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. Brooke in PA

    Cheney should shut his mouth. I can't stand him.

    March 15, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  2. Joyce

    I'm not happy you are out on the loose Cheney when you should be jailed for crimes against humanity.

    March 15, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  3. Mike

    I guess Dick Cheney thinks that Scooter Libby is not a criminal? Well, Dick Cheney is just as much a criminal as Scooter Libby and he should not be allowed to be interviewed on his thoughts. The system failed when Dick Cheney was not prosecuted. He reminds of O.J. Simpson being able to run around with his freedoms in tact.

    March 15, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. Kris

    They (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, Libby) should all be held for treason and war crimes!

    March 15, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. bobbie

    He just doesn't get it, does he???

    March 15, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. Elizabeth

    Well, then, put him in prison for treason with the rest of you.

    March 15, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  7. Jason Le

    If I were Obama, I would save the Guatanamo base prison to detain only 2 important creatures: Bush & Chenney... Let's look at America today after 8 years of yours accomplishment???

    March 15, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. Mark

    Does it really matter what this war criminal has to say?

    March 15, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  9. Pathfinder

    Good interview Mr King. I hope that some of the people writing comments here will actually WATCH the repeat tonight and listen to the man they think should be hung. Unfortunantly most of them will say to themselves "why would I want to do that".

    March 15, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  10. MC

    Why anyone would listen to Dick. I will change channels when I'd this this guys on my TV set! Enough!

    March 15, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  11. republicans hate america

    Cheney left this whole country hanging

    March 15, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  12. Richard L

    Republicans spent $50 million to try to convict Bill Clinton of TWO CRIMES: one count of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice.

    Libby was found guilty of FOUR SIMILAR CRIMES: 2 counts of perjury, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of making false statements to federal agents.

    Bush and Republicans decided that the four crimes were not worthy of EVEN ONE DAY in prison. That shows where their priorities were.

    March 15, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  13. Gary from illinois

    You people have never published any of my email comments. You are just as coruipt and vile as Bush Cheney, rummy, and condi. But here goes. They should all be tried for treason to the american people. Not only for irag but the economic mess there buddys put are country in. See if you have the morale courage to publish this!.

    March 15, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  14. Rumsfeld

    Cheney is now irrelevant. Such a shame that he thinks he is right. I have never understood people who think they are always right in their own minds with no regard to the facts or other perspectives. Thank god this man and his ilk are no longer in power. Our country would not have survived much longer under the Bush reign.

    March 15, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  15. Maggie

    Why should a crook like Scooter Lewis get off? Cheney is crooked too although I am a Republican I never would have voted for him if he has ben running for president. Lewis was investigated regarding the leak the covert identity of Central Intelligence Agency If they searched some futher who lnows, cheney may have already known and kept his mouth shut because he and Libby were friends. that fit more under the Clinton administration but some Rebs are just as crooked. It is a theme word for the government, congress and all the highter ups. We the People need to watch our backs or we will pay a price we never would have thoght in George Washington's days. We have ha da lot of good hon=nest politician but I believe the mold is getting cahnged by greed today.

    March 15, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  16. ol cranky

    Left Scooter hanging? Please! He may not have been pardoned but he sure as hell didn't get punished, nor did anyone else in that administration so they should stop their friggen bellyaching already

    March 15, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  17. Fallon

    Why do you even give this criminal a forum? He and Bush have done enough harm. They belong in jail, not on television!

    March 15, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  18. Vijay

    I agree with earlier comment the worst terrorist attack on US happened on US under George W Bush. Trying to say there was no attack on US after that is disowning accountability for the attack even after neglecting prior secret service reports. If the argument is that there no attacks becozs of W after 9/11, think of it, when did US have such an attack before 9/11, is it becoz of W and Dicks' ability we did not have one other or is pure dumb luck....!!!!!

    March 15, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Where we left Scooter is out of Prison which is where he really belongs sharing a cell with Cheney. Scooter didn't have to be the fall guy, he agreed to be the fall guy.

    March 15, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  20. Paul Noble

    Cheney's comments are deplorable. What a coward. History will have to sort out the
    details but Cheney wanted Libby pardoned because he (Cheney) basically got Libby to do the dirty work of going after anyone that
    questioned the Bush's administration policy in Iraq.

    March 15, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  21. Ralph- - Missouri

    Libby would have a very crowded cell with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Ashcroft, and Rove were to own up to what they did to the American Citizens. They all but shredded our Constitution.

    March 15, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. seabee

    Evil is most descriptive of mr. Cheney. I find it unbelievable that he still has any conservative fan club left .Except for the press looking for ratings keeps give him "air" time. CB

    March 15, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. Al

    Dick Cheney Who? While our economy was going down the tube in the final months of the Bush Administration. Cheney could not be found (MIA) now since his departure from US Politics, he has shown his face multiple times commenting on the Obama Administration and still trying to sell that FEAR, which doesn't do anything but continue to fill the pockets of the defense contractors and Haliburton.
    So my question is why is this clown given all this air time now. If he had so much to say he should of been offering it up prior to leaving office. Instead the only thing him and Bush did successfully was almost make the US a third world country. Oh and forgot, gave China enough influence due to the debt we owe them that they can now influence the US in ways that you typically wouldn't want. Your record speaks for itself. Now give President Obama the chance to establish his record. You should now just go back under a rock and SHUT UP!

    March 15, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  24. Brian

    Dick Cheney did a very good job as VP and helped protect the U.S. against further terrorist attacks. At the rate Obama's going, who knows how long the Bush administration's protection efforts will last?

    March 15, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  25. phillfoss

    Left Scooter Hanging? Chaney, Bush, and Scooter should be imates in Federal Prison today. Chaney should no as well as the rest of the country that George Bush is paying him back. Everyone knows the leak came from Chaney Office, and the Idiot Bush didn't know about it until he heard it on the news.

    March 15, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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