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. Bob G

    Cheney is smarter than Biden? What are you smoking?

    Is he more devious? Yes Sneakier? Yes Dishonest? Yes

    March 15, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  2. Kevin

    Accomplished everything you set out to do? I believe it. You certainly destroyed my country. No go away. Go back to your undisclosed location. No one one, except you old political hack friends, wants to see you or hear about you. Just go away. Go hide with Rumsfeld and Pearl and Wolfowitz and George. But just go away.

    And why is the criminal even on the a respected news site this this? Slow news day? Whatever credibility you had with is toast.

    March 15, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  3. mark fro dover

    Dick Cheney..another coward who would not serve in time of war when it was his turn. Yet he had no qualms about sending our children to die in an unjust war. Just another "tough guy on paper"!

    March 15, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. Glennis

    The crime and the joke is the current administration, who couldn't find its way out of a paper bag. Libbey should have been exonerated. He was railroaded and Plame didn't need protection. She and her husband are nothing more than climbers who saw an opportunity to damage the administration and did so without qualms. You people who think Cheney and company are ciminals are fools. The fact that you don't agree with them doesn't make them criminal; just smarter than you. However, I think if you combed through your current administration you'd find plenty of them. Not only that, they don't have the knowledge, the courage or the moral turpitude deal with our enemies. When they've brought this country to its knees and our enemies move in, can we then call you criminals for electing them?

    March 15, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. Fed Up w/Gov't

    By reading these comments all I feel is pure hatred coming from the party that claims to value fairness and tolerance. But no worries, your turn will come.

    March 15, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. Xavier

    Cheney is the devil, plain and simple. The man has a place in hell with his name on it.

    March 15, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. Tom

    Man this guy is scary. We had a President with an IQ of about 50 and this guy was pulling the strings. We can be very thankful they only demolished the country to the point it is now. It could have been so much worse. BTW I wonder, in their minds, what the difference is between Clinton lying to a grand jury and being impeached and forever scorned, and Libby who did exactly the same thing (and for much worse motives)? He fell on his sword for this clown who actually gave the order. Let's hope the World Court takes care of all of these criminals.

    March 15, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. Don in Albuquerque

    He should be unhappy. Scooter could be jerked back into court on another charge stemming from this and send W, Cheney, himself, and who knows how many others to the prison cell they so richly deserve.

    Dubya, and Cheney might as well face it. They may be finished in office, but the world is probably far from finished with them. How just it would be after the deaths of thousands of Iraqui, and Americans, it would be to see them both in handcuffs and forced onto a plane headed for Geneva. Coach, of course, with a bag of peanuts they had to pay for.

    March 15, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. Terri in FL

    Ditto that Andrew – I've stopped watching John King's program too. If I wanted to watch that kind of reporting, I'd watch Fox Noise. NPR has been getting a lot of my viewing time lately!

    March 15, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. Tim

    Oliver Stone really hit the mark with "W"
    Cheney subliminally leading a bumbling George W down the garden path. It could only have been more accurate by implying the garden path was designed by former CIA director & president George Bush Sr.
    And the American people should beware. They have every intention of placing Jeb in a position to run the country in the next 4 to 8 years.
    The Bush's are not finished with their legacy.

    March 15, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. jake

    did anyone notice that they spelled aide as side?

    March 15, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  12. Tom

    2 terrorist attacks on our soil why this man and his side kick "boy George" were in power (9/11 and the anthrax attacks on the government) and he is saying Obama will make things worse?

    March 15, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  13. Dak

    Stop showing that evil man.

    March 15, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. ed fl

    to bad that a cup of puke like you and your draft dodging are not in jail with him. Niether of you would have to worry about being molested in jail even criminals have standards. You have been the scourge of this country for a long time.Drop Dead!!!!!!!

    March 15, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  15. Tom Fenton

    It's always nice when war criminals justify their actions

    March 15, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  16. Mike Farrace

    I think Larry King would have gotten more truth out of Cheney than John King. JK has always been a bit of a neocon shill, but today it was pathetic.

    "Gee, Mr. Vice President - is there anything you want to say? And please, feel comfortable to say anything, because followups will be non-existent."

    King said didn't want to ask any questions Cheney had answered before. But those softballs he was lobbing up there got us the same BS answers anyway.

    March 15, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  17. Obama is the Greatest!

    yo go Mr. Cheney, how come Obama didn't pick you for VP, do you pay your taxes?

    March 15, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. Gwazdos

    Cheney of all people need to be charged with War Crimes and put in Jail for the damage he has done to our Country. This man is worst than Cancer.

    March 15, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  19. Maria

    I saw Cheney on State of the Union, he was tense, good for this heart (:
    He spoke volumes - he feels "Rush is a good man".
    CNN you didn't print my comments on Cheney - bad, bad you are.

    March 15, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  20. Jim

    I anxiously await the day when those who hate Bush and his administration are proven to be the foolish and ignorant buffoons that they really are.

    Patience fellow American Patriots...that day will come. And maybe sooner than most may think. The wisdom of the past administration is being proven quickly by the actions of our new President and his cronies. Or, rather the few that can be persuaded now to work for him.

    March 15, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. Mary

    NO ! Bush and Cheney did NOT start THIS depression, Clinton did when he signed NAFTA - without jobs people, no one can pay thier mortgage. Don't forget it. Work harder, work better, keep jobs here in America. Buy American made.

    March 15, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  22. Jack Dieckhoner

    Dick Cheney, George Bush and Scooter Libby should all be in jail for the crimes committed against this country. At no time in the history of this country has one administration done so much to undo the Constitution, trample the Bill of Rights os caused so much suffering as this administration has. Why is CNN giving this clown any time on the air. He is no longer a relevent person and history will judge him as a traitor. Along with him, Bush and Libby, Cark Rove should also be in jail. Look what they've done and you have the nerver to interview him and give him any credability. Shame on CNN.

    March 15, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  23. Edward Bourelly

    The bottom line is that Libby leaked a CIA agent's name for political reasons and you know that Bush and Cheney authorized it. This man is evil and I get a feeling every time I look at him that this is the face of evil.

    March 15, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  24. garey

    they should all be hanging.....why does the media allow that idiot to speak.....dont ask him to speak and maybe he will go away.

    March 15, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  25. facts are facts

    Cheney would likely want Maddof pardoned with his sentence commuted as well. These criminal types are all the same and in many instances inter connected.

    The Republican Trolls posting ridiculous statements like Scooter was innocent and railroaded must be dipping into Rush's stash.

    March 15, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
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