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. Phil

    So let me get this straight; Cheney says Obama is "devastating" and potentially "dangerous" with economic and world affairs. Given the axiom that every action has an equal and opposite REaction, what words must then be ascribed to Bush/Cheney? Plutocratic? Dictatorial? Being one with a "Jesus" complex?

    Simply put, elections have consequences, Bush/Cheney ideas and ideals have been ROUNDLY rejected in the last two cycles! Face the facts Dick; you are REJECTED!

    April 22, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  2. Scott

    Why is CNN still posting crap from Cheney? He is irrelevant now. Please stop giving that idiot air time.

    April 22, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  3. Kelli

    SHUT UP Dick Cheney. You had your chance and look what you did? Now Obama is cleaning up the mess you helped to create. Shut your mouth. This man should be hanged for treason against this country.

    April 22, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  4. sturg111

    Cheney, Cheney, Cheney:
    How can we miss you if you won't go away?

    April 22, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. Eileen Balliet

    Who cares what an ex-vp says. No one cared when he was vp and we care even less now! Cheney: you are irrelevant. Go away.

    April 22, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. Trueman

    Could it be that Halliburton didn't get a bailout?

    April 22, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  7. Allan

    Keep it coming, Cheney. Never ever let America forget about the administration you ran. Remind us every day of the Bush administration. Keep linking the Republican Party to Bush/Cheney in the public's mind.

    We Democrats thank you for your efforts.

    April 22, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  8. dave

    now that MR Cheney's friends have been bailed out, he thhinks the common tax payer should continue to suffer under the failed Bush policies

    April 22, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  9. Libertarian

    The Cheney/Bush did more to expand extremism than ANY other administration. Look at Pakistan now. Because we were diverted into Iraq (so Haliburton could grow) we left the Taliban to fester and grow.
    Hatred for American grew exponentially under their administration and encouraged extremism. They made enemies all over the world and now the Obama administration is left to try and fix that.

    Let's talk about ownership....Cheney and Bush OWN EVERY SINGLE roadside bomb killing, every single broken family due to the war, every single mentally scared soldier, every fatherless war-baby, every dismembered soldier, the $10 TRILLION war debt, and they have to take ownership of the next attack because of the hornets nest they stirred up.

    April 22, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  10. DEM in HI

    I wish Congress would hold hearings and put this jerk on trial. He did more harm to this country than any information he got from waterboarding. What hypocrites!!! We put Germans and Japanese soldiers to death for waterboarding and now we say it is ok when we want to use it. I wish Cheney would just go to trial and then everyone would see what an idiot he really is. He always talks, but refuses to go under oath to put it on the record. I do not feel any safer because of what he did. Instead, he is the greatest propaganda recruitment tool for terrorists. The news media should ask the fool if the information was so good why is that Bin Laden is still free.

    April 22, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  11. Robert

    Let's think about this, the great majority of Cheney's predictions of outcomes as VP were grossly incorrect which has cost us credibility on the world stage, huge sums of money in a war we should have never started and most importantly many human lives. Now, Cheney is deeply concerned about Obama's policies.... we should all celebrate!

    April 22, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  12. Bill

    If we want to see "devastating" effects in the short term and the long term, we can go back to the Bush-Cheney policies that lead us to our current position.

    April 22, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  13. Kim

    Why does the media continue to believe ANYONE cares what Dick Cheney thinks? The man was involved in every way in turning this country into a nation that tortures and lies to the American people in order to benefit himself. He is an embarrassment to our values and should crawl back under the rock where he belongs.

    April 22, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  14. Matt

    Regardless of what side of the argument of the bailout you come down on (spending bad vs. spending good), whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, etc; how can this bafoon have any credibility whatsoever? Mr. Cheney, we wouldn't be in this mess if not for the administration that you were a part of. Whether the fix is right or wrong, something had to be done and you have proven yourself a man with no-conscience, and no credibility.

    April 22, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. Rick Reid

    Oh yes, this coming from a former vice president that thought he was President and under an administration whose policies have just about ruined us beyond repair. Thank God we have a President now that knows how to lead, is not paranoid that the rest of the world is out to get us, and is smart enough to realize the policies under Bush-Cheney were devastating in what they have done to the country.

    He's no longer Vice-President so I just wish he'd shut-up and go away some place so we don't have to listen to his bs anymore.

    April 22, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  16. Cathy Johnson

    Could we have a news blackout on the former VP? His face on my screen affects me the way Nixon's used to. At the very least, if you must give space to his entirely inappropriate rantings, include his poll approval ratings prominently in the article. He is a big reason the previous administration tanked, and now he's giving advice?

    April 22, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  17. overtheroad

    If Cheney, the acting Vice President can make a joke about incest at the National Press Club about an entire state that he represents. It sort of tells you what he thinks of the common people.
    A man who has ascended to the seat of vice president of the United States would openly display such contempt and astounding ignorance toward his own countrymen is an insult to all Americans. Now that he or the administration he represents no longer needs their vote, Mr. Cheney apparently feels that he is now free to mock and belittle the people of West Virginia.
    Does anyone really care what this goof has to say? Maybe just those that have stock in Halliburton.

    April 22, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. Va 4 Obama

    Dick Cheney is a disgrace, his ego must be the size of Montana!! How dare Cheney criticize Pres. Obama when he personally fleeced the American people out of their hard earned money and enriched himself and friends with "no bid" war contracts at the cost of innocent American and Iraqi lives??? Cheney personifies HYPOCRISY!

    And I'm still hoping and praying Cheney ends up in jail where he belongs.

    April 22, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  19. Dave Rogerson

    Dick needs to keep his mouth shut and get ready to defend himself against the accusations about the interrogations and Sept.11. Him and Bush are in serious trouble once the truth comes out.

    April 22, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  20. cynic1

    Tell me Dick, how many companies did you bankrupt with you financial expertise?

    April 22, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  21. Robert Hamilton

    Let's see..the Bush/Cheney war criminal tag team created the worst economic mess in history and now Cheney is criticizing Obama, 3 months into the emergency triage of the world's economy. What a world!

    April 22, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  22. Steve Thrasher

    Just like the 1930's, the right wing, whose policies led us to economic collapse, are now howling about a new administration forced to take extraordinary action to try and save the economy. Cheaney can talk all he wants, but he has no power now. Why do right-wingers whine so much?

    April 22, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  23. dreven

    dick, oh dick.

    your administration caused the new great depression.

    you should go away and hide your head in shame, not be slamming the guy who is trying to fix the messes you've made in the economy, the international scene and the environment.

    you're transparent.

    April 22, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  24. ldmay6

    Please go away. You are lucky Obama doesn't really want to hold you and other law breakers accountable. If he did then he would let Conroy figure out who to prosecute and not the AG. Go Away Cheney!

    April 22, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  25. Libertarian

    Hey Cheney......who pushed for the first big bank bailout? oh wait...the first bail out was for Haliburton. The company was in trouble until you created a war for them.

    April 22, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
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