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

On '60 Minutes,' Obama rebukes Cheney criticism

In a '60 Minutes' interview, President Obama said, 'I fundamentally disagree with Dick Cheney'.

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. sonny c.

    The two worst things Cheney did during his 8 yrs. as V.P. was pronouncing as royal edict "Reagan proved that budget deficits don't matter" and that "Preemptive war was justified if an enemy posed a 1% chance of harming America or our interests.

    March 23, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  2. Zion

    I love the flawed argument that somehow because we have not been struck by a terrorist attack that somehow Bush/Cheney deserves a cookie. That's like saying, I purchased a new fire alarm, and because my house has not burned down that fire alarm works. Flawed thinking indeed. Also, it is fascinating that everyone said last week that President Obama did too much, now this week he is not focused enough, and now he's in over his head. I think if we can tolerate the drunken cowboy who destroyed everything including this country, we can put up with President Obama. I applaud his strong stance against that AIG taxing bull.

    March 23, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. Mike, FL

    Why is Obama wasting his time responding to people like Dick Cheney ?? Cheney, Coulter, Limbua, Bush and Wallstreet fatcats never learn that the world doesn't rotate around them!

    March 23, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. Darryl Miller,

    Those Crooks should be singing from behind bars. As our current President we should stop the Bailout and increase code enforcement. It's starting to seem like we are letting the crooks off free like buying them out.

    March 23, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. obama-mama

    Bush/Cheyney kept no one safe. It is because of those two why 911 occurred.

    March 23, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. Proud American

    March 23rd, 2009 11:11 am ET

    @ Lolcat
    If Bush and Cheney had read the security briefing 9/11 would have never happened.

    March 23, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  7. Shawn

    Way to go Obama!

    Under the Bush/Cheney watch and direction, more Americans than ever were killed by terrorists – 8,000 at home and abroad, the US's image and credibility crumbled, al Qaeda created new safehavens where they had never been before – like Iraq, Iran was emboldened, recruitment for Islamic terrorists skyrocketed and very few were brought to justice through their house-of-horrors concentration camp at Guantanamo.

    Bush/Cheney only threatened the US and made the world more dnagerous.

    March 23, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  8. jim

    You better be right Mr President. Remember we did not have another attack in this country under Bush and Cheney.

    March 23, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. xenia

    I don't want the terrorists released from Gitmo and placed in the US prison system. There has to be a better plan as to how to treat them and Obama hasn't thought his plan through.

    March 23, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. Larry from RI

    Americans do not torture other human beings – if you disagree with that core principal of American values then you are no better than our enemies!

    March 23, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. Cromwell

    Cheney's comments were a cynical political ploy.

    Cheney accused President Obama of making America vunerable to a terrorist attack.
    If there is another terrorist attack on the USA, the Republicans can say: WE TOLD YOU SO.
    If there isn't another attack on the USA during the next four years, Cheney and the Republicans have nothing to lose.

    March 23, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  12. James

    We were attacked THREE times by these terrorist under the Clinton's watch there was very little response or no response at all.
    When they hit us in Somila we cut and run.

    Bush and Cheney used appropriate power to combat them and now they know that attacking us will not help their cuase!

    CNN allow for balanced posting please!

    March 23, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. william Connors

    Mr. President.

    If you have not noticed, you are president now. Quite blaming others, quite talking and DO something.

    March 23, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  14. paul coke

    I think the President is correct. The neo-cons like Cheney got us into a war we didn't need to be in. He made sure his industrialist buddies got their big pay days, messed up a country for no valid reason, and the sooner we get out and devert the billions from Iraq to our own country the better off we will be.

    March 23, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  15. King Kong, California

    Bush / Cheney administration did nothing to make the whole world safer. For them, its all about natural resources, and they use WMD as the basis for invasion. My God, Obama has to clean up the mess, not to mention the subprime mess that was left over by Bush/Cheney dessert menu. Americans must be drunk, they vote for the wrong guy for the past two terms.

    March 23, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  16. Donni Melninkaitis

    No matter what the poor man says, somebody will find fault with it. They are all deep-sea diving for something to pick on every time he opens his mouth. Attacks take years to plan and that's probably the only reason we haven't had another debacle like 9/11. I agree with the President. We mustn't become the monsters we seek. We need international standing. This promotes countries own governments combating hate groups within their own borders, instead of joining those groups and putting them in charge of the governments. Bravo Mr. President.

    March 23, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  17. James

    If Bush and Cheney were so wrong on defense why did Obama choose Bush Sec. Robert Gates to continue to be Sec of Defense?
    Oh thats right there isn't a capable Dem to fill that role.

    March 23, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  18. vette78man

    Most of those at Gitmo are not terrorists; former Bush administration officials have admitted. The few that have returned to their respective countries and profess to be terrorists were released during Bush's term.

    March 23, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  19. Proud American

    You all realize that Obama hasn't actually closed down Gitmo right? He is trying to, but he hasn't succesfully done it yet. There is a big reason why. No one wants the prisoners, because they are some of the biggest terrorists, who have admitted to several U.S. attacks. No country will take them...yet. Besides, even if he does close it, they will transfer them and they will be in another prison that is exactly the same.

    Also, it brings my heart joy to know that Cheney has ticked off all you liberal idiot democrats. You don't deserve to be happy anyway, and so I am glad that you are not now, even though you have all of Congress and the White House. Even though you have all that, you are still angry people. It is quite funny to read these comments.

    March 23, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  20. Daniel

    The core of this man's being is rooted in respect, honesty, and a protection of a fundamental human dignity that should be a model for any free citizen of the world.
    Barack Obama should be listened to... not Dick Cheney.

    March 23, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  21. Claire

    You are a smart person. Thank you for articulating so well my views.

    March 23, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  22. atypical

    The Cheny perspective/mindset is on its way to becoming obsolete–albeit too slowly, but nevertheless, imminent. Something to look forward to.

    March 23, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  23. Ignorance

    jim – so since we didn't have another attack, does that mean that Obama is excused for one attack on America and we can judge when afterwards?

    People really should be ashamed of themselves. I wonder if Madoff should get another chance since he only swindled us once?

    March 23, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  24. brian

    weather the people in gitmo are terrorists is irrelevant.
    we are holding these people without trial, without due process.

    if they are terroirsts, try them, find them guilty in an american court of law, and punish them up to and incuding execution.
    We can't shred the basic fabric of out justice system and expect to be taken seriously abroad.

    Holding people without trial, without due process, and with no regard to our legal process is wrong, and it is something every american should be disgusted by.

    March 23, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  25. Bob in VA

    "You better be right Mr President. Remember we did not have another attack in this country under Bush and Cheney."

    Right. We only had the one. I'd call that a mixed record at best.

    March 23, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
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