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. Mike- Kansas City MO

    Consider the source of the interview- Fox News! Fair and balance? In your dreams! It is time for Dick Cheney to shut up, sit down, and fade off into retirement!

    We are done with you, Dick!

    April 22, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  2. Michael

    Who is Cheney to criticise obama? Wasn't it the administration that he was a part of that wasted billions of dollars on a war that wasn't thought out? I honestly think it was a waste of time and apparently they find it worth all the american lives that have been lost. At least Obama is only using money and not lives to try and accomplish what he sees as right.

    April 22, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  3. matt

    Devastating? Bush Cheney Iraq War = 12 Billion each month. Well over 650 Billion so far. If I were him, I would keep my mouth closed.

    April 22, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  4. John

    Never before have I seen a former president (or vice president) so blatantly disrespect a sitting president in this country.

    Mr. Cheney is classless, and truly needs to stick it where the sun don't shine, and prepare to live in a jail cell.

    Good riddance!

    April 22, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  5. Spirit of America

    Has this character not caused enough damage to our country? Why broadcast anything he has to say? The rantings of a madman and warmonger are not newsworthy.

    April 22, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. Bea from Texas

    Someone is scared........the more you talk the less credibility your words have. It looks like a personal attack..

    April 22, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  7. Hakan

    Cheney is so irrelevant. Get him into his bunker, lock the door and hide the key. Get him off the news.

    April 22, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  8. pete

    We've heard more from Cheney in the last 3 months than we have in 8 year...and still no one cares. He needs to crawl back into the hole he came from

    April 22, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  9. Bob

    Mr. Cheney did the mess up with the economic since President Clinton did a great job.. Are you lost your mind what you have done in our America, Mr Cheney..

    There is never better economic since you were in White House..

    April 22, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  10. videodrome

    Okay, so why wasn't this country all milk and honey when YOU were in office? Why was the economy tanking when Bush was in charge? What was with the huge deficit and the bail-outs then?
    No answer for these questions?
    Didn't think so.

    April 22, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  11. Jim nashville

    So let me get this Straight for the democrats personally attacking Mr. Cheney. It was fine and dandy for Obama and Democrats to criticize and personally attack Cheney and Bush for the last 4 yrs but Obama cant take the same criticism? So he can dish it out but cant take it? What goes around come around. Obama is not only naive but he is a WIMP. And the Democrats on here are not only hypocrites but uneducated on the issues. I am proud that GW protected this country and the way he led.

    April 22, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  12. gjohnson

    Now isn't this the pot calling the kettle black? One of the most evil, vile, corrupt man to ever hold office seeks to comment on what the current president is doing to try to fix the mess the Bush administration left us in; now that's rich. Nearly every word out of Cheney's mouth has been a lie or at the very least a part of a conspiracy directed at him gaining power and lining his pockets with tax payer money. I still don't understand why the media still gives this man air time. Since he will never face any jail time for his misdeeds the least the media could do would be to ignore him so that history can just forget him. And for the record, I'm not a Democrat or a Republican.

    April 22, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  13. Hakan

    Well said. I think this is the thinking that will bring us forward to better times.

    April 22, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  14. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    This from the man who helped to orchestrate our country's many woes?

    April 22, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  15. John in Ohio

    Cheney is a big help to Obama.

    April 22, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  16. Cathy in AZ

    Dick Cheney has little or no credability left after the disaster that was the last 8 years. He watched as the Bush adminstration wrecked havoc everywhere and said NOTHING!
    I think the former VP would be better served relaxing in Wyoming and praying that he is not brought up on charges and in jail where I think be belongs – perhaps he and Scooter can share a cell!

    April 22, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. Dave

    This is coming from one of the most corrupt, cowardly, arrogant, and incompetent leaders in our country's history. Given those qualities, I'm not at all surpised that Cheney is running his mouth. The man and his legacy are both pathetic.

    April 22, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. ESMack

    Oh God Cheney is alive! When he was in office,we heard nothing from him,now that he is out of office,he have so much to say. You help mess this country up.Mr Cheney,if you have nothing positive to say,please keep your mouth shut.

    April 22, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  19. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    I don't think that Cheney has much room to talk. On the other hand the last administration increased our debt from 5 trillion to 10 trillion. Now "White House officials have predicted the country's deficit will soar to $1.75 trillion this year," Thats 7 trillion over the next 4 years and 14 trillion if he goes two terms. If it was bad that bush increased the debt 5 trillion, how is it okay that Obama will increase it by another 14 trillion? I see allot of people hear trashing Cheney and paying no mind to what Obama is doing. If it was bad then how is it good now?

    April 22, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  20. phoenix86

    Cheney has a right to say what he believes. The fact that he is correct in what he is saying has apparently upset a lot of Obamabots.

    April 22, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  21. Rush

    This is a change for the good. I approve of Obama's move to stop lying the the world and gain America's world respect back.

    April 22, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  22. Saramom37

    Sure, sure, be concerned about government invasion into people's private lives - economic private lives that is. Your party, Mr. Cheney, certainly has no hesitation whatsoever in reaching its big government arm into people's personal lives, ie what women can do with their bodies and gay rights. Go home, you hypocrit!!!

    April 22, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  23. Kevin in Calgary

    President Cheney must have amnesia. He obviously forgot what happened in the last 8 years. Doubled the deficit to 10 Trillion, spent more money than all other Presidents put together, started two wars,predicated the worst financial crisis in the history of the world and on and on... He should shut up and enjoy what freedom he has cause he is probably going to jail! The sooner the better!

    April 22, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  24. Jeanne

    You're a Republican, Mr. Cheney, we get it. You're also no longer in office after 8 catastrophic years. Show a little grace and if you don't have any supportive, constructive advice to offer, step aside.

    April 22, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  25. Sandy Witherspoon

    Cheney used Bush as his little golem for 8 years to create the horrible mess we're in, and now has the chutzpah to criticize President Obama's policies? He should count himself lucky he's not in prison or worse. But we can hope.

    April 22, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
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