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. Texas Teacher

    Scooter Libby.... REALLY? Rumsfeld and Rove? The whole Bush Administration should be tried as war criminals!

    March 15, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. Ted D

    I'm sure 95% of the country wishes Dick Cheney would just go away. Ideally, in a jail cell for his egregious violations of our Constitution during the past eight years. But anywhere out of our view would do. We just don't need to hear from him about terrorism, Scooter Libby, the economy, or anything else. He ran this country into the ground, left it in great peril, and can't look at himself in the mirror and say, "Gee, I really botched my two terms."

    March 15, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  3. Tom in CA

    The world will be a better place once the International Court in The Hague charges Bush and Cheney with war crimes.

    March 15, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. Merengo

    Both Bush and Cheney were excellent examples of the "Peter Principle" in action.

    March 15, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. Matt

    i wish cnn would do some real reporting. if they did, perhaps we wouldn't be in the mess we are in.

    cheney is a war criminal and that's not a hysterical statement. he intentionally lied and misled the american people into the iraq war, and he orchestrated the torture of hundreds of prisoners who had absolutely nothing to do with 9-11.

    he is not a patriot. he is a treasonous criminal.

    March 15, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. videodrome

    Why is still Cheney still ranting about Scooter Libby?
    Talk about Republican whining at it's best.
    Cheney is irrelevant, his place in the sun (and politics) is over.

    March 15, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. zig

    You are now irrelevent old man....and no one really gives a flying **** what you have to say about anything. Do everyone a big favor, and just disappear into history.

    March 15, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. BV

    They left Libby hanging and Chenny should have been right beside him. That's the real sad part. If Chenny writes a book what a fairy tale that will be.

    March 15, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. Mary

    Anyone wasting their money on a book Cheney writes, will be doing just that 'wasting their money'. Unless is divulges why he shot his buddy in the face while bird hunting.
    I think it was to warn one and all, not to cross Dick Chaney.

    March 15, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. Bud Burgoon-Clark

    Why isn't the ENTIRE BuschReich in jail for crimes against humanity???

    March 15, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  11. Steve

    Chuck Norris can only be tried by himself. He's always found innocent by reason of extreme roundhouse kicks.

    March 15, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. Glennis

    I agree with Cheney; it was a trumped up charge to begin with by people with powerful connections to protect a woman who didn't need protection. And who, by the way, stands to gain handso mely from the situation. As for you loons who think Cheney and company are criminals, take a good look around you. Your camp is full of them. I wish I felt as confident of our safety and security with them in charge as I did with the previous group. Just because you don't agree with them doesn't make them criminal; it just makes them smarter than you.

    March 15, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. John from San Diego

    Why does CNN still give this criminal a place to speak?

    March 15, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  14. Be_O_Be

    Well now that Cheney has all of "Hush Limbutt's" talking points out this should give him a weeks worth of babble.

    March 15, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  15. disgusted

    Cheney is an evil man.

    March 15, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. Simpliticus

    Words mean very little to an untrustworthy character. They WANTED to leave Libby hanging! They DO NOT want a talkative Libby should Scooter get the pardon Cheney is so evocative about. Words belie Cheney's actual intent here. Say one thing but mean entirely something else. And as to the matter of "getting hit again"!, my question still is: Why was it so convenient for Larry Silverstein, the owner of WTC, to have had in place enough, just enough, "insurance" so as to have had coverage for TWO terrorist attacks, let alone, ONE and why was there evidence for Thermate on the premises, the kind of stuff used in demolition processes? These TWO combinations alone strongly suggest that CHENEY HIT US!

    March 15, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. Annie

    What on earth made John King think an interview with this criminal was something we – who are still healing – would want to be subjected to. It's apparent Mr. King is a wing nut who needs points for future reference – is he going to run for political office? Where's Wolf?

    March 15, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  18. Scott, Tucson

    To...PULEEEZZZ!! lets tell some truth. And I guess you believe it's smart for this adminstraion to hire on tax cheats, and to tax the hell out of the American people during a recession?

    March 15, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  19. john

    This guy is biggest terrorist on earth; he should shut up and be glad he's not being prosecuted.

    March 15, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  20. Tim

    Maybe Scooter knows enough to hang Cheney and that's why we keep hearing about this...Cheney is worried Scooter will talk.

    March 15, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  21. Lige

    Maybe one of those future terrorist attacks will catch cheney. That would be great.

    March 15, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  22. Bob G

    It's time for this selfish, self absorbed loser to go away.

    March 15, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  23. LEN

    John King, no matter how hard you try – you will never be
    able to make the Bush Admin. look good. How dare you
    try to insult America's intelligence by those cream puff
    questions you were throwing at Cheny. There is no doubt
    in America's mind that we went to war with Irak under false
    pretense. Dick Cheny needs to go and get a life and admit
    that his admin BLEW IT – CNN, JOHN KING try to be just a
    little FARE AND BALANCED with your POLITICS.

    March 15, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  24. Obama/Biden

    Republicans fear factors. Cheney and the previous president spent eight years in power and accomplish almost nothing.Their only accomplishment is two wars, a bad economy, a recession, deep national debt, and high unemployment.

    March 15, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  25. Michael

    Go away you tired, old curmudgeon.

    Your day is finally past, go back to the ranch and wallow in your ill-gotten, blood-spattered money.

    Good riddance. And I hope the ghosts of our soldiers, who have died for no reason, haunt you until the day you die. Few would mind if that happens soon.

    March 15, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
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