March 23rd, 2009
11:41 AM ET
12 years ago

On '60 Minutes,' Obama rebukes Cheney criticism

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="In a '60 Minutes' interview, President Obama said, 'I fundamentally disagree with Dick Cheney'."]
(CNN) - President Obama said in an interview aired Sunday that the hardest decision he's made since taking office was to send more troops to Afghanistan.

Also in the interview on CBS' "60 Minutes," Obama defended his decision to shut down the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and he countered criticism from former vice president Dick Cheney.

"I fundamentally disagree with Dick Cheney - not surprisingly," Obama said. "I think that Vice President Cheney has been at the head of a movement whose notion is somehow that we can't reconcile our core values, our Constitution, our belief that we don't torture, with our national security interests. I think he's drawing the wrong lesson from history."

Obama was responding to comments Cheney made to CNN's "State of the Union" on March 15, when he said the president is making the nation less safe by closing the Guantanamo prison and ending interrogation practices that Bush administration critics consider torture for terror suspects.

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soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. Rick

    Let's keep in mind the number one job of the President (and also the Vice President) is to keep the citizens safe from their enemies. Bush and Cheney have exactly done that. Since 9/11 we have not been attacked on U.S. soil and I credit Bush and Cheney for keeping us safe. Sometimes being firm is the best way to keep a country safe and some don't like Bush and Cheney for doing that but I am very thankful. I worry that Barrack Hussein (the teleprompter) Obama and Joe (put a foot in your mouth) Biden will not be able to say the same in the next four years (I say four years because there is no way an intelligent society could vote such ignorance in for a second four year term). Oh, by the way keep in mind that the economy started to tank AFTER the Democrats took control of the Congress. Everything was going just fine until then and now it is getting worse when you add Obama to the mix. We are blessed to live in a country where the citizens decide who their leader will be and that we have the opportunity to replace this idiot in the next Presidential election.

    March 23, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  2. Lolcat

    meme sez: "If Clinton would of took action after The USS Cole attack we might not have had the horrible day."

    President Bush was sworn in just 3 months after the attack. Certainly any failure to act falls on his shoulders as well.

    March 23, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. hn

    On whose watch was 9/11? For that you blame Clinton. Cheney and company completely disregarded advise from Clintons administration and focussed on otehr priorities. Now if there is an attack it has got to be Cheney's fault but the current preseident is focussed at the right place so it wont happen.

    March 23, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  4. Not right or left - Forward!

    Cheney's push to attack Iraq – motivated by greed and hatred and the desire to add billions to Haliburton's bank account have made us less safe than anything. The mishandling of every aspect of the Iraqi war from its beginning until very late last year is the reason there are more terrorists now than ever who have us in their sights. Cheney has so many things that he could be tried for it's hard to choose:

    Corrupt manipulation of energy prices through closed door sessions with industry captains

    Leaking the identity of a CIA operative

    Haliburton sole-source give-away contract

    Manipulation of CIA reports to push war in Iraq

    Push to suspend Bill of Rights

    Push to ignore Genevea Convention

    The man belongs in prison

    March 23, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  5. Bill

    To Meme,

    Please quit blaming President Clinton for all President Bush problems. It was not President Clinton who invaded IRAQ it was President Bush. The American people have suffered enough under President Bush watch. Let me guess you voted for Senator McCain for another eight years of Bush!

    President Regan said it best in the 1980s election are you better off today than you were four years ago running aganist President Carter.
    President Obama should of said in the last debate are you better off today than you were eight years ago he would of won 46 states at least.

    Please President Bush was the worst President this country has had in it's history.

    I agree with you President Obama wanted the job and let him do his job he won fair and square.

    March 23, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  6. Sniffit

    @ Tom C, who said "Cheney is a despicable human being..."

    WRONG. Cheney is not human. He is an evil android built in the GOP's underground labs in South Carolina.

    March 23, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  7. John

    If Obama knew anything about history himself, he'd stop trying to ride the coattails of Lincoln and Roosevelt.

    March 23, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  8. Chuck

    Advice for Dick Cheney:

    Be quiet you lying stealing murderer - you'll be lucky if you avoid prison or execution for your countless crimes. No punishment that leaves you alive is enough for putting our democracy up for sale.

    March 23, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  9. A San Francisco non-believer

    Cheney is a seditious traitor who needs to be indicted, tried and executed along with George W. Bush, Gonzalez and Rumsfeld. Until then, the American people need to ignore anything three of most dishonorable people in American history have to say.

    March 23, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. Andy

    Dick Cheney got a well deserved smack down from the President! Next!

    March 23, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  11. Anonymous

    meme I agree 100% If Clinton would of took action after The USS Cole attack 9/11 would not have happened.
    All Cheney was saying is that the combination of reducing interrogations to the Army field manual, reducing surveillance capabilities and closing Guantanamo will weaken our intelligence and ability to defend our country from attack.

    Do any of you neo-libs disagree?

    March 23, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  12. deedee

    great job. mr. president. keep smiling. laugh and the whole world laughs with yuo, cry...and you cry alone. i love you, your policies, and your STYLE

    March 23, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  13. katiec

    There are those who will find fault in anything President Obama does. They do not consider whether it is best for our country, what the previous leadership has done to us or our survival.
    The decisions that had been made have stripped our country of respect, moral leadership and created many additional enemies.
    Are we safer, not at all. Are we strong? With our financial, medical, education systems gutted, we have lost much.
    Yet, they like the republicans refuse to see or do what is right.

    March 23, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  14. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Cheney still beats the same old dead horse which created the worst economic failure for our country. I haven't heard Cheney or Bush mention anything about the economy, just war.

    March 23, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  15. Sniffit

    @ Anonymous, "Do any of you neo-libs disagree?"


    March 23, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  16. arlo

    In previous wars we have convicted other "enemy combatants" for war crimes such as water boarding. It is time we imprison Cheney and Bush for torture as well. The greatness of this country is based on taking the moral high ground, after General George Washingtons tradition. The cowardice displayed by Bush and Cheney, and our great congress for failing to call them to task, is unforgivable!

    March 23, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. beevee

    I am glad that the president was forceful in denoucing the former vice-resident Chenye's statements on the current government's policies on security of the nation. People would have more respect for Cheney if he has kept his mouth shut on issues concerning national security and leave them to the current administration to handle. I blame Mr. John King for interviewing Cheney. Forget him. He is yesterday's news who damged the country's prestige a lot.

    March 23, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. D. Sangiovanni

    And we the people agree 100% with you Mr. Obama. Carry On!!!!

    March 23, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  19. OnTheWhat?

    @ Lolcat

    Bush was in office for close to a year after the 9/11 attacks. He had plenty of warnings about the attacks also that he shrugged off. I think you should look up Agent Sible Edmonds. The FBI agent that tried to wrn the Bush administration.

    March 23, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  20. alvino

    Matthew, Detroit-

    Your comment-56% and dropping. Where did you get that poll? The last one I saw on 3/19/2009, had Obama's approval at 65%.

    March 23, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  21. Moroni

    I believe Obama is doing a pretty good job given the mess the state of the Union was in when he took office. The bank bailouts may not be popular to many, but it has saved thousands of regular people like us from losing their jobs had the banks been allowed to collapse. I also approve of closing Gitmo and ending torture practices. Treating prisoners humanely gives terrorists less of a leg to stand on.

    March 23, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  22. Andrew

    Republicans will just keep saying Obama is doing a horrible job regardless of whether things get better or not. It's understandable though because after all of the naysaying and obstructing they have been doing, if things do take a turn for the better the party is over with.

    March 23, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  23. MD

    First question. Why did CNN give voice to Dick Cheney in the first place?
    Second question. Why should the American public care what Cheney thinks of our new President?
    Third and final question. Why do people in the Republican party keep under estimating President Obama?

    Anyone with half a brain should know by now that the President isn't afraid of very much. Clearly they don't understand how much courage it took for him to even run for office, let alone serve the American people given how many of them are hoping he will fail...

    March 23, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  24. JC

    As an American, I fell much safer now than when the last administration was in power. The terrorists will not be stupid enough to attack us now, because they will be doing Cheney a big favor by proving him right. We all know how much the terrorist like Bush and Cheney...

    March 23, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  25. jimmy-ohio

    i just wish that republicans would make up their minds,if Bush was NOT responsible for something that happened 8 months into his term why is Obama responible for things that happen 2 months into his?As far as blaming Clinton for 9/11 perhaps had the president(Bush)bothered to read his security memo dated august 6 2001(7 months into first term) he would have been told of a mssive terroist plan for the airlines.

    March 23, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
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