May 11th, 2009
09:10 AM ET
14 years ago

Cheney hits Powell: No longer a Republican

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Sunday he no longer views Colin Powell as a Republican.

Appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation," Cheney was asked about a dispute between Powell - who was secretary of state in the Bush-Cheney administration - and radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh over the role each plays in the GOP.

"My take on it was Colin had already left the party," Cheney said. "I didn't know he was still a Republican."

The former vice president noted that Powell endorsed then-Sen. Barack Obama in last year's presidential race. "I assume that that's some indication of his loyalty and his interests," Cheney said.

Powell, in a speech last week, said "the Republican Party is in deep trouble" and said the GOP would be better off without Limbaugh, according to a report by the National Journal.

Limbaugh fired back on his program Wednesday, saying, "What Colin Powell needs to do is close the loop and become a Democrat instead of claiming to be a Republican interested in reforming the Republican Party."

In the interview Sunday, Cheney said he believes "there is room for moderates in the Republican Party."

But, he added, "I don't think the party ought to move dramatically to the left, for example, in order to try to redefine its base. We are what we are. We're Republicans. We have certain things we believe in. And maintaining our loyalty and commitment to those principles is vital to our success."

Conservative analyst and CNN contributor Bill Bennett said Sunday that he joked with Powell about the tiff with Limbaugh when they met at a memorial service Friday for former congressman and Republican vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp.

"I said, 'Would you like me to be a mediator between you and Rush?' I said, 'I know you both, I like you both.' "

Bennett, speaking on CNN's "State of the Union with John King," said Limbaugh "is not the leader of the Republican Party" and that hand-wringing among members of the GOP has been overblown.

"The Republican Party is dead, it's never coming back, it's an endangered species," he said, mimicking articles about the party's struggles. "Read some
history books, you know? These things happen in American life. We are better
off than we were in '64, in '74, and in 1992."

Updated 7:11 p.m. with Bennett comments</strong

Filed under: Colin Powell • Dick Cheney • GOP • Popular Posts • Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. rexx

    Powell was always a RINO anyway so he might as well have left the party ....

    May 10, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  2. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    The Republicans aren't just the Party of No, they're the Party of AOWM, Angry Old White Men, who apparently are hell-bent on having fewer registered members than the Libertarians and the Greens.

    May 10, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. delores raith

    The rubics that refuse to do their jobs should be fired by thier voters. Can they be recalled? WE have enough troubles,without these people hoping we fail? People who lost the vote should faide away, till The next election, We have had enough lies.

    May 10, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. Ken in NC

    Former VP Cheney is of the mind that because General Powell voted for President Obama, he is no longer a Republican and is now a Democrat. Does the former VP not understand that ones party affiliation does not in and of itself indicate the proposed voting position of said individual. If that was the case then we would only have to register as one party or the other and our vote would be automatically counted towards that party's candidate. I think the former VP should go back to school and take a Civics class again so that he may learn that every American is entitled to vote for the candidate of his or her choice.

    I am a Democrat and have in the past voted for former President Ragan and Bush #41. I did so with the full knowledge that that vote was mine to give but in no way changed my party designation.

    May 10, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. Libertarian

    Awwww....Cheney can't run the country like he does the Board Room so he's gonna start throwing all his old pals under the bus. He's pathetic and it's because of Bush/Cheney that I no longer consider myself a Republican. I refuse to hate or fear any longer – I am Libertarian!

    May 10, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. Elizabeth

    Colin Powell endorsed Obama because he wanted to ease his guilt for not running for president. I'm disappointed in Colin Powell for not stepping up to the plate. But then again, D.C. is a den of thieves in suits that claim to represent the "people". The only people they represent is themselves and lobbyists. Maybe Colin Powell is wise to the game and knew nothing could turn that mess around.

    May 10, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. Mark, Bradenton,FL

    Powell has a brain. Who cares about Cheney? Why is he not in prison? Republican Party what? Who cares about this party it is obsolete.

    May 10, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. CAW in MD

    "We're Republicans. We have certain things we believe in."

    It would be very interesting to see the list of those certain things that all Republicans believe in. Because my suspicion is that it would be reduced to a bunch of trite slogans like "Lower taxes" and "smaller government", which nobody in the Republican party can really define to any level of detail that is workable.

    May 10, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. Free and Thinking in Las Vegas

    Has anybody else noticed that every-other-day, that GOP seems to take one big step down towards the twilight of their existence. Instead of throwing their own under the bus for being right-thinking, rational leaders, they should take on the bible thumping bigots and scalding racists who are doing the most damage– i.e. AM hate radio.

    When the third of the "Big Three" right-wing shock jocks, (Michael Weiner, alias. Michael Savage of the Weiner Nation), is banished from the UK, America's biggest ally, for inciting hate crimes, that should give you a clue that the values they'd like to take around the U.S.A as their teaching tour is tragically misguided.

    May 10, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. Geno L.

    Cheney is a bitter, bitter old man that needs to be in the spotlight even if he has to cause troubles.

    May 10, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  11. HM

    colin powell became a politician first and soldier second. he got a lot of the credit for the 1st gulf war but luckily Schwarzkopf ran it his way and not how Powell wanted to. Ironically, it was the GOP that plucked him out of obscurity, saw something in him that warranted an accelerated promotion and ulitmately 2 of the top job in DC. He paid the GOP back by going obamakin first chance he could. He would have never gone anywhere if it wasn't for the GOP.

    May 10, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  12. Thomas Mc

    Powell didn't leave the GOP, the GOP left the human race.

    May 10, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. JT in Fla

    Chaney wouldn't make a pimple on Colin Powell's a–. Cheney is nothing but a draft dodging coward and sleazebag that should go back to his secure location, meaning the hole in the ground he crawled out of!!!

    May 10, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  14. Sparky

    It appears that Cheney and Rush may actually be the same person. Has anyone ever seen them in the same place at the same time?

    May 10, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. Motengator

    The problem is simple: Gen Powell was the only true combat vet in the Bush Admin but was marginalized by the neoconservative warmongers. If you never been in combat you'll never understand the price of war but Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfawitz never got that memo! Conservatism today does not have to be anti-minority but Limbaum, O' Reilly, and Hannity do not understand this. Separation of the races is over, these guys and their followers need to come to grips with this and get over it! The true success story of America is representative in the military where we all fight together regardless of the color of our skin. Conservatism or republican does not mean or equal 'white'. The politicians and 'talking heads' can learn a lot from our honorable example. I was once a republican but now do not see myself as a member of a party that does not repect me or other minorities. I have served this country for 28 years and am proud to say I would stand with Gen Powell any place and any time!

    May 10, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. bobmc

    –All men are created equal – but some are more equal than others.

    Animal Farm

    May 10, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  17. Connie Sturgeon

    I guess Colin Powell won't be going hunt with Cheney. LOL

    May 10, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  18. GOPer

    Cheney deciding who is and who isn’t a Republican is laughable. He is no more the leader of the GOP than is Rush. Both of these cowards (Cheney and Rush) never served in the military but I assure you they don’t loose sleep advocating sending the troops to their deaths in wars that should have never been waged (Iraq). Too bad the GOP didn’t listed to Colin Powell early on and avoid the Iraq war. The axis of evil in the GOP is lead by Cheney himself. I wish he would go back to his undisclosed location and let the GOP get on with the healing process.

    May 10, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  19. Haoleboy

    Cheney – worst vice president ever. His policies ruined our economy but made tons of $$$$ for his military contractor buddies. Just follow the money – that tells the story of the Iraq war. At least W had the sense to step away from the spot light. Cheney can't stand people challenging him, so unfortunately, we are stuck with his sneering mug.

    May 10, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  20. Sam

    I think we have heard more from this guy now that we did in the last 8 years when he was the VP.

    May 10, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  21. pancho villa

    Colin Powell never was a "real" Republican.

    He was a "creation" by Bush-1 for "diversity" purposes.

    The GOP is better off without him.

    May 10, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  22. Gloria

    Colin Powell had sense enough to leave the Bush/Cheney adminstration long ago.... Does anyone really care what Cheney thinks? He hid away like a scared rabbit for 8 all of a sudden he must think it is safe to come out of hiding, although he says differently.

    May 10, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  23. Aaron

    Watch the scurrying rats on their sinking ship. They will gladly throw under the bus anyone who doesn't subscribe to their ideological purity. Note that anyone who dares criticize the Great and Powerful Oz-zes (W. or Limbaugh) is said to be a limp-wristed, terrorist-loving, anti-American, baby-eating liberal.

    The more America realizes that the party of NO one else but rich white men (and the extremists they scare into doing their bidding) is wildly out of touch, the more Americans look for reasonable, moderate solutions. This, of couse, is seen as socialism by the furthest-right wing, who truly believe that they are entitled not only to lead, but to RULE, with only themselves fit to decide our collective fates.

    May 10, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  24. cgf

    Would someone PLease tell Dick Cheney to crawl back under his rock.

    May 10, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  25. Grace Needed

    "We are what we are. We're Republicans." What you are sir is a far cry from the Republicans of Lincoln. He was a man who cared for the middle class and the oppressed. He took the advice from the Bible paying particular attention to widows, orphans, disabled and aliens, who you and your party now have done little for, while caring for the wealthy and well connected. As to these values you espouse, actions speak louder than words and the actions of the Republicans over the last two election cycles have elicited nothing but more greed, more bitterness, more hate, more prejudice and poverty, along with more questionable practices and illegalities that led to our current economy and poor reputation in the world prior to President Obama's election. These are nothing worth you touting on television nor disparaging others for if they decide to choose something different. You will be held accountable for your actions either here or in the hereafter!

    May 10, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12