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. Dave

    Just go away, Dick. The election repudiated you. After your subversion of the constitution and your incompetent management of the White House, the Republicans could have run George Washington and lost. The longer you feel the egomaniacal need to put your name back in the media, the longer it will take the Republicans to rebuild their party. You've done enough damage, now just enjoy retirement.

    March 15, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  2. Andrew

    good thing dick cheney is now irrelevant.

    March 15, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  3. Very Irritated Conservative

    I had to put up with the nonsensical hatred of Bush for 8 blasted years! It just keeps coming! Look, liberals, "MOVE ON" already! Don't look now, but your unreasonable and unquestioning hatred is showing. The most vitriolic of liberals who seem to drive the rest rarely even know enough detail to debate the issues.

    March 15, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  4. Steve Lewis

    The American people voted out the Bush administration for a reason. We don't want to hear any more of their out-dated propaganda. Lets allow the worst administration in 50 years to fade into the sunset. We have more important issues at hand, issues the previous administration left our country to clean up. Surely CNN can find someone more news worthy.

    March 15, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. Larry

    As I watched Dick Cheney on State of the Union, I was dumbstruck to hear that he was in agreement that Scooter Libbey was likely guilty, and was determined guilty of perjury in a grand jury hearing. It was also clear that his anger at G.W. was that Libby was lying to protect them from pending criminal investigation, and for those reasons should be pardoned. Perhaps we can find a cell big enough for the three of them.

    March 15, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  6. Jacqui

    President Bush might have been better served if he didn't have Mr Cheny as Vice-President. I can't believe that he still believes that his policies were the best. The way he has treated Pres. Bush since leaving office is disgusting. Mr Bush is by far, a more honorable man than he is.

    March 15, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  7. xask

    It's amazing that people keep saying that Libby leaked Valerie Plame's identity. If you guys would pay enough attention, you'd know that Armitage was the one that did so (apparently by mistake) and that Libby (or anyone else for that matter) was not even charged with leaking Plame's identity.

    March 15, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. Tom

    What is Cheney missing? A person is indicted on evidence presented, a trial is held with the defense able to present its side of the story and a jury issues guilty verdicts after considering the evidence. And Cheney doesn't like that and thinks the convict should be pardoned? What other parts of the American legal system doesn't Cheney like? Oh yes, we know the answer to that one - right to privacy, equal protection, right to vote, free speech, habeus corpus, etc.
    Sorry Dick. You thought you and W were kings and exempt from the law. You and your cronies are not. This is still America, despite your efforts to turn it into a banana republic where the "leaders" are above the law. Committing treason by revealing private CIA operatives is a crime and those who violate that law must pay. "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime."

    March 15, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. Nancy

    Dick Cheney is one of our greatest living Americans, his stature only accentuated by the hysteria of so many who have written in to trash him. It's amazing that so many people can be so utterly irrational.

    March 15, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. Jim

    Cheney is among the most dangerous self serving fear mongers on the planet. He's full of hate and intolerance for anyone who doesn't look at the world through his eyes. None of these guys have a conscience or admit a mistake. In their world ego is god.

    March 15, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. Agnes

    Cheney should be prosecuted and put in prison.

    March 15, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  12. Don from Texas

    Why does CNN or any other news organization waste time and energy with Mr. Cheney, Mr. Bush, Mr Rumsfeld, Mr. Rove or scores of others from the Bush administration? You will NEVER get them off the "we needed to keep America safe soap box". Please, please, please do us a favor and STOP putting any of them before the camera.

    March 15, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  13. Richard Sattich

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

    Yeah, since it also leaves Dick Cheney hanging.
    Reap what you sow Cheney. Your day is next and you know it.

    March 15, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  14. Barbara

    And how was he kept hanging? Because he didn't get "bailed" out?

    March 15, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  15. HIllis

    The Bush Cheney admistration will go down in history as the worst ever. Cheney let his country down and should be tried for treason.

    March 15, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. rightsaid

    Cheney could have simply turned himself in.

    March 15, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Mr. Cheny is the worse vice president in US history. His secrecy of dealings and lying about many issues significantly degraded the political system of this country. He believes that he is above the law and set a terrible example for other politicians.

    March 15, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. Sarge

    "ONE" Of the smartest thing Bush did in 8 years........

    March 15, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. triletter

    I agree with Cheney, but only in this way – let him be interogated using the methods he thinks that are crucial. Then any thing (truth or otherwise) he says will be used against him, Bush, Libby, Rove and the other criminals in legal proceedings. Now that would be justice!

    March 15, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. GremmieJD

    All this from the most crooked of the bunch...

    March 15, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  21. Lilarose in Oregon

    Dickie, YOU should have done the time, not Libby!

    What a coward of you to allow your underling to take the rap.

    March 15, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  22. william,oregon

    CNN please dont have him on again! Him and W have nothing we want to hear.

    March 15, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  23. Joanna Balias

    Why do even care to hear anything from Dick Cheney or anybody from the Bush administration for that matter? They brought us here and its a sane the media to even give them the honor to express anything else but shame and sorrow for their actions.
    For 8 long years we were making fun of the guy...for real does any of his opinion counts anymore????? or should count???
    Common John King show us some respect here.....for real!!!

    March 15, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  24. Steve

    How can this evil monster continue to walk the streets a free man????

    March 15, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  25. Jamie from Philly

    I guess Cheney feels guilty, knowing he's the one who should have been prosecuted and jailed.

    March 15, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
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