling, no courtesy....o.k,

    September 20, 2011 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  17. Grand Oil Party

    I wonder if would feel the same way if he had to give back all his Halliburton profits.

    September 20, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  18. ThePelton

    Dick Cheney misses being the guy behind the curtain running George W, and thinks he still can go there. I suppose he'll eventually march up to the gates of the White House, and get turned away.

    September 20, 2011 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |