April 22nd, 2009
12:44 PM ET
14 years ago

Cheney hits Obama again: 'Devastating' economic policies

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/22/art.split.gi.jpg caption="Cheney's war of words with the Obama administration continues."]

(CNN) - President Barack Obama's expansion of the federal government into the financial sector is likely to have "devastating" effects in the long term, former Vice President Dick Cheney said in his latest salvo directed at the new White House administration.

In an interview on Fox News - portions of which aired Tuesday night - the former vice president said he is "very concerned" about where the Obama administration is taking the country economically.

"I worry very much that we're in a situation now where there doesn't appear to be any limitation whatsoever in terms of the spending commitments that this administration wants to make," he said. "Vast expansion in terms of the deficit, but it also says a lot about what they intend for the role of government in this society."

White House officials have predicted the country's deficit will soar to $1.75 trillion this year, after the administration's efforts to bail out troubled financial companies and stabilize the nation's flailing economy. Obama has also pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term, a promise critics doubt is possible to keep. (Related: Obama defends budget as essential to recovery)

But beyond rising deficits, Cheney said he is concerned the administration is fundamentally "redefining that relationship between government, on the one hand, and the private sector on the other."

"I'm one of those people who believes that part of the greatness of the United States is our private sector. "It's what we do as private citizens for ourselves and our companies," he said, later adding, "I think we have to be very, very cautious. I think we've gone beyond what reasonably we could expect by way of intrusion into the private sector."

Cheney's comments are only the latest in a string criticisms he has publicly aired in recent weeks about the administration that succeeded his, though they appear to be his harshest words to date about the new president's economic policies.

In past interviews the former vice president has sharply questioned Obama's national security policies, telling CNN he thinks the country is less safe than it was under the Bush administration.

Cheney's comments have led to criticisms from Obama aides that he is confounding his role as an elder statesman, but, in the interview with Fox News, Cheney said people should not be surprised he is speaking out.

"I've been criticized because I've had the temerity to speak out and done a couple of interviews since I left office. I don't find anything surprising about that," he said. "I don't say - I've been careful not to get personal in terms of my criticisms for my comment, but I think the issues are simply too important for the future of the nation for us to operate as though those of us who disagree somehow shouldn't speak out and be heard. I think we need to be heard."

As for Cheney's contention of the detrimental effects of government expansion into the economy, Americans appear split on the issue,  with 35 percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll conducted earlier this month saying that government involvement has gone too far. Forty-two percent felt the increased government involvement in big business was about right, and 23 percent said Washington had not gone far enough.

Filed under: Dick Cheney • President Obama
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Melissa

    I find it almost comical that Dick Cheney thinks he has the right to condemn the actions of ANYONE else in government. Cheney was one of the most corrupt executives we have had in DC this CENTURY, and without a doubt we have him to thank for at least some part of the current finiancial crisis, not to mention the war we are still STUCK in and spending BILLIONS of dollars a year on.

    Further, the only reason he finds Obama's plan "devastating" is because it doesn't protect his own personal interest. By Cheney's standards THAT is what a politician is supposed to do: protect big oil conglomerates like himself with tax breaks and exceptions to federal environmental legislation so they can drill. I'd be devastated too if I had spent 8 years wasting Americans' money and energy to protect myself and then someone came int office and stopped the corrupt practices that were keeping me rich.

    April 22, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. Dan Holiday

    Mr. Cheney has forgotten more in the last week than Obambi has learned his whole life when it comes to politics. You all can rip Mr. Cheney all you want. I know it is part of the talking points you have been issued for this topic, but come on. Maybe if you all would do more than listen to each other and decide to learn about the economy and politics, one of you would have an original thought...lol. Well, then again....you are liberals, and that would be asking a lot. Obambi has grown our debt in his first three months than Bush/Cheney did in 8 years...please read that again and again until it sinks in. And if you think that spending more money in order to save money and come out ahead is the solution...well then you are morons. I would hate to be a part of your family units. "Honey, we are in debt...let's go buy a new car and plasma T.V...that will sure help us save money and relieve our debt." Haha. Get a clue you liberal retards and stop blaming Bush and Cheney...this is you mess now and remember who was in charge of the Congress for the last 2 and a half years...the do nothing dems.

    April 22, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  3. Steven Bellavance

    How convenient for Cheney to thump his chest now that he the purveyor's of doom are no longer in office. And why is it that he always ends up on the Faux News channel to peddle his brand of smut. Hey Dick, be a REAL man and do a REAL interview with a credible news orginization if you want to be taken seriously...Not that it is possible!

    April 22, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. Melissa

    Who is Cheney to talk? His behavior and what he supports is morally reprehensible and what he's done brought us to where we are now. He needs to shut his trap.

    April 22, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  5. Lisa

    Right. Were was all the concern when he was masterminding the war against Iraq. Were was the conern over the cost of a war that was so apparently waged with manufactered lies. I guess he is ok with the cost of money and lives for his blundering mistakes. What a joke of a man.

    April 22, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  6. barostoni

    why is Cheney now so knowledgeable and vocal. where was he the past eight years when he had opportunity to actually do something?

    April 22, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  7. Matthew in Oregon

    Pssst.... you're not the shadow president any longer, Mr. Cheney. And your approval ratings are sub-arctic.

    April 22, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  8. AmericanNewYorker

    What if Mr. Cheney was in office for the next four years? I think that the U.S. would be completely isolated from the rest of the world, with the exception of a very few countries who depend on us for their existences.

    And as far as the Economic side of it goes, lets just look at what he and Bush did in the last 8 years, it took the U.S. over 200 years to have a national dept of 4 Trillion and it took these two ONLY 8 to more than double it!!!!
    So I think that Mr. Cheney should keep his mouth shut and go find himself a deep dark hole that he can spend the rest of his life in!!!!!

    April 22, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. Paul

    Well, if this isn't the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is!

    April 22, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  10. Tom Paine

    A 4 TRILLION DOLLAR, pork filled budget, a staggering deficit that will NEVER be repaid, the economic system foundering, and all you liberals are ok with that?

    Fine. You and President Genius can pay the giant bill when it comes due.

    April 22, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  11. kizito

    Strike2...Nex time he will have to explained his position in front of a special proescutor .. This is a reason why the Obama Administration has left the door opened for prosecution... we know Cheney not Bush authorized torture... such as waterboarding......

    April 22, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  12. Anonymous

    It is VERY obvious Mr. Cheney HATES President Obama and everything about him. He has publicy displayed his hatred since Inauguration Day 2009. Cheney is the reason why everything got started so late waiting on him and his fake back ache.

    If he is "very concerned" about where the Obama administration is taking the country economically.

    That means he was very happy with the way things were in the past 8 years.

    Mr. Cheney is really displaying is true nature more and more everyday. Now we see why he barely spoke for 8 years. His Bigorty is so deep, it's hard to hide.

    He is the definition of EVIL.

    April 22, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. Brandon

    If you didn't know better you would swear Obama's administration is paying Cheney. Cheney lacks so much credibility that he could say the sky is blue and people would check outside to make sure. If he says something chances are the opposite is true.

    April 22, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. Richard L

    Has there ever been a vice president that was such a poor loser when his party got clobbered in an election? Even Bush has class about this.

    April 22, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  15. victor

    Cheney is out of line. his day or ruining the country is over. he of all people should keep his mouth shut.

    April 22, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  16. Cache

    I think Cheney is trying to preserve his own legacy in the history books. Given the Middle East is incapable of supporting peace in any capacity, especially with Iran's growing influence in the region, the utter incompetence in finding Bin Laden, and watching Pakistan becoming overcome by Muslim extremists–Cheney can only attack Obama. Cheney's lasting impact on American politics is that of a man too scared to assume a voice while Bush was in office, too stupid to realize what branch of government he was in, and too arrogant to know when he has made a mistake.

    He's a spoiled child, crying because his favorite toy–the VP role–is no longer his. Not even the Republican party is bothering to listen to this has-been anymore.

    April 22, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  17. Ken

    Wow, the posts on this blog define the “open-minded” liberal left. Thoughtful, articulate, open to ideas, intelligent, considerate. Of course, if the opinion does not support the Obama socialization of this Nation, while destroying any hope of prosperity for our children and bankrupting this nation, then watch out, the Looney left is on parade. Folks complain (and rightly so) that Bush (read Congress, who actually budgets and spends the money) was financially irresponsible, then cheer when Obama makes Bush look like a miser. Guess decades of dumbing down the population through public schooling has worked.

    April 22, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  18. Scott

    We need congress to hold hearings on trying Bush and Cheney for war crimes and hold them for treason against the United States of America.

    April 22, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  19. David

    Devastating economic policies? Considering he helped craft a war that helped run the deficit up in the first place, not to mention probably received a huge amount of money from the no-bid contracts that Haliburton/KBR received in Iraq to perform substandard or fraudulent work on the publics's dime, he's got some nerve opening his mouth in regards to Obama's spending. But he's a Republican, and nothing's really considered below the belt to them when it comes to trashi talking your opposition....

    April 22, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  20. Robin

    Cheney has every right to speak out against this President. Obama has no clue how to run this country let alone how to straighten out this economy. You do not SPEND your way out of debt, a third grader knows this much. But, from viewing all of these posts in here, it appears the majority of you are all on welfare, therefore you are loving the bailout your getting off the backs of hard working people.

    April 22, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  21. mary

    Interesting. Not Cheney, but the number of negative reactions to his words. Also, doesn't seem to be getting any support from Republicans. Even more intersting.

    April 22, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  22. lkh

    funny when this yahoo was in office you couldn't get him to say a word, now he's all blah, blah blah.

    Go home and be quiet!

    April 22, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  23. joe in CA

    All I can say is WOW. How short are our memories. Two years ago our economy was soaring. People complained the "average guy" was unable to afford housing. All of you haters voted in a Democratic Congress. Laws were passed allowing the "average guy" to afford housing on bad notes. The average guy spent alll his money refinanced his house and spent all that too. Now we vote in a Democrat for President, blame the guy who was in office, and begin spending more money. 99% of congress voted to go to war in Iraq but the public bought into the medias delivery of a failure, while millions of Iraqis are now liberated. this whole Chaney thinkg is starting to remind me of the chicken little story. What are all you people going to do when the "sky does fall"? We arew losing the Democracy that our ancestors fought so hard to preserve, and we deserve everything that we get in the end.

    April 22, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  24. Gerry

    By their inattention to the details of running a federal government, Bush and Cheney caused the financial market meltdown that President Obama is dealing with now. President Obama and his advisors have come up with several key plans to rescue the financial markets as well as keep the worst of the possible side effects of the financial market collapse from worsening the live of middle class Americans; people like me. By providing more loan money to go to school to workers experiencing a lay off from their jobs, President Obama has improved the economy of the industry that I work in: education. My school is accepting for admission many former workers whose prospects for a better life have been vastly improved by the chance to go to college that has been provided to them by President Obama.

    April 22, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  25. tigerakabj

    He has surfaced more times in the last month than he did in the past 8 years.

    Is Obama digging where Cheney's bodies are buried? Me thinks Cheney is afraid.

    In that case, keep up the good work Obama. There is a old-time philosophy of current administrations keeping past administrations secrets out of respect (and not mouthing off). That goes out the doore when the past administrations start trying to bring down current administrations. Ramp up those war crime/torture trials Eric Holder (and whatever else Cheney was doing behind the scenes).

    April 22, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
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