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. jj

    I notice you are not printing many comments about John King's soft interview. I know several people who have written comments and not one was posted. Next time select a reporter who will ask the hard questions. That interview was just a propoganda format for Cheney. It actually sounded like a FOX interview.

    March 15, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. Chipster

    Oh, BooHoo. If Cheney truly feels badly that Scooter Libby was abandoned, he should admit that he and Rove committed treason when they conspired to expose a convert CIA operative. It's unlikely that we'll see the truth in any book written by Cheney. I suspect that he'd rather spin yarns in his book than accept responsibility.

    Diulio said it right: Mayberry Machievellis

    March 15, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. Lauren

    Cheney, you and Bush are the laughing stock of the world right now! Most of us have no respect for your miserable handling of the country.

    March 15, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. Farnk, Las Vegas

    Cheney who tried to shred the Constitution in every way he could now offers advice and comment. Crawl back into your dark hole and stay there. Cheney is a disgrace to America!

    March 15, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Cheney's butt belongs in a jail cell next to his buddy Scooter's.

    March 15, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. mcmahon

    Does this guy ever stop? I mean its incredible. Nothing he, nor G. Bush did, was in any way connected to our financial crisis or our loss of "face" in the world. I find it invcredible the man still whines about Libby. Dick, he was convicted, okay? He's a felon. Bush made one right decision by not pardoning him; although, commuting his sentence right after the conviction was just unbelieveable.

    This man should be jailed. Unreal.

    March 15, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. Cheney and Limbaugh, separated at birth

    Of course Libby should be pardoned. Cheney was the big leak. Terrorist attack coming? Invited by Cheney Bush Rummy. You Dick set us up for more attacks, so don't blame anyone but yourself.

    March 15, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. Enrique

    Time for Dick Cheney to ride into the Sunset and BE QUIET .. The Bush Administartion DID ENOUGH DAMAGE to our Country already .. WHO CARES ANY MORE WHAT HE HAS TO SAY ..

    March 15, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  9. korkea aika

    Left 'Scooter' hanging??? Or did he mean that we should have 'hung' Scooter and all other Bush hacks that were complicit in war crimes??

    March 15, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  10. MichaelT

    Has Scooter told the truth about Cheney's role in the Valerie Plame case, Cheney would be in jail – where he belongs!

    March 15, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  11. Charles

    Cheney feels guilty. He is responsible for Libby's conviction. Cheney should have been convicted along with him.

    March 15, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. Phil Johnson

    The only reason Darth Vader keeps bringing up that Libby didn't get a parden is that he is afraid he will be implicated by an angry Scooter.

    March 15, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. Bafun

    The deal was: Scooter take all on you and we will in a way or an other take you out of jail.
    Scooter took everything on him and he is still in jail because Bush didn't pardon him. And you know what? Cheney has bad conscience, if possible, because he should be in his place.

    March 15, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. paul

    Dick Cheney, along with Bush and others in their administration, should be on trial for crimes against humanity, the American people and criminal intent........he is highly a dishonest American..............

    March 15, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. Charles

    Cheney feels guilty. He is responsible for Libby's conviction. Cheney should have been convicted right along with him.

    March 15, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    Cheney, Bush and their man Scooter belong in prison.

    March 15, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. marlene

    Sorry, John, I couldn't bear to listen to Mr. Cheney speak when they were running the country so I didn't even tune in to listen to his drivil, today. Marlene in Mich

    March 15, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. malcolm

    This is the last creature on earth I thought we would be hearing from at a time like this. Here we are trying to pull our nation out of the dung heap that this *being* (I'm not yet convinced that Dick Cheney is fully human) along with his sidekick George W Bush dumped us in and now he's on TV talking about how he's upset Scooter Libby who flippantly outed a CIA agent for political retribution was left to dry. Are you freakin' kidding me?!?

    March 15, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. TamarS

    cheney is the one who pushed libby INTO the wind. libby is where he belongs. cheney and rumsfeld should be there too, the inept self-absorbed human beings who care about no one but themselves and their own pockets. i bet THEY didn't invest with madoff. they knew what was going on as well as many, many others. madoff did not act alone.

    March 15, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. ME IN FL

    Dick, you and GW should be in jail also!!!

    March 15, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  21. Kelly

    I dont really want to hear what Dick has to say. I was tired of listening to him when he was in. Sure dont need any of his advise now.

    March 15, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. Doyle Wiley, MI

    Libby is were he should be.

    March 15, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. Gary

    I have to admit that it is interesting that the original leak was Richard Armitrage, a Clinton appointee who was not in the inner circle with the Bush administration. Also the fact that Richard Armitrage did not make that leak with any ill will or malicious intent against Valerie Plame.

    I guess if Scooter lied under oath he should be punished. The Bush commutation was a fair compromise. It is very interesting that Scooter Libby, Martha Stewart and Lil' Kim all went to jail for committing perjury and Bill Clinton got virtually no punishment when he committed perjury. I understand that Libby and Stewart could be republicans, but I gotta believe that Lil' Kim is a democrat – – how did she not escape punishment? Maybe Obama will pardon her and she can do a concert at one of his re-election rallies.

    March 15, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  24. cocosolo

    He sounds like a cute little girl ," he shoulda pardoned libby" please if you throw someone under the bus dont complain if he comes out flat

    March 15, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  25. mm

    gary, check your facts 1 less time

    March 15, 2009 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
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