March 22nd, 2009
03:40 PM ET
11 years ago

Journalist surprised by Obama's jab at Cheney

Journalist Steve Kroft spoke with CNN's Howard Kurtz about interviewing the president.

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.

Related: Obama's policies raise risk of terror attack, Cheney says

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.”

Related: WH press secretary takes verbal slap at Cheney

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.

soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. Matt

    Some of you people are really outlandish! First of all digger, if your going to say that its not a good trait to have as president learn how to spell the word trait, trate is not a word and it wasnt a case where you missed a letter, you completely missed the word. Secondly, hes not thin skinned, he's answering a man whose actions, along with former President Bush, were highly illegal and made the USA extremely unsafe. Its as stupid as people calling him a socalist or marxist or stupid fox news nonsense but looking at your post, you are clearly very uneducated! Third, its ridiculous to say that he's diverting attention to Cheney. The reason is that on every show he talks about the economy and the challenges that we face, along with his budget. Its called an interview and if they ask the question about Cheney then he'll most likely answer it, its not like he brought the topic up! Stop being ignorant and open your eyes! You people sound stupid when you post such nonsense! Go watch Hannity or Bill O'Reilly or Glenn Beck, there you'll get the craziest reporting!

    March 22, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. barb

    Dick Cheney will go down in history as an under-achiever. Name one thing he has accomplished....thought so. He'll be remembered as the Vice-President that had a shooting accident and that was accidental!

    March 22, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. Simmy

    Say the name President Obama, and the Cult of Criticism shows up!
    When it's all said and done, he's still the man! Love it! Cry babies weep on!

    March 22, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. jhon wilson

    cheny is the worest person in planet earth! when was USA is in danger ? 2001 is not under Obama adminstration. It is bush- cheny eara ok! cheny please go to hell! you need to go to jail soon.

    March 22, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. I Am The Great And Powerful Rush Of Oz

    So Cheney smacks down Obama and it's no problem, but if Obama smacks down Cheney it's a "bit of a surprise". CNN – go back to reporting the news, not the nuance.

    March 22, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  6. Margo

    Cheney? Oh yeah, he was the guy hunkered down in his bunker for most of his term. Idiot.

    March 22, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. Ray Fisher

    Historically, past and present administrations avoided criticisms of each other as a form of respect for the nation as airing dirty laundry is beneath the dignity of the office. Since Watergate, our nation has witnessed an erosion of the nation's interests over that of the administrations, in short, it they have become ultra political and self-focused. Perhaps dignity and courtesy is a dying breed in the White House just as courtesy and politeness have vanished from our citizens. As I refuse to stoop to the level of politicians, I will continue my use of Ma'am and Sir in my daily life as I prefer to live as an example and not digress to a neanderthal existence!!!

    March 22, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. Read one Book ANIMAL FARM

    He is calm when talking about the economy

    BUT is aggressive when criticized by a private citizen

    (is this the bigger picture than my other point?)

    VERY DISTURBING

    March 22, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. ot boston

    Whenever I see this criminal's face It reminds me of "The Penguin" from "The Batman". Whenever he is talking I expect some nasty liquid will come out of his mouth.Guantanamo should remain open: that's where he belong s along with Bush and their accomplices.
    All the best to our president of the United States of America Mr.Obama.
    God bless America!

    March 22, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  10. ch

    Cheney deserves no respect – him and Bush nearly destroyed this country and thank God they are gone and that McCain and Palin were defeated!

    March 22, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  11. today

    cheney is a disgrace to America.

    March 22, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  12. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia in CA

    Somebody, anybody, including the weak press, should have questioned Cheney and his policies, but no, not until Obama has anyone dared.

    Cheney belongs in prison.

    March 22, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. Charlie in Maine

    I did not hire Obama to talk about the past. But if Dick Cheney wants to inject himself into the present and future than Obama has a right and a responsibility to expose that criminal

    March 22, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. SD,Michigan

    I'm not interested in what a reporter thinks his guest should/should not say, might'might not say. Do your job: ask the question and report the answer, I'll be the judge.
    Besides, did you really epect the Pres to take it just like that without prostesting Darth Vader and his twisted views? Cheney is not The master of puppets anymore.

    March 22, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. Read one Book ANIMAL FARM

    barb March 22nd, 2009 4:25 pm ET

    Cheney will down in history as an under-achiever who did absolutely nothing to benefit this country. He'll be remembered for his shooting accident, and that was accidental!
    Libby31 March 22nd, 2009 4:23 pm ET

    I can't think of anyone who took Cheney seriously. Name one thing Cheney accomplished…thought so.
    Truth Bomb Thrower March 22nd, 2009 4:21 pm ET

    B.O.'s not worthy of carrying Cheney's briefcase. He wants to close down Guantanamo because he's afraid that some of his Kenyan family members will wind up there.

    =========

    THEN if these are true

    IT IS EVEN MORE troubling how the President reacted.

    You are helping me make my point sirs

    Shows lack of respect for the Office and its history
    How did LINCOLN, JFK, FDR, Reagan react to personal attacks by private citizens
    How about NIXON?

    March 22, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. John, Brooklyn, New York

    When did journalists BECOME the news? I am far more interested in what our nation's leaders have to say than what the journalism community TELL me that they said.

    Further, this type of "celebrity journalist" is exactly the reason that we have so-so journalists getting such huge airtime, regardless of whether they actually have something substantive to report and analyze (see CNN's weeknight lineup).

    March 22, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  17. Tom Baker

    When you have a fiscal crisis that people want fixed yesterday, It might not be a bad idea to keep reminding people that our finances are a mess, a real mess, a big mess. Sounds more like common sense to me than fear mongering. Seems like you can't win when some people cry for change while others complain that he is trying to do too much, i.e. health care, energy and education. It's not his agenda, it's the agenda we voted for. Finally, don't critize unless you've got a better idea.

    March 22, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  18. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    pat C, tell us what is so wonderful? I think You don't know the fact.
    You can support your wonderful man, but don't tell us what to do.

    March 22, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. Kool

    Bush and Cheney do not deserve the ink you waste on them. They are the worst of the worst. They have lied, deceived and bankrupted the country – the world. They have the blood of innocent Americans on their hands.
    Now President Obama, he is cool and collected because he is thoughtful and focused. If the constructionists and media would get off his back he will be able to get back the respect we once had from around the world and we will also see our economy improve. Give him a chance. You gave the constructionist eight whole years to destroy America. Give President Obama time to fix it. PLEASE!!!!!!

    March 22, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. Smart People

    Truth Bomb Thrower March 22nd, 2009 4:21 pm ET

    B.O.'s not worthy of carrying Cheney's briefcase. He wants to close down Guantanamo because he's afraid that some of his Kenyan family members will wind up there.
    _______________________________________

    Wow, someone still has respect for Cheney. It must be the right wing's uncanny tolerance for evil. Strictly partisan of course. A man who uses our country's constitution and overall respect as toilet paper can still be honorable, but a man who wants our country to succeed should be impeached. You have to love the republican reasoning...

    March 22, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  21. yeahrighttttt

    Read one Book ANIMAL FARM

    In this recession that the republican president created maybe you should read the history about Animal Farm the Animal revolted because their capitalist government suppressed their needs. It is not democracy that make Socialism Sir it's the stupid selfish republican who will make this country a socialist. The stupid selfish republican who protects their capitalist rich friends and enslave the people.

    March 22, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    So, what did Obama say exacting? This article is useless.

    March 22, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  23. Dan, TX

    The important thing is we have a calm rational person in charge. When the republican leadership starts leading, they will sit down with President Obama and work out the best package to give every American an opportunity to buy health insurance at the lowest possible cost. Rich people can afford good health care plans, poor people can get crappy health care plans. But at least we'll all be insured and rich people won't have to pay as much of the burden for the uninsured any more.

    March 22, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. c spurgeon

    Is the press the problem bringing this country down??All they try to do is beat the other guys headline and incite.

    March 22, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  25. Tom Baker

    Cheney has always been and will continue to be a psychopath. His illnes is that he has no conscience. He is smart, and can even be charming with his friends and he has the ability to pontificate like it was the word of God, but he is just arrogant and his deficiency does not allow him to care.

    March 22, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
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