May 11th, 2009
09:10 AM ET
12 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. Bill/CA

    If Dick Cheney feels that the Republican Party has no room for moderates, then it will be a long time before they are relevant in American politics again. Despite what the partisan hacks tell you, the majority of Americans are moderates in the middle, not party loyalists. If one party takes them out of the equation, that party will fail to rule. As for Rush and Cheney bashing Powell, perhaps they should refrain, as he has more military service to our country than either of those clowns.

    May 10, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  2. Babs

    Oh, good. Rush AND Cheney are crazy. I was wondering....

    May 10, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  3. carole

    Foportunately, Dick Cheney isn't in charge of anyone's party
    registration except his own. Who is he to decide who is and is
    not a Republican? His narrow definition of what Republicanism is
    (and that of others) is the main reason the party is in such deep
    trouble. No amount of talking about "cycles" will change the fact
    that the party is dying from within because of the attitudes and
    rhetoric of Cheney, Limbaugh, Coulter, Malkin, Hannity, Hubris
    on steroids.

    May 10, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  4. irrelevant

    No, stay the racist, ignorant, non-tolerant, no ideas, ignoring the poor and middle class, low taxes for the rich party that you are – stay irrelevant!

    May 10, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    well goodness sakes Cheney is right Mr Powell apears to be a very smart man . he didn't leave the republican party the cheney and the Rush radicals have taken the party to the bottom of the pond
    tricky Dicky needs to go away . his damage will take many years to repair ( ROVE CHENEY ) DUH !!!
    the commitment to the republican principles is lie greed and rip off the american public and threats of war

    the republican party is falling short and more members are jumping ship every day

    May 10, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. Simple Truth

    Great, Colin Powel is smart enough to realize that todays Republican party is largely composed of fools like Cheney and Limbaugh. Catering to the demands of corrupt, unethical and greedy multinatinal corporations is the only agenda of todays Republican party. Their talk about prolife and profamily is merely BS designed to trick people into voting against their interests. Given the average age of the Republican party they will be all gone in 20 years. Good riddance!

    May 10, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |

    Cheney left the GOP too – After 9/11 he became a member of the "Grand Old War Criminal Party" that he and the Bushie started...

    May 10, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. Use to be a Republican also

    It's amazing how one president (George Bush) could cause so much turmoil in one country.

    May 10, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. Richard Thwaits

    I agree with Mr. Cheney. The GOP should maintain it's principles on the far right of the center. That will ensure that they are marginalized. The GOP is the party of the 20th century and in this century, they are obsolete, no different than the Greens, the Socialists and the Communnists.

    May 10, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. Daniel, Atlanta, GA, ex-republican

    This is GREAT! The GOP is devouring itself! Wow, Cheny and Rush will be on the same ticket in 2012....thanks guys! The GOP is helping the Dems to win for years to come! Thanks guys!

    May 10, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. luan isuffi

    And we are still listening to this arrogant, incompetent MORON.
    He couldn't get anything right if his stupid life dependent on it.
    He is a thief and a lier and should be waterborded couple of times and sent to Guantanamo .That's what "leaders" of this Grand
    Old Pedofile party stand for.

    May 10, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  12. Earl

    Who is Cheney OR Limbaugh to tell Powell what or who he is? It just doesn't make sense.

    May 10, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. tillzen

    The right re-learns staying their talking points, and the results are the same old tired pale rhetoric. We saw this hunt for 8 years. The hunters were drunk, and the birds tamed. Same old same old ... zzzzz!

    May 10, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. zgomer

    Wheree is the slam! everyone knows the news of Powell being a democrap. Cheney just gives his opinion of Powell being a left lib, he isn't "slamming" him like the lib left media wants you to think, the media wants to control us all, clear your mind and make your own decision for yourself, don't let the lib left media tell you what is going on or what to think...screw them!

    May 10, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. Elizabeth Trillos

    It is unfortunate that people who have never done anything but blabber at the mouth to make a living have to attack someone who actually stood up, served his country and looked out for its best interest through a very difficult "administration".
    Send by someone who is:
    Neither a democrat or a republican but someone who believes that everyone has the right to think independently and should not have to give up their ideals for one party or another.

    May 10, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  16. Steve

    Cheney, in his passive-aggressive way, is revealing the agenda of right-wing Republicans to purge moderates. It seems like they WANT to be a minority party.

    May 10, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  17. he's right

    Chaney is correct. Colin Powell is far too intelligent and thoughtful to remain a Republican. Leave the party that has robbed this country blind Leave the party with no ideas, vision and tolerance. Leave it to the Alan Keyes, Palins, Joe the not really plumbers, Limbaughs, stuck in the 50's party when Blacks and women "knew their place". We welcome you with open arms.

    May 10, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  18. michael Meyers

    Why isDIck Cheney still on TV. He is irrelevant. Nobody cares what he says.

    May 10, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. Jason in Vegas

    I LOVE that the silly Republicans continue to shoo themselves in the foot. Cheney is a fool and the GOP can't help their stupidity. Attacking Colin Powel!? He's the ONLY voice of reason in the GOP. Duh.

    May 10, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. michael Meyers

    Why is Dick Cheney still on the scene. He is irrelevant. Nobody cares.

    May 10, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  21. Wayne

    Why is CNN still giving this tyrant airtime? Who cares what Cheney thinks?

    May 10, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. Denese

    Finally Powell has come to his senses. It was obvious his arm was twisted into supporting Bush and the Iraq war against his better judgement. Good for you Colin!

    May 10, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  23. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    All Powell did was what 98% of black voters did. He voted his race, not for who was best qualified. If 98% of white voters had voted against Obama the cries of racism would have been deafening. The double standard is alive and well, and elected a president.

    May 10, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  24. Rick

    Well, Cheney, here's some news for you. You are no longer relevant. For the sake of America AND the Republican party it would be best if you just went to that undisclosed bunker location for the rest of your pathetic life.

    May 10, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  25. Mike

    And hence why the new Republican Party will die. Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Ford, men who would agree and respect Colin Powell, are turning in their graves that such trash like Limbaugh are spokesmen for the GOP and such bigoted, misogynistic men as Cheney are one of it's "leaders." This is a death long overdue. Please keep doing what you're doing Rush and Dick, you're helping for it to die ever more quickly.

    May 10, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
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