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. FreeNLovIt

    Government is needed to regulate GREED. Without government, you have anarchy.

    April 22, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  2. mark

    The only people that will be voting for BO the next time around are the looney left who love to pay higher bills for everthing.......you tell him Cheney......

    April 22, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  3. megs

    It's just that.. can Dick Cheney really say anything?

    April 22, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  4. jaye

    Why are people listening to Cheney?
    We all know what Cheney and Bush did (they basically ruined our country) and now the news shows are treating his words like the gospel.
    I despise Cheney and Bush and their war based on lies and their torture and everything they did in office.
    So stop with the "Cheney says" nonsense – I don't believe anything he says.

    April 22, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. Robin

    GO AWAY Dick Cheney. No one wants to look at you anymore, nor do we want to hear your opinions. You had your turn at the wheel and look what happened. Retire, alright?

    April 22, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. JV

    Could he please just shut up and move somewhere out of the country. He has done enough damage!

    April 22, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. Da Professor

    A Cheney smirk once again? I wonder if Cheney has ever smiled? His constantly negative comments and his smirk is what turns 88% of America off to him. Do us all a favor Dicky and shut up. Your lies, arrogance, and hypocrisy for 8 very long years were enough.

    April 22, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  8. obama/mama

    Dick Cheyney is the devil in sheep clothing. He just has hate written all over his face. He is pathetic. I hope he is jailed for war crimes.

    April 22, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. La Fontaine

    Cheney is the arsonist cautioning the firefighter not to waste water.

    April 22, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  10. Enlightened Voter

    The republicans say they want small government yet want to regulate whom you can marry, what to do with your body, and will ease drop on you illegally. The repugs say they are pro life yet love war, hunting and support the death penalty. They say they are fiscally conservative yet will bail out wall street in a NY second.

    April 22, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  11. FreeNLovIt

    The private sector and the government needs each other. They need to balance out. Too much government and you sit at home. Too little government and Uncle Scrooge is the only rich man on earth.

    April 22, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  12. George

    Good Lord will this air of bad breath ever go away? He is not vice president anymore. The press feeds his sick distorted ego. If he were
    Amish, he would be shunned by his own. HMMM not a bad idea.

    April 22, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  13. Dan In Hbg.

    Let's see, what is Dick Cheney's track record on being right on ... well ... ANYTHING? I certainly don't recall him ever actually being right.

    With a batting average of .000, Dick should just shut the heck up and go away!

    April 22, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  14. Terry

    So the man who helped give us the Patriot Act now is worried that government is intruding into the "private" sector.

    Of course, by "private" sector, he means global corporate management, not the tiny, insignificant little lives of people like you and me.

    April 22, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. Chad

    I wasn't aware that they let war criminals speak so much from jail. Oh wait....

    April 22, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  16. Rick

    Cheney is right on the money again. Almost every policy the Obama administration has put forth so far has or will turn out to be a disaster.

    April 22, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  17. Samuel

    Cheney really doesn't want Obama to succeed which would really rub the GOP's nose in it, wouldn't it? Their economic fiascos were wrong for 8 years, we're in the mess we're in because of them, and Cheney can't indulge in any 'tail-wagging-the-dog' anymore.

    Even if Obama's policies fail utterly, at least he's TRYING to do something to stop us from going head first into another Great Depression! That's a lot more than the Bush mis-Administration ever did. All they ever did was spend-spend-spend on their illegal war, fill the coffers of their buddies, and drive hard working Americans into the poorhouse.

    I'll give points for trying to save this country, and all props to Obama. I condemn Cheney and Bush for doing everything in their power to harm this nation economically, culturally, legally and Constitutionally. I'd rather see Washington trying to do something to keep this country afloat rather than the arrogant selfishness Cheney and his cronies showed.

    April 22, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  18. bill

    When I think of the Bush administration, I do not think of economic competence.

    Cheney never talked publicly during his terms and now he runs to a mike.

    April 22, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  19. Carolyn

    Devastating for him.

    April 22, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  20. maryland

    cheney has zero class.

    April 22, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  21. Atlanta

    Reminder to Mr. Dick: You guys lost the election. People voted for Obama because they did not like how you ran the government and saw that your policies failed. Please just walk toward the sunset and fade away. Let this country and people figure out how to get ourselves out the mess you and pals left behind.

    April 22, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  22. Pato Lyons

    Why is this man coming out of his hole now–while he was running the country he was always under the radar working covertly –now he is everywhere–tell him to take a hike –he is an evil person and should have been impeached for the crimes that he committed in regard to the prisoners that were abused. I think he needs to be ignored–the other idiot has gone underground and has not said anything (no more writers) and thats what this chicken hawk has to do is well –the media should expose him for what he is –a tyrant.

    April 22, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  23. JDK

    Why doesn't Richard, aka Dick, just shut his piehole and retire.

    April 22, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. KayMA

    Cheney needs to shut up. His reign is over. Obama's political endeavors may not seem like the greatest right now, but he's doing more than the last administration did to try and clean this mess up.

    April 22, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  25. Mike

    I have heard more from Cheney in the last month than the last 8 years.

    April 22, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
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