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. Really?

    Because 8 years of Halliburton's rule have done such great things for our nation.

    Go back to your secret lair you insane Bond villian.

    April 22, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  2. George

    Shut up Cheney you had your chance.

    April 22, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  3. Kerry, CA

    Why must he comment on everything? Kudos to George Bush for keeping his criticisms, whatever they may be, to himself. Voters can speak their minds and should, but I've never heard so much criticism from any former President or VP before.

    April 22, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  4. Jim

    It's time for Cheney to go back to his "undisclosed location" and let us forget about the bad days when he had some power and influence.

    April 22, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  5. Daniel

    Shut up and go away, dick!

    April 22, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  6. Andy

    Cheney, be quiet. You had your chance. You got to make all your decisions the way you wanted and what do we have for it? Nothing good.

    Why should we ever trust you? Why should your judgement have any credence? Well you might be the only one who hasn't been told, it doesn't have credence. You have no place here, please go away... preferably to prison because you are a criminal.

    April 22, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  7. Jennie

    DICK Cheney has been wrong on just about everything – he's wrong here too. Cheneys comments are moot even more so now that he's no longer our albatross.

    April 22, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  8. Jack in Florida

    Cheney needs to shut up and go away. Pure Evil.....talk about poor economic policies, look in your own closet the past eight years.

    He is just trying to change the subject to take the focus off of the evil torture policies he instituted. Get your passport ready Dick.....the Hague will be knocking soon!


    April 22, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  9. Leonel

    I guess anyone would do this in the face of inminent prosecution, indictement and jaling. This pig needs to go, but to jail. Hell jail, at that.

    What a waste of humanity.

    April 22, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  10. KUCaliMom

    Cheney is up to the old tricks that worked so well during the Bush administration: DEFLECT DEFLECT DEFLECT. He never commented – and in fact virtually disappeared – while he was in the White House. Why so chatty now? Would all the talk about bringing criminal charges against those who approved the use of torture have anything to do with this? Or what about all his financial holdings in all the various military enterprises that are slowly being dismantled? Gosh, Mr. Cheney, your "patriotism" is utterly transparent!

    April 22, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  11. Mark in Omaha

    Bush's puppet master speaks: Cheney is one of the architects in the near demise of America. I don't think it would take too much digging to find a cascade of prosecutable offenses that Dick should be tried for. Try him as a War Criminal, and for the rape of Liberty.

    April 22, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  12. obama/mama

    Nonsense April 22nd, 2009 10:12 am ET

    At what point can we all agree that this Dick should be publicly flogged?

    We are at the point....I would love to watch that

    April 22, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  13. Joe Mahma

    That's pretty funny coming from the mastermind of the biggest swindle of American taxpayer dollars in history.

    April 22, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  14. JJoe

    Hey Cheney,

    Did you ever find out what happened to the 25 billion US taxpayer dollars that "disappeared" in Iraq?

    April 22, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  15. Illinois 2

    Dick Cheney and his boss should both be charged for war crimes for getting all the Iraqies killed and all our brave american troops killed or crippled for life. Dick Cheney was the mind behind all of the invasions and could not stand it when our troops did not go into Bagdad during the first gulf war and now here he is trying to win support for all of his own FAILED policy...

    If I'm not mistaken Bin Laden was our threat and should have been caught when they had him in sight.

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

    Cheney is an evil man. Plain and simple. He wants war... he wants power, and doesnt understand morality. He reminds me of past dictators or kings who wished to rule everyone. And speaking of nut jobs, I say America needs to bring up Rush and Hannity and the like on Treason charges for trying to destroy any and all progress that our nation is making under ANY democratic leadership. They WANT our president to fail, which in turn would mean our country would fail. Who in their right mind wants this.... other than a traitor. Until the right -wing can give Obama credit for the things he is doing right.... then I can't possibly listen to their critisisms on what he's done wrong.

    April 22, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  17. williefloyd

    The private sector and big business have done so wonderfully these last few years-NOT.

    Cheney needs to find a hobby or some way of occupying his time other than bashing our president!!

    April 22, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  18. doug

    I am happy Cheney is devestated... it means we're going the right direction if he doesn't agree.

    8 years of failed policies – GOOD RIDDANCE!

    April 22, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  19. Kaye -Jacksonville FL

    Cheney is a reviled, nefarious, stale, divisive man who should be in jail for the things he did as VP. I can't stand seeing his face, hearing his voice or reading his opinions. Still, the silver lining is that his media presence keeps folks like me revved up and ready to support Obama in any way I can ... go to hell Cheney, do not pass go, don't collect anymore taxpayer money.

    April 22, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  20. Bethany

    What's devastating, Mr. Vice President, is that you allowed those torture techniques to happen. I think it is strange that you think it is devastating that the general public is finding out. That says a lot about your character. What's devastating is that our country did this and that we will and already are paying for it in other countries.

    April 22, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  21. Shawn

    CNN! Why is this moron still getting coverage???

    April 22, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  22. Sam Sixpack

    All that matters is we blindly hate Republicans. So what if 98% of the stimulus money is going to fat, greedy, rich people? So what if the economy is tanking faster than ever. As long as we join together in our blind hatred of everything Republican, it is worth it. Off with their heads!

    April 22, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  23. Jeremy

    How is this news? Does anyone really care what he has to say?

    April 22, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  24. Molly

    Man...this guy is begging to be thrown in jail! Can't we just get it over with already?

    April 22, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  25. Wake-me-when-it's-over

    If only President Obama would open his eyes to reality, instead of
    putting his ego-stamp on legislation that is raping this country.

    April 22, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
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