[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/22/art.kroftsotu0322.cnn.jpg caption="Journalist Steve Kroft spoke with CNN's Howard Kurtz about interviewing the president."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Obama’s aggressive response to recent criticism from former Vice President Dick Cheney was a bit of a surprise, veteran journalist Steve Kroft said Sunday.
Watch: Kroft on interviewing Obama
Last Sunday, Cheney told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that he thought Obama’s plans to close Guantanamo Bay would make the country less safe.
Obama responded forcefully to Cheney’s comments when asked about them by Kroft in a 60 Minutes interview that will air tonight.
“I thought there were going to be two responses,” Kroft told CNN’s Howard Kurtz during the Reliable Sources segment of State of the Union Sunday. “Either, the first response was going to be ‘I don’t want to talk about Dick Cheney’ . . . Or, [Obama] was going to tee off on [Cheney] which he decided to do - very, very aggressively. So I was a little surprised.”
Kroft also said Obama displayed his trademark calmness even with all of the challenges his young administration is facing. “I found him probably more relaxed this week than at any other time that I have interviewed him,” Kroft told Kurtz.