April 23rd, 2012
04:16 PM ET
6 years ago

Cheney offers advice on picking a running mate

(CNN) – It may be months before Mitt Romney announces who will join him on the GOP presidential ticket, but speculation surrounding the likely nominee's choice of running mate is already well beyond fever pitch.

Joining the discussion Monday: former Vice President Dick Cheney, the last Republican to act as the country's second-in-command. Making some of his first public remarks following a successful heart transplant in late March, Cheney drew on his own experience selecting running mates in advising Romney.

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"I've been involved in a couple of vice presidential searches, some more successful than others," Cheney said at an event for students at the Washington Center. His remarks were carried by C-SPAN.

In 2000, Cheney led the vice presidential search for then-candidate George W. Bush that culminated in his own selection as running mate.

He continued, "The thing that I think is important to remember is the decision you make as a presidential candidate on who your running mate's going to be is the first presidential level decision the public's going to see you make. It's the first time you're making a decision you're going to have to live with. It gives the public a chance to see you operate and see what you think is important, what kind of individual you choose to serve as your running mate, what are the criteria."

Cheney said making a vice presidential decision in order to leverage key voting blocs was a mistake, saying it ignored the position's most vital duty.

"I think the single most important criteria has to be the capacity to be president," Cheney said. "That's why you pick them. I think lots of times in the past that has not been the foremost criteria."

Romney would be smart to ignore pundits handicapping the decision, Cheney said.

"As you watch the talking heads out there now, they're saying you've got to pick a woman, a Hispanic, someone from a big state. They're all interesting things to speculate about but it's pretty rare that the election ever turns on those kinds of issues."

In his remarks, Cheney also offered details about the night he received his heart transplant. The former vice president had been on the waiting list for a donor heart for 20 months.

"On a Friday night about midnight I got a phone call," Cheney said. "I knew I was getting to the top of the list."

He continued, "We got in the car and drove to the hospital. Checked in there. About seven o'clock in the morning they began the operation. It took about five or six hours."

Cheney said he remained in the hospital for nine days following the procedure.

"I'm feeling very well, and very fortunate," Cheney said of his current state of health. He added he felt "great gratitude to the individual, family that donated the heart I was privileged to receive."

Also see:

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Huntsman compares GOP to Communist Party of China

RNC formally backs Walker in recall

Filed under: 2012 • Dick Cheney
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Sleaze ball would also be an ideal VP for Mittens. Mittens is confused and could use some of that Cheney war advice on how to bring us to another republican brink of a great depression.

    April 23, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. Luke Brown

    I'm surprised he didn't recommend himself for the job.

    However, I do hope he lives long enough to understand the damage he and Bush did to this country ... and to apologize. He was an arrogant coward who repeatedly avoided military service for himself, but had no problem sending other people's sons and daughters into meaningless wars.

    April 23, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. RINO Bil

    Yes whatever Romney does, he should NOT make the same mistake George Bush did. Old "W" really messed up with his choice.

    April 23, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    Cheney is such a waste of space ... Just how many people covered by private insurance would be allowed to have a heart transplant at his age and with his medical history?

    I know my late father-in-law wasn't granted one at 71, even though otherwise he was in good health ... and he died of congestive heart failure within a few years.

    BTW, he was a World War II vet who served in Italy, so unlike Chickenhawk Dick, my later father-in-law actually put his life on the line for his country (and after WWII went to college on the GI Bill, became an engineer and worked on the Apollo space program – Stage II rockets, to be exact).

    April 23, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth

    Dick Cheney would make a great VP again! Lookin' good Dick!!

    April 23, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  6. Flipper Rmoney Failure Ahead

    First, sacrifice a child to Satan . . . .

    April 23, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  7. Eric of Reseda

    Please refrain from speaking anymore and just go ahead and die, you evil old man.

    April 23, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. Willis

    We all know that is team Tabby Nackle & use to be Tabby Nackle. Rubio & Richie Rich Romney. Welcome to the soup kitchen Middle class America!!1

    April 23, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. beevee

    This former VP is still talking? Who would want to listen to his advice after all he has done to this country under Bush administration. Go away.

    April 23, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |

    Advice for picking a running mate: pick someone with a soul

    Why o' why is this man in the news? He's irrelevant and should be in federal prison. I wish they would have kept your name at the botton of the list.

    April 23, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. Strategic Bob

    The last three vice presidential candidates picked by GOP nominees were disastrous for the county – Palin, Cheney and Cheney in reverse chronological order. Fortunately, Palin helped get McCain defeated and George W. Bush survived in office, thus keeping Darth Cheney from getting even more power than he had. If Cheney had become President we would probably still be fighting in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Jordan, on the Korean peninsula, and a few other places as well.

    April 23, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  12. CTYank

    Still dancing around the obvious facts, for political purpose. Say it Dick: don't futz up like McCain did with that twit Palin. Avoid winking gold-diggers, especially the type that can't communicate in english. Wink, wink.
    Anyone think Mitt can handle this like a grown-up? Consult the weather-vane.

    April 23, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |

    The Real Truth and Nothing But the Real Truth

    Dick Cheney would make a great VP again! Lookin' good Dick!!
    You're an idiot!

    April 23, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  14. smell the coffee

    "I've been involved in a couple of vice presidential searches, some more successful than others,"

    The first time I can remember any voter caring about a VP pick was when Palin was chosen. Then they cared enough to make sure she didn't get into the white house. God bless the good people of the US Of A.

    April 23, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. MaryM

    Romney , listen to Dick, he will surly want you to pick a warmonger like himself

    April 23, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. Blanks

    Great men are often hated as are lousy leaders like Obama.

    April 23, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  17. Bill

    Cheney is an evil man – he is a disease.

    April 23, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  18. DrScott622

    Does anyone really care what Cheney has to say? I feel sorry for the poor individual who gave up their heart so that this less deserving piece of crap get's to live on!

    April 23, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. Joi Gibson

    Go home, be thankful for how blessed you are to have received a new heart, and stop being so vile. You do a great injustice to the heart you received.


    April 23, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. Hank

    Looks like this POS war criminal is going to be around annoying America as long as Palin, but at least, she's harmless.

    April 23, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  21. v_mag

    Advice from a war criminal. That's what Rom-money needs to kick his campaign into the toilet. He got a good start on that when the Bush crime family endorsed him.

    April 23, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    There is a nice, warm place waiting for you Mr. Cheney!

    April 23, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. nick San Diego

    The most hated guy in America and he does;nt know enough to just GO AWAY.

    April 23, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  24. Severely Moderate

    Vacationing in France while America is at war and stashing money in Switzerland to avoid paying taxes.

    Rmoney obviously believes more in Europe than America.

    April 23, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  25. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If Cheney could run with Mittens, it would wrap up the "Guns for Jesus" crowd, the "Chinese Communists for Mittens" horde, the "War on Women" baggers, "War criminals for big oil" flock, and the "Food stamps for Billionaires" group.

    April 23, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
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