December 22nd, 2008
05:10 PM ET
14 years ago

Biden has some sympathy for Bush - but none for Cheney

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="There’s no love lost between Biden and Cheney."](CNN) - Joe Biden says he has some sympathy for George Bush after the president became the target of a shoe-throwing Iraqi journalist – but the Vice president-elect struck a tougher tone on Dick Cheney, the man he is set to replace.

“It's presumptuous to feel sorry for another man,” Biden told CNN’s Larry King in an interview set to air Monday night. “But I feel somewhat – I feel somewhat badly for him. I think the incident in Iraq was – was unfortunate, that guy throwing the shoes. It was just – it was just uncalled for and was – I think that President Bush and, unlike Vice President Cheney, is, upon reflection beginning to acknowledge some of the serious, if not mistakes, misjudgments that he made.”

Watch Biden on CNN's Larry King Live tonight at 9.m. ET

It’s the latest in a series of swipes between the current vice president and the man who will replace him, and stands in marked contrast to the largely complimentary comments President-elect Barack Obama and Bush have traded since Election Day.

Biden – who referred to Cheney during the campaign as one of the most “dangerous” vice presidents in U.S. history – told ABC Sunday that Cheney’s opinions on executive power were “dead wrong,” and had not been healthy for the country. He pledged to “restore the balance” between the president and vice president.

Cheney himself told an interviewer Sunday that "if [Biden] wants to diminish the office of the vice president, that's obviously his call."

In response, the vice president told FOX News that "if [Biden] wants to diminish the office of the vice president, that's obviously his call. President-elect Obama will decide what he wants in a vice president and, apparently, from the way they're talking about it, he does not expect him to have as consequential a role as I have had during my time."

Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (262 Responses)
  1. Ray

    As a republican I say Mr. Cheney is and was a deceitful untrustworthy
    VP. That being said ALL politicians are untrustworthy due to the nature of the positions they run for. It's all about the ego and not the people. I wish I had 2 pair of shoes, one for Harry Reid and the other for Nancy Pelosi. Then again I would need a shoe store for the many other politicians!

    December 22, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Vickie

    I am sick of hearing all the judgemental mouths out there about anyone we put in office. After 9/11, this entire country was willing to defend it and kick some butt, and NOW we sit in judgement for what we asked for! Amazing, yeah we must be good at pointing that finger aren't we?

    December 22, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. Saad from NJ

    Right ON the money Joe..... Yes, I do too.

    December 22, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  4. bob in LA

    As usual, Joe gets it right. Bush is showing some signs of remorse and admitting he made mistakes, but Cheney could care less about America or Americans.

    December 22, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  5. Steven S. Hall

    No one seems to have picked up on the obvious: what would have happened to this shoe-thrower anywhere else in the Middle East, much less in Saddam's Iraq? If there was ever proof positive that Iraq is a free country, there it is in spades. I think the guy who did this ought to be exonerated and get a medal. Was he beyond the pale? You bet! Should he be punished. Yes, slap on the wrist. But everyone ought to be proud of this entire performance, because it says so much about what has taken place. Iraq is finally a place where a guy is not afraid to throw a shoe in protest at a Head of State, none other than a President of the USA.

    December 22, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. marilyn

    I didn;t vote for his daddy and I never supported bush or chaney.
    So I feel no blame. I only pray that some day my grandchildren
    can enjoy life as good as I have had.

    December 22, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  7. C.T.

    Sympathy???? I have seen the Iraqi people "dance in the streets" twice since the war began. Once while hanging Americans on a bridge. Again after the shoe incident to the president of the U.S. I will never forgive the travesty of 4,000 american lives. If Pres. Bush were to ask honestly to a greiving family if their son/ daughter was worth removing Saddam. They would throw a shoe also.

    December 22, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  8. Maryann Rose


    Excellent response to Kevin in Ohio. Well said, and I completely agree with you.

    December 22, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  9. Dayahka

    Bush has much to be sorry for, but he's picking and choosing the things he thinks he made mistakes about, which may or may not be the same things that historians will evaluate him for. As for Cheney, he's a real crumb. Whether or not he is the worst VP is debatable, for there are many to choose from among. And at this point, we do not know, and may never know, how many times he might have deterred young George from even more demented actions. That he overstepped the boundaries of the VP position as Constitutionally defined there is no doubt, and that he served the corrupt anti-democratic forces of history with his secrecy and highhandedness is obvious. The main problem, however, is that the Bush administration has made outrage and disgust obsolete; on their watch, the country has become even more morally (and economically) corrupt than it was before them. Rather than restore integrity to the office, as Bush pledged, he has lowered the standards into the gutter.

    December 22, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  10. Loretta

    In 4 years tell who was the worst VP. I bet you say Biden. He is so

    December 22, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  11. Jimi NY

    Bush was Cheney's puppet. The only reason I can't feel sorry for Bush is the smirks and the "I am the Decider" attitude he had. He wasn't calling the shots, but he carried them out. Cheney on the other hand is a despicable human being and should be charged for war crimes.
    Actually, they both should be charged for war crimes, crimes against humanity and just being a–holes.

    December 22, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. Kevin Denver Colorado

    Obama & Biden are Gods next to the incompetent buffoons we've had to stomach for the last 4 years. You republitards are a disgrace to all rational thinking reasonable men on this planet.

    Cowards, the lot of you.

    December 22, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  13. SG


    yeah, like that plastic surgery. he looks like nicole kidman!

    December 22, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  14. SAGG

    Roger December 22nd, 2008 3:54 pm ET



    What? A minor plagarism case from 20 years ago vs. Out-and-out seizure of (some) Presidential power against what the Constitution said he could have? A little crack of a badly-handled Indian joke about them and convience stores vs. a man who couldn't care less just about anyone and anything? "Misjudgements"?? Are you kidding me?! I see Biden as the anti-Cheney, a complete opposite who'll be what a Vice-President is supposed to be–a veteran supporter who can step in on a dime if anything tragic happened to Obama (God forbid). Biden seems to be a genuine, good man who can hold his own when giving an opinion if Obama asks him without overstepping his bounds legally, unlike Cheney in every aspect. In fact, I think Biden probably would've laid Cheney out on the floor if Cheney said the f-word to him. Joe Biden is a tough man. I also think he'd have some regrets if he did something wrong, unlike Cheney, who has none. It's unbecoming for this Vice-President to say what he did to a Senator, and beneath his office. Disgusting.

    December 22, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  15. Matt


    December 22, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  16. John

    I'm not sympathetic...they're worth millions.
    Yeh, boo hoo! ...right.

    Heres a quote:

    December 22, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  17. Realistic

    Biden, get off of Obama's coat tails and shut up! So much arrogance from someone who has done little. How about donating more than pocket change to charity before telling the rest of us what we should be doing!

    December 22, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  18. kimota

    I find it interesting that the guy who said that people shouldn't be throwing shoes at the president has no problem with the guy who threw the shoe being beaten while in custody.

    December 22, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  19. California Gold

    I have no sympathy for Bush. I do have sympathy for the American soldiers sent to their death, or to return home with emotional and physical damage they will carry the rest of their lives. I do have sympathy for the other countries soldiers sent to their death, or to return home with emotional and physical damage. I do have sympathy for the Iraqi people who had to endure an illegal invasion based on lies and enduring a country that we were unprepared to restore.

    December 22, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. Phoebe

    I love Joe Biden and think he'll be a great VP. Cheney has been absent for quite a while. Where is he? Yes, the Bush administration has made mistakes, but I truly think Bush did what he believed was right based on the information he had at the time. Time will be kinder to him, and it's nice that Biden can see that. I'm so tired of the extreme Bush-hating talk.

    December 22, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  21. John

    Common Joe, sympathy for Bush because he's a "rich boy fool"?

    December 22, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  22. gerri

    Am I the only person that thinks the current economic crisis was allowed to happen on purpose?Someone always gets richer at the expense of others.

    December 22, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  23. kayla


    December 22, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  24. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz





    December 22, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Bravo! Ken!!

    December 22, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
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