March 15th, 2009
05:22 PM ET
13 years ago

Cheney: Not happy we 'left Scooter sort of hanging'

[cnn-photo-caption image=
caption="Photo Credit: Josh Rubin/CNN."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney told CNN Sunday that former President George W. Bush should have pardoned former side I. Scooter "Lewis" Libby, and that he was unhappy his former chief of staff had been left "sort of hanging in the wind."

Bush had turned down Cheney's request for a Libby pardon. "Well, it was - it was one of the moments that occurred in the administration where we had fundamental difference of opinion," Cheney told John King on State of the Union. "I believe firmly that Scooter was unjustly accused and prosecuted and deserved a pardon, and the president disagreed with that."

King asked whether any of the discussions had been angry or tense ones, or involved shouting. "Those kinds of details, I think, are best left to history," replied Cheney. "Maybe I'll write about it in my book."

Cheney is writing an as-yet untitled memoir about his four decades in Washington.

He told King he and the president had spoken by phone three times in the past few weeks, and that the two men had "built a very solid, lasting relationship" - although he remained unhappy with Bush's decision on Libby. "I was clearly not happy that we, in effect, left Scooter sort of hanging in the wind, which I didn't think was appropriate. I think he's an innocent man who deserves a pardon," he said.

Cheney also defended Rush Limbaugh from charges by some conservative commentators that the radio host was electoral "kryptonite."

"Rush is a good friend. I love him," Cheney told King. "I think he does great work and has for years. He's now offered to debate President Obama on his radio show. Hell, I'd pay to see that! It would be interesting to have developed. I think Rush is a good man and serves a very important purpose."

Filed under: Dick Cheney • State of the Union
soundoff (360 Responses)
  1. Frank

    Hah- should have Cheney Rumsfeld and Rove keeping him company is all

    March 15, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  2. bill

    George Bush should have left both Libby and Cheney "hanging with more than the wind".

    They both should be left hanging in prison.

    March 15, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  3. Kathy

    Libby isn't the only one who should have been brought up on charges. His boss, Cheney should have been also!

    March 15, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  4. Ed Word

    Libby wasn't the only one that should be "hanging in the wind"

    March 15, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  5. The Lady

    Cheney you can not even aim a gun straight. you need not to be talking about anybody.

    March 15, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |

    Scooter, you and Bush should be in JAIL!

    March 15, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  7. Dexter Skagway

    As Hunter Thompson said of Richard Nixon, Dick Cheney is "so crooked that he needs servants to help him screw his pants on every morning."

    March 15, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  8. KC

    Ha, that was the one thing George Bush did right.

    March 15, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  9. Scott, Tucson

    You either like or dislike Dick Cheney but you gotta admit, he's far smarter than the current VP we got right now.

    March 15, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. John you are saying you don't believe in the Judiciary System?

    March 15, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. Dan from MA


    If you feel so bad about Scooter, why don't you take his place. After all, you're the real criminal.

    March 15, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. Maria

    Another thought, Chuck Norris .. have you ever heard of the Patriot Act??
    Go ask the men in Miami and Chicago what happens when you utter terrorist threats against OUR government. Whether you like or not Norris, President Obama is in charge.
    Where were you when Bush was tearing down the Constitution?
    Why don't locate Bin Laden and join him since you both want to destroy this country.
    Personally i think Bush/Cheney beat you to it.

    March 15, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. Kim

    Excuse me, Mr. Cheney - Libby leaked the identity of a CIA agent. Bush commuted his sentence, I don't know why you think he deserved more than that. He was punished for what he did, and rightly so.

    And YOU, sir.... should be indicted immediately. And I'll throw a party the day it happens. You are a war criminal and you should be in prison.

    March 15, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. Linda Hester

    During John's interview, I saw the ol' Dick Cheney – always cool, but never real. He could not possible let himself become transparent. We instinctively know it would look nasty and unbecoming of his former title. He is wound so tightly; it is like waiting for a water hydrant to blow a casket. Give it time. I feel certain there is a "Watergate" episode yet to unfold with Cheney as the prime suspect. But then, we know he is a master at getting others to carry his water.

    March 15, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  15. flybyshoeing


    March 15, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. katiec

    Wow. This must be honor Cheney day.
    Enough, CNN!

    March 15, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  17. Nick

    Cheney was the biggest crook that has ever been in the white house, why didn't John King ask him about Halaburton, Enron, Outing Valerie P. Him and his puppet almost sank this country, who cares what he thinks? Why is CNN trying to clean his image?

    March 15, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  18. reed

    This man is a disgrace to this nation.

    March 15, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  19. andrea

    Libby belonged in jail and so do you, Mr Cheney

    March 15, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. zuq

    Yes, I now see that Cheney is the devil.

    March 15, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  21. PULEEEZZZ!! lets tell some truth

    Scott... Do you consider it 'smart' to be a criminal? To have the blood of THOUSANDS of people on your hands? Is that smart to your mind? By supporting a murderer, you are an accomplice in murder. What does smart really mean, Scott? Are you looking at I.Q.? Scott, are YOU smart? I bet you think you are.. I dont think its smart riping off the USA and going to war in a country that had nothing to do with 9-11..Thats not smart, Scott.

    March 15, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. ch

    Oh please go away – didn't you and GW cause enough damage?

    March 15, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  23. Darryl Miller, Arlington Texas

    If I say FEAR, Distrust, Lie, Steal, and Kill was the keys the former President Bush and VP Dick Chaney use to push our country into DEBT! Would I be wrong? Wake up the same old no bid contract giving multi- millionare who cause the deaths of millions and when asked about the solders and their family Dick Chaney said So What!! or can your remember what he did say?

    March 15, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. Tomas E

    Chenney, I'm all for Libby getting a pardon if you go to jail instead. Otherwise, shut up! You're like Palin – a bad nightmare that won't go away.

    And harsh interrogations – why don't you call them what they are – torture!

    March 15, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. Russell

    If Cheney had been a real man, he would have taken the rightly-deserved blame and Scooter would be free and clear. It should be Cheney asking for the Pardon. The age of "falling on the sword" ended centuries ago.

    March 15, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
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