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. Cheryl F

    The only thing "devastating" here is why the hell cheney isn't in prison. He's the most evil, corrupt politician who has ever held office in this country. His words should not ever appear in print. He should be breaking rock in prison for the rest of his worthless life.

    April 22, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  2. Democrat

    No, whats devastating is Cheney sending americans off to die so his oil company can profit.

    April 22, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  3. Sara

    GO AWAY, Mr. Cheney. You had your turn in the spotlight and you cast darkness over our country and world. You're irrelevant and sinister.

    April 22, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  4. Tino

    Yes... because so many of Cheyney's policies were brilliant and without fault. We finally got rid of you... LEAVE US ALONE!!!!

    April 22, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  5. Bill, Seattle

    I think we need a DOJ look into Dick Cheney. His pulpit should be from behind bars.

    April 22, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  6. Terry in Iowa

    Dick Cheney is evil personified. He is a coward, a liar and a traitor to this nation. The blood of more than 4,000 American’s servicemen and women are on his hands. I pray that he is prosecuted for the crimes he has committed and if convicted, I will personally volunteer to pull the lever.

    April 22, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  7. Ana

    Everytime you criticize Obama his credibility goes up. Keep going!!

    April 22, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  8. Tammy

    Isn't there an island somewhere in the Pacific where we could take Cheney, Palin, and Limbaugh and just leave them there to their own devices? Sometimes some people just need to go away!

    April 22, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  9. Vet Lawyer

    Of course conveniently for him, the greatness of the country when he was VP was to give the private company that he ran as a private citizen billions in our money in no-bid contracts.

    April 22, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  10. Bruce in Oregon

    Hey Dick! You're out of office and out of touch. Go home and be quiet!

    April 22, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  11. a more perfect union

    The least popular man in America is criticizing Obama. That might help Obama more than it hurts him.

    April 22, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  12. Sam

    I'ts very obvious Bush was the Tool Chenny needed for his sneaky war, and abuse of power. He's making sure he's not the one that's going to jail, but that won't save him from hell were he belongs!

    April 22, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  13. Mark S.

    Considering how despised Cheney is, I hope he keeps speaking for the Republicans. Every time he opens his mouth he helps countless Democrats. I bet the Republicans wish he would just go away...

    April 22, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  14. Candy West Virginia

    Wake-me-when-it's-over – sounds like your still sleep. Were you in a coma the last 8 years or was everything just peachy for ya.

    April 22, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  15. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Seems to me our economy was DEVASTATED by 8 rotten years of Bush/Cheney selling us out to fund their illegal wars and fueling BIG OIL coffers.


    April 22, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  16. voter

    Keep opening your mouth Cheney it's only good for driving more republicans to become democrats or independents.

    April 22, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  17. pam Eugene OR

    Cheney is just making noise in an attempt to silence his role in toture It won't work Dick!
    You had a very large in creating this mess so shut up now and let your betters try to fix it.

    April 22, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  18. Some Guy

    "It's what we do as private citizens for ourselves and our companies,"

    There it is in a nutshell. Don't think about helping others. As long as your selves and Haliburton get yours, who cares about the little people. Nice attitude, Dick. Have a nice day!

    April 22, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  19. Jack Tripp

    Stop printing Cheney's opinions. He is the epitome of an Un-American.
    Thank You

    April 22, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  20. Peter

    "They will welcome us as liberators". When will people learn that this DICK Cheney. is a liar. He has zero creditbility.

    April 22, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  21. mcgruber

    Am i the only person who is relieved that bush-cheney are gone....and grateful that a guttersnipe like cheney never had to assume the office of potus. please let our president do his job and stop publicly criticizing him. bush, at least, has the class to do so. it is clear to me and many others why cheney was never considered a a candidate for potus.

    April 22, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  22. Sean in DC

    You notice that, while they may sing similar tunes, nobody in the GOP openly supports Cheney by name.

    He's eroded all credibility and continues to humiliate himself, his former boss and his party in the process. While any average human would be embarassed by the catastrophic damage that Bush-Cheney inflicted, his hubris makes it all the more obvious that his party and his agenda are (and always were) a mistake.

    April 22, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  23. Nutsy Fagan

    Shame on you Dick Cheney. Shame on you. Your day is done and you didn't have a good one, so it's time you keep your mouth shut and attempt being a good American.

    April 22, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  24. Mart

    I'm a hardcore republican, war veteran from the Marines and then the Army, but the last eight years speak for themselves.
    Sorry Mr. Cheney you had your chance in your 30+ years in the government, now I'm willing to try anything from anybody as long as the economy gets better.

    April 22, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  25. Too True For You

    Cheney – the evil leader of the failed state of Hasbeenistan. Seriously, no credibility here. He's just PO'd that he can't funnel more taxpayer billions down the Halliburton rathole.

    April 22, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
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