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 O'Neil

    What a hypocrite former Vice President Cheney is. This draft dodging SOB ( with 4 deferrments), has the nerve to criticize Former Chief of Staff and Former Sec. of State of the United States of America, Colin Powell ! It would be nice if Cheney would crawl back into the dark hole he stayed in while he was the Vice President for the past 8 years. We would all be better off if he did.

    May 10, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. john

    Powell should of stayed in the military a politician he is not nor is he or ever has been a republican, he drank the obama koolaid.

    May 10, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  3. Dwayne

    Way to go Cheney, you hit it head on. The real truth is that Colin Powell endorsed Obama because they are both black. Blood is thicker than water. End of story. We are RIGHT, they are wrong!!

    May 10, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  4. Big J

    I know this did not happen overnight, but when did this party decide to become hellbent on its own suicide? & what does it think it can accomplish by driving anyone that wants to deal in rational thinking out? A new party needs to take the place of the GOP.

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

    I would LOVE for Dick Cheney and Rush to be the spokesmen of the GOP. No better mouthpiece to send the Dems to the polls for easy wins in 2012 and 2016.
    Dick you have been in the news non-stop for the last few weeks. Keep it up and thanks for the voter reg. assistance.

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

    How dare a five time draft dodging coward say anything about a man who SERVED his country. Next we will hear from the deserting coward about his views or maybe Rush who dodged the draft because he had an ingrown hair on his ass. that's what the repubs are about.

    May 10, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  7. D Koch

    Love it! Keep it up! The GOP will be dead by 2010!

    I've been saying it for 4 years:


    May 10, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. Lori

    Yeah, Powell is no longer a Republican. He's joining the majority of the country- the 80%. Keep on pushing moderates out and the GOP will not recover. Time for a Third party.

    May 10, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  9. Larry

    Colin Powell leaving the closed society that is the Republican Party is a good thing.

    May 10, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. Phil

    "...maintaining our loyalty and commitment to those principles is vital to our success." Cheney said as the Republican Party's ship's stern is sinking into the sea.

    May 10, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. some guy in New Hampshire

    So what if Powell isn't a Republican or Cheney is? It's not the brand label that makes a person's ideas good or character admirable. Let's get over the assumption that labels are anything other than labels and focus on ideas and the evidence and reasoning that support them. If we've learned anything in the last 30 years, it should be that the terms "conservative" and "liberal" have no real meaning - only the cartoonish implications that political inside-the-box thinkers use as epithets against people they've come to think of as enemies. Come on, people, we've got serious problems and none will be solved by stickering labels on them or their solutions. Forget about what "liberal" and "conservative" ideas are and let's begin to have a conversation about what good and bad ideas are.

    May 10, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. Alex

    I have no problem with Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh or any other leader in the Republican Party alienating it's moderate members and practically throwing them out of the party. If Republicans want to become the party exclusively for right wing fanatics than that is fine with me. I've always had a lot of respect for anyone who is willing to be a moderate of either party, it shows they are willing to stand up for what they believe in instead of simply falling in line with their respective party.

    Some of the most promising Republicans in the party are those who are somewhat moderate. Meghan McCain has a bright future and could be a very popular political figure if she chooses to go down that road. She is being attacked by members of her own party simply because she is unwilling to just read the republican cue cards and believe what they tell her to believe. Her and others like her are practically being thrown out of the party because they don't have traditional republican beliefs like banning gay marriage.

    And while the Republicans are practically forcing these people out of the party, the Democrats are welcoming them with open arms. President Obama has stood by Arlen Specter, saying he will help him win reelection even though Sen. Specter is at the very least a moderate democrat and even likely falling farther to the right of the political spectrum.

    There are left win fanatics in the Democratic party, just like there are right win fanatics in the Republican party; the difference is that the Democrats are willing to accept those who want to be Democrats but still have some conservative beliefs.

    May 10, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  13. paula

    Dick no longer views Powell as a Republican? Who cares? We no longer view Dick as relevant! When will he go away?

    May 10, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  14. tail-thumping dog

    See Dick, salvation can come to anyone with a brain and conscience.

    You, on the other hand are smug and self-assured, a match made in heaven for flotsam like Limbaugh.

    Neither of you display the slightest semblence of intellectual sophistication and both of you are likely to blow a gasket from the stores of venom building inside you.

    Two angry old guys, used to things their way. How sad.

    May 10, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  15. Winkandanod

    Lieberman endorsed McCain, so what? Why do Dick and Rush get to decide who's an authentic Republican or American? They have zero credibility with almost 70 percent of Americans.

    May 10, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  16. Joseph

    What is Cheney doing commenting on anything? During his tenure he was completely silent and secretive and now he wants us to listen to him? He had his chance to make a statement and lead but instead he chose to coddle his own economic interests and let America fend for itself. Cheney should go back to the bunker he had been hiding in and leave us alone so we can repair all the damage he caused!

    May 10, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  17. Alex

    Its like watching a bunch of 8 year olds after lthey lose a soccer game, this country will be better off with you, bye bye republicans! And yes Sarah Palin, God did make the right decision on election day lol.

    May 10, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  18. Prateek Lala

    What Cheney, Limbaugh, and the GOP hawks don't seem to realize is that Republican beliefs across the USA are not static. Not only is there "room for moderates in the Republican party", it is essential for the GOP to re-examine what the majority of its base really wants for the party. It is not for Cheney to say whether or not Powell is still a Republican, nor is it inappropriate for Powell (as a Republican) to state the simple truth that "the party is in deep trouble." The GOP must learn how to LISTEN, not just hear and deliver meaningless knee-jerk responses.

    May 10, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    evil sad to go through life being afraid of anything/everything you won't or don't understand. BOO!

    May 10, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  20. Sue - OH

    Keep talking Cheney

    Let me know when visiting hours are when you start serving time for breaking laws in the us

    May 10, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. Joel

    Maintain away then, Mr. Cheney!

    May 10, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. Desmond

    "We are what we are and we are Republicans" And that is precisely your problem. And to compound it you have Cheney and Limbaugh

    May 10, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  23. Douglas

    I'm not certain that Cheney's agenda qualifies him as a Republican either. Republicans believe in freedom.

    May 10, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  24. Jeff Davis

    This is one more example of the hypocrisy of the Republicans. They loved Colin as long as he was willing to rubberstamp their twisted agenda, but let him voice an opinion not endorsed by Herr Cheney and it's under the bus you go. Of course one can feel little symapthy for Powell because it was his misguided endorsement of Bush in 2004 that allowed the "yahoos" to believe they were competent leaders. Sometimes it's best to realize your reputation is shot and keep your opinions to yourself.

    May 10, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. Michael

    We get it already.... CNN and the rest of the corporate media want to keep cheney in the news because cheney's support of torture is the only issue the anti-labor repubs believe they can still win elections with. He is a war profiteer, and he should be made to answer for the lives of Americans lost when he and his associates lied us into a war. The fact that he is also a war criminal who supported torture should also be addressed in a court of law.

    May 10, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
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