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. Erick in AL

    Why is Cheney still wanting attenttion? Get over it! YOu were a nobody when you were VP.Bush Cheney planned to invade Iraq during the 2000 election.Still haven't told us yet why we are even in Iraq.I'm sick of this guy continuing to degrade Obama and say we are "less" safe.We were safe before Bush (hence no attacks) and yes, we didn't have more attacks whil Bush was in office but I credit the CIA and the Armed Forces for that.The intelligence is available and the CIA and the national security team use that tho avaid trouble. Not Bush, nor Cheney.Bush-Cheney should be locked up for war crimes and murder (of Americans sent to Iraw for no reason, and for invading Iraq and killing innocent civilians).I love my country and I want every American to work hard so OUR country can rise above the fray and be the shining beacon of hope, prosperity and freedom that we once were.

    March 15, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  2. Ellen

    The fact that he so arrogantly ignores facts tells me that he knows he is above the law... Conspiracy theorists must have a heyday with this guy. What's even sicker is that he has credibly with the lemming-like constituency that is the Republican party.

    March 15, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  3. seg from houston

    Are you basically saying that libby perjured himself to protect YOU? and you're feeling a little guilty?

    March 15, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  4. William

    Why does anybody care what this evil old buzzard has to say? Outside of a war crimes trial, that is..

    March 15, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. Avi Shlomo

    It is time for reckoning!! and it is time to send the criminal Cheney, Scooter and the gang so they can hang around in some remot prison for the rest of their lives. Their civil rights should be abdicated the same as foreign terrorists hence they are our own terrorists.

    March 15, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. CMG

    You are so right, Mr. ex-VP....He took the hit for you.

    March 15, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  7. Robert

    OMG ! Why is the CNN bring him back to the State of the Union to talk about their past during the Bush's years. Come on lets move on and change the subject ?

    March 15, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  8. Doug

    Can someone please put a muzzle on this guy? Your time is up.

    March 15, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Dennis

    To all those who think Cheney should rot in hell: HOORAY! This evil poor excuse for a human being. Him and Bush should be tried for war crimes. How these two sleep at night is beyond me.

    March 15, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. Kim, Dallas, TX

    What's the matter Dick? Is the guilt finally getting to you?

    March 15, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. chris coose

    Who in god's name at CNN thinks to bring this ugly, dangerous, old man into the national focus?

    His history is crap and his current opinion is shared only by the looney.

    Give us a break. Cheney is all done.

    March 15, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  12. Joyce Becker

    Dear Mr. Cheney, If you didn't set up your friend Scooter Libby, he never would have been hanging. The big mistake is that Scooter and you both should have been brought up on charges. Seems like you are feeling a bit guilty about what you did to your friend, I am sure if you had it to do over you would still do the same thing. The whole Bush administration should have been brought up on charges and some more heads would have been rolling. I guess you can say you are very lucky, you never were brought up on any charges.
    Joyce from Long Island

    March 15, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  13. Ted Cahill

    The Scooter Libby non-pardon is the only decision Bush got right. Perhaps, he got a conscience and realized it was not the right thing to do. As for Cheney, I don't need to add to other comments other than to say that Bush and Cheney should have been impeached, tried for treason and war crimes, and duly executed when found guilty.

    As for "Conservative", someone who seems to think that CCN would not post his "conservative" replies (censorship??), perhaps you forgot to hit the "Submit Comment" button as you tried to defend Cheney.

    You conservative folks seem to have trouble doing two things at once!

    March 15, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. John Slagle

    It was Cheney that left Scooter "hanging in the wind", not Bush

    March 15, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  15. Ray from CA

    I swear he is the worst V.P. we ever had. He approves of trotue.

    March 15, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  16. Gottlieb Schlittenfahrt

    Why is CNN even bothering to interview Cheny? He's no longer relevant! Few people care one fat rodent's rump what this idiot has to say or think anymore; nor should they need to.

    March 15, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  17. Marcel Danvers

    Dick Cheney needs to stop reflecting on what was (including commenting on the current leaders). He should have done something about it when he could, when he was in power as it was his responsability then. If he feels he needs to complain, he should aim the complain at himself.

    March 15, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  18. Tami

    Wow, this old guy has more to say now than he ever did when he was Vice President! No ones cares about his opinion of the Obama administration. He's just worried that if Obama succeeds in pulling the troops out of Irag and Afghanistan, his Haliburton checks will be in jeopardy! It is so obvious that he is the same self serving idiot now as he was in office.

    Why don't you go back to hunting Grandpa? Oh I forgot you're lousy at that too! Wouldn't want to shoot a person while aiming for a deer again!

    March 15, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. Jim

    Bush and his entire Adminstration should be jaied for Life with not chance of Parole.

    March 15, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. Bill

    Please the American people who are the ones hanging in the wind from rhe worst President George W. Bush and worst Vice President Dick Cheney in American history.

    Please CNN quit bring this guy on your shows with the same talking points that put this country over the clifr. I hope I never see this guy on any network show again.

    March 15, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  21. Brook Mantia

    Ya, we all know how appreciative you are that Scooter took the fall for you, but still, better him than you, eh Dickster? As if you really care.

    March 15, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  22. Aaron B.

    Cheney is a cartoon, he has made himself unreal, I can't even take much of what he says as real anymore. The man has outdone himself, the less I see him the less chills in the night I will feel.

    March 15, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  23. rlkidd

    Scooter should not hang alone, bush and cheney should be strung up also.

    March 15, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  24. Truth Bomb Thrower

    Darn right Scooter should have been pardoned......especially since he did the country a huge favor by ending that grandstanding, attention-seeking woman's career with the CIA.

    Some spy she was. Posing for magazines and sending her egotistical, self-promoting husband on meaningless junkets at taxpayer expense. Someone should have ended that woman's career years ago. She was a national security risk.

    March 15, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  25. Eric Jones

    AWWWWW so sad that Libby was left hanging! Forget him! Maybe he can go to hell with the rest of the corporate criminals who are burying America!

    March 15, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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