March 29th, 2009
03:13 PM ET
14 years ago

Diplomat blows off Cheney dig at Obama

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A senior diplomat in the Obama administration Sunday challenged former Vice President Dick Cheney’s assessment of the new administration’s ability to keep the country safe.

Cheney was asked two weeks ago on CNN’s State of the Union whether he thought President Obama had made the country less safe since taking office. “I do,” Cheney told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. “He is making some choices that, in my mind, will, in fact, raise the risk to the American people of another attack,” the former vice president added.

But U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke, a senior diplomat in Obama’s State Department, said Sunday that he didn’t understand where Cheney was coming from with his criticism.

“I don’t have a clue what he’s talking about,” Holbrooke said,

“We are treating Afghanistan and Pakistan as a single theater. We are going to address it in an integrated way. We are going to give it more resources. And that is where the people planning the next attack on the United States or on our European allies are certainly doing it. So I just do not understand what his comments were referenced to.”

Gen. David Petraeus, echoed Holbrooke. “You served in the Bush administration under Vice President Cheney and President Bush,” King said to Petraeus. “You're now serving in the Obama administration. Are the American people less safe because of this new president?” King asked

“I wouldn’t necessarily agree with that,” the U.S. CENTCOM commander said Sunday.

soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. CppThis

    This is the correct way to handle it, unlike "Rushgate" which turned out exactly how Rush intended it. Gore sniped at Bush for eight years so it's a safe bet Cheney will return the favor, but the last thing the Obama administration needs to be doing is projecting the image that they're more interested in petty wars of words than dealing with the country's problems. One of the big reasons his approval is below Bush's in 2001 is the perception that we're in for four (or more) years of fiery, but ultimately useless campaign rhetoric.

    March 29, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. Jeff W.

    Ha! Why does anyone care what crooked-smile, crooked-person Cheney has to say about anything? This cretin was part of the worst presidency in US history. It gives me such pleasure to turn on the television and see an intelligent president compared to the horror show we were stuck with for 8 years. Whatever, Cheney.

    March 29, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  3. Barbara, FL

    How sad, poor man doesn't even realize he has been rendered irrelevant....

    March 29, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. Barbara

    I don't think Cheney actually knows what he is talking about. I don't trust him or the Republicans. When he talks like he is talking, I wonder if he and his cohorts are planning something devious. I just don't trust any of them. They have chosen ways and thoughts over the time that are detrimental to the well being of this country.

    March 29, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. Joseph Davis

    Dick Cheney- oh wait isn't he the guy that back in 2004 was telling us to protect ourselves from chemical and biological attacks with plastic sheets on our house? While he sent the world's most powerful army to Iraq into a quagmire that he cautioned against in 1994? Same guy who had the only attack on our nation since Pearl Harbor happen under his watch? Same guy who supported Apartheid while in congress voting to keep Nelson Mandela in jail? Same guy who had FIVE deferrments in Vietnam that his mom and dad got for him since he had "other priorities"? This thing should be in prison long ago.

    March 29, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. Thom from montana

    O bama is doing more than Bush and Cheney did, Someone tell me what they did, besides irritating the World. There cocky cowboy attitude has created more enemies. Someday a war crime trail will awaiting you Dick.

    March 29, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  7. Aviate

    Dick Cheney is obviously exhausted from his eight years overseeing torture, myriad war crimes, and the gutting of the US Constitution. He needs a vacation.

    I hear Spain is nice. Perhaps the Obama administration should treat him to an extended stay there. I'm sure there are some government officials over there who would be happy to lock him up, er, host him, for a long period of time.

    March 29, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  8. RuppertJ

    Holbrooke was right when he said "I don't have a clue.."
    He doesn't. The whole Obama foreign policy team could say the same thing.

    March 29, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  9. Simmy

    Cheney and Bush are the reasons President Obama is going into Afghanistan. He is going to secure the area that should have been invaded six years ago. Iraq is Bush and Cheney's Viet Nam.

    March 29, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  10. dude

    General Petraeus is just being a good soldier by not criticizing his boss, the president.... but his response, "i wouldn't necessarily agree with that", is not exactly the strongest words of agreement he could use in support of the president keeping us safe.....makes you wonder

    March 29, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. al

    The September 11th attacks happened on the Bush/Cheney watch...they really have no place critiqueing this administration about keeping the country safe.

    March 29, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. JBen Collins

    If anything, Cheney's outright lies and manipulation of the malleable brain of G.W.Bush put our country in more danger than it has ever been in.

    Recall, Cheney's Halliburton pal's were cutting pipeline deals with the Taliban just prior to Sept. 11th. Anyone remember this?

    President Obama will prevail and we will see real results and a smashing victory over the real dangers.

    March 29, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. MCN

    I'll give Bush this much: he obviously realized in the end days what a total jerk Cheney was, by refusing his repeated requests to let Scooter off the hook. Cheney seems to have had a smirk on his face most of the 8 years-better late than never, Bush!

    March 29, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  14. Kathy

    It seems that Dick is becoming a bit confused...almost senile-itic in his dark rambling rumblings about the safety of our country under the Obama presidency. I guess he believes it is his duty to bring back the dark, doom and gloom of his vice presidency. What a lunatic. I think the man is bored. Not enough people around him to scare. Lucky us, we get to listen; or not!

    Obama has the best interests of this country in all of his decisions, and with the counsel of many, i firmly believe that in all areas that he is putting his attention, we will see improvement. and not overnight. realistically steady improvement.

    And we're getting his message of our personal involvement in the restoration of this country's economy, he is not frightening us 'into it'. simply speaking the truth so we see and know what he is doing and why.

    March 29, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. GB in Texas

    How much more at risk can we be than during the Bush/Cheney administration? It was on their watch that the tragic destruction of the two World Trade Centers and the Pentagon occurred. This is pure sour grapes expressed at the expense of the security of our nation. Shame and double shameon you Mr. Cheney.

    March 29, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. Just the facts

    RE: Mr. Cheney,

    Is anyone out there really taking this Reinhard Heydrich wannabe seriously?

    March 29, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. Shawn

    I'd like to thank Dick Cheney for reminding Americans why we hate Republicans and never want them to have power, ever again.

    Keep talking Cheney! You're doing a great service to Obama and Democrats.

    March 29, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. Maria Loi

    Cheney, should be arrested and done with!

    March 29, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Cheney is a war criminal.... we will have the last laugh

    March 29, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. Petr Buben

    911, a controlled demolition "attack", was let happen by never elected Bush/Chaney. The terrorism against Usa was provoked primarily by the occupation and genocide in Iraq since 1991, and guess who started it. Obama has a difficult position now to slowly back out of colonization. Bin Ladin used to be a good ally of Usa during previous years of foreign Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Saddam Hussein and Iraq also never damaged Usa.

    March 29, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. Shannon

    cheney has lost his power as the "defacto president," but he still thinks people should listen to him. He is no different from the other republicans who can't seem to comprehend the fact that they lost the election (hint, hint mccain) and now they need to shut up and go away.

    March 29, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Joyce Becker

    Cheney and Bush were warned about 911 and they let it happen anyway, remember it was on their watch. There is nothing that Cheney could do or say that I would believe, I wish he went back to hiding in his unnamed place, we don't need his sick advice any longer.

    March 29, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. Kristin

    DICK Cheney should be in prison.

    March 29, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. S Callahan

    Mr. Holbrooke, you were right to call him out on this....this is a psychological trip that he has been on for eight years....and everyone has gotten off the train but him (Cheney).

    March 29, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. Rob Greenberg

    Dick Cheney along with the rest of the horrendous Bush team belongs in Federal Prison. He has dishonored the Constitution with his Fascist policies and has wrecked the economy by supporting policies that help his billionaire buddies. He is a subhuman who ought to be buried at the bottom of a septic tank.

    March 29, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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