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. Kevin

    I find it funny that the guy that did nothing to prevent this horrible state of the economy now is saying what will and will not be devistating.

    Cheney has no Right to say anything about how this administrtion runs things simply becuase of the fact of who he and Bush ran us into the ground over the last 8 years.

    April 22, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  2. Nina

    So...perhaps we could put a little pressure on OUR President (I LOVE saying that) to allow Sen. John Conyers et al. to go forward and hold hearings regarding the treason committed by the evil Emperor Dick and his minions: Gonzalez, Adderley, etc. Why is he being given airtime? How is this benefitting our country in any way whatsoever?Who ever thought that GW would be the one showing class at this point in time by keeping his mouth shut...!!??

    April 22, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  3. Dave in Albuquerque

    Dick Cheney was a disaster, and now he has nothing but criticism for those stuck with cleaning up after the disaster. Maybe we can give him some TARP money to move to a small island, say Midway, where he can tell the albatrosses how to fly.

    April 22, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  4. Linda

    Why does this man continue to make himself look like the boy that got caught with his hand in the cookie jar? He was the most disliked VP in modern history. Any body with any brains would take this time to go off and let people forget how bad he really was. It's almost like he feels if he raises a fuss that people will be distracted from seeing what a criminal he was.

    April 22, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. marty

    We're seeking advice from this guy who was wrong on almost everything, destroyed American lives and those of countless foreigners, criminalized the executive branch , ruined the economy, etc.?????

    April 22, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. Gary in Oregon

    All that Cheney is doing is preemptive strikes. He's doing everything he can to paint the Obama administration is a bad light so if he is prosecuted for his crimes he and all of the Republican sheeple's can say it is being done to "Take away his freedom of speech."

    April 22, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. BRIAN

    After eight years of the Bush/Cheney administration being wrong in almost every policy, why does the media still ask for opinions from this man.

    April 22, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. John L.

    Normally I think the current President shouldn't bring up former Presidents and Vice-Presidents, but since Chenney opened his rather insignificant mouth against the President, President Obama ought to call it like it is – The World trying to recover from the worst US Presidency and economic plan in the history of the world.

    April 22, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. Mark

    And where was Dick when Bush was devastating the US economy over the last eight years?

    April 22, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. sky

    Dick Cheney ran this country into the ground. He was the man behind the curtain. Quietly, skillfully manipulating the course that the less than adequate George Bush would take. This man is a danger to our country. He is a danger to his own party. His moves towards a police state; his statements about our country "needing another Pearl Harbor incident" right before 9-11 took place; his true blood upper crust frat boy honor system....dangerous and frightening elements of a dictator like mind. I think you do us a disservice by giving him so much air time. His statement the other day about there being nothing to apologize for.....shows how removed from the planet earth he is.....he has dug himself and the other hate mongers a hole to live in...no light gets in....everyone is the enemy....even ourselves and he wants to spread this disease of hate and warmongering and greed. Please quit giving this guy the time of day.

    April 22, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. Diane

    Dear CNN:
    Please forward all these comments to Mr. Cheney. He seems to be oblivious about his relevance and how much the public does not respect his opinion.

    April 22, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  12. Sad for the trees

    We don't hear from this guy for 8 years while an elected official and now he's in the news every day to criticize the current administration? Please...Please...go enjoy your retirement and keep your negative, irrelevant comments to yourself and of course Fox News. 🙂

    April 22, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. Billy

    This is why I don't like the Republican Party. Obama's always wrong, they are always right, blah blah blah. Obama could say the sky is blue and Dick would say Obama is wrong and calling the sky blue makes America less safe.

    April 22, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  14. joe the builder

    My opinion of Dick Cheney has changed; instead of being Neurotic, I now believe he is Psychotic!

    April 22, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  15. Virginia

    Cheney is afraid of what might come out involving him. I hope Bush and Cheney and all their thugs end up in prison. Not that it will happen, but it makes me happy to think about it.

    April 22, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  16. Brandon

    Why is Cheney intent on opening his mouth. After 8 years of failure, one would think he'd have the sense to go home and be quiet. For years, arrogant men such as Cheney have thought that they knew whats best for the world. As we have seen, they were wrong. Obama is trying a different approach across the board; and because none of these men had the foresight to try something new - his unease serves as the foundation for his criticism.

    April 22, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  17. Samilton

    I believe Mr Cheney is a bit confused. The previous administration's policies (all of them) and actions is what tarnished and devastated this nation as a whole. Blind as a bat! He can't even see the results of the past 8 years.

    Let him keep talking – it only shows that arrogance, pride and ignorance is not what this country needs to succeed going forward.

    President Obama knows exactly what he is doing – as he has said some it will work and some of it won't. No one really knows what to do, but at least he is moving forward with the best interests of the American people and this country at heart and not sitting on his hands.

    April 22, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  18. Laurie in LA

    For 8 years Cheney stayed behind the scenes and helped create the mess we are in. He should be ashamed of the Bush-Cheney years and hide in shame, not disparage the Obama administration.

    April 22, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  19. Obama sucks

    Good for Cheney. Keep em flying.

    April 22, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  20. Expat American

    Cheney's snarl is fading, as his relevance will equally fade. His significance will become academic in due time; political science students in the future will debate why such a man never paid for his crimes, along with President Bush.

    Cheney will go the way of Pol Pot.

    April 22, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  21. Super D

    I saw this interview.

    For all the blowhards here. Cheney was very articulate, repectfull of the administration, but at the same time, you've got to give him credit. His points made absolute sense, it was not spin, and his concern was genuine.

    Don't go blasting Cheney, Obama bought this criticism on by himself by his own actions.

    April 22, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  22. Accountability

    Cheney is talking about fiscal responsibility? That's rich. I guess it's OK to drive the country into debt in the trillions only if you use the money to kill people in a country that never threatened us?

    Can we just get on with it and indict him..if only so we don't have to listen to him any more?

    April 22, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  23. Kaiser

    ridiculous! Cheney is talking more now in the last few months than he ever did in eight long devastating years.

    April 22, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  24. Pa for Obama

    Cheney reminds us all of why Obama won so resoundingly in November.

    April 22, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  25. Ms. White

    It amazing how cheney wants President Obama and the current government out of the "Private Sector"...but as always, wants the government to pass laws that dictates what Americans should do in their "Private Lives".
    It’s either government intervention in all sectors or none at all.

    April 22, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
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