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. Richard

    Any thing coming from Draft Dodging crook Cheney has to be Bull Pucky, When he walks in Powells honest shoes he can then match and judge character.

    May 10, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  2. Richard

    WOW, this guy just makes me sick. He does NOT represent what America stands for. He is a liar and a disgrace who only cares about his own neo fascist ideology.

    May 10, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. Greg

    Dick Cheney needs to find something else to do with his time.

    May 10, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  4. scott morley

    The problem is, in this country there are only two parties. Its diifficult to label. Powell is simply center right. Cheney on the other hand is what at one time would be considered Fascist. With only two party labels Republican or Democrat, it is silly to label accurately.

    May 10, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. Marcy

    It's over Dick – history will remember you as the architect who brought the
    United States to near ruin. Colin Powell is twice the man you will ever be and a better Republican too. You and that morally bankrupt, draft dodging, drug addict Limbaugh should just SHUT UP and let the Republican Party reflect on where it went wrong, find it's core values, redeem it's integrity and come back strong.

    May 10, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. Sally

    Yeah, Cheney, you Republicans believe in destroying any restrictions on your ability to do as you please...we have found out what deregulation leads to, a meltdown. What you really want to do is make a bundle of money off the backs of the working stiffs with no impediment. You don't care about the environment, the unemployed, health care for Americans or any progressive agendas...because you rich guys might have to pay a few more taxes. You know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Republican values are greedy, hostile, and careless.

    May 10, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  7. Blake Peterson

    Former Vice President Cheney is a good example of why people shouldn't belong to a political party. Political machines thrive on the "Us versus Them" attitude while drawing the constituancy further from a moderate center and making it more difficult to solve real problems. Please think for yourself and if you belong to a political party hold those in YOUR party to a higher standard, one that you can be proud of.

    May 10, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. steve

    Cheney is Satan-spawn. Who cares what he says?

    May 10, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. Marge

    The more cheney makes the rounds of the talk shows and tries to justify the bush administration and all its horrendous mistakes and actions, we have to believe that he is defending his presidency. It makes us believe that cheney was in charge and not bush. Why else would he be so darn upset about all the things the did wrong, the war, the torture and the energy mess made...

    This proves 100% that cheney was in charge, you don't see bush trying to justify what was done. That's because he realizes he was only the figurehead and that darth vader cheney ran the miserable show.

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

    Powell never was a Republican, he was too smart.

    May 10, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  11. peter

    Just disappear Cheney and carve yourself some stone house in Wyoming so that youcan wait your final judgment day and die in peace after six to seven years from now instead of wasting your time here trying to do politics.

    GOP are done until may be 2049 as predicted by Carville the other day.

    May 10, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  12. Gilley in PA

    Colin Powell is black. So is Obama. No need to discuss this at length, it's a waste of time.

    May 10, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  13. Paul

    actually cheney, staying committed to YOUR principles will erode your party into irrelevance.

    May 10, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  14. Get Real

    Dick and Colin have a right to their opinion. Just because they are in the same party does not mean they have to agree with everything. I am a conservative but could not vote for McCain in the last election.

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

    As a moderate, Mr. Cheney's comments deeply disturb me. To act as though the person that was charged by republicans to sell their mark upon the world in the last decade (the invasion of Iraq) was no longer a member of their circle has me thinking that the party is no longer a viable one.
    What can possibly attract voters to this party that carelessly abandons those that moderates look up to?
    Cheney talks about not moving one inch to the left as though they are at war. To me, it is a "war" they cannot win.

    May 10, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  16. emarshbuck

    According to the latest polls, there's not much of a GOP to leave! Bush/Cheney have already destroyed it.

    May 10, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  17. jds

    We are what we are. We're Republicans. We dupe average Americans into voting against their best interests by exploiting social issues like guns, abortion, and gay marriage. I'm surprised we've been so successful, but like I've told people, in the end, half of America is comprised of people of below-average intelligence. We just need to stick to our tried-and-true principles of supply-side economics, otherwise known as the "trickle-down" theory. You know, what most people don't know is that that "trickle" is actually all our rich Republican friends peeing on those below-average Americans who are too dumb to realize what they're doing. We Republicans don't care if we drive this country to bankruptcy, just so long as those of us which millions in the bank don't have to pay to support people's drinking habits, because that's really what we like to tell people their tax money goes to.

    May 10, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  18. Arthur

    Cheney sounds like an angry old man. He don't think the party should move to the left.. "we are what we are" I just see anger in his remarks.. Colin Powell was and is a brilliant asset and definately not a leftist. He's as honorable a man as you can get and with moderate views. Just goes to show you how right the Republican party has gone. They should grab hold of Powell with both arms but.. add him to the Arlen Specter Democrat side now. Moderate Democrats.. the new moral majority.

    May 10, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  19. Georgia Gal

    Good gosh. These people just need to get over it. What sore losers.

    May 10, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  20. Elliot Werner

    Colin Powell devoted his entire professional life to the service of his country which he did honorably and without the slightest hint of any dishonesty, subterfuge or scandal. To what did Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh devote their lives?

    May 10, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  21. adam

    What is interesting is that the entire political spectrum is moving right. Democrats are much less liberal and more moderate, and people like Cheney want us to believe the Republics are the Right. What happened to Democrats ranging from very liberal to moderate, and the GOP from moderate to very conservative? I don't think Alan Spector changed, but the shift in the parties moved him in alignment with conservative democrats. The same is true for Powell. I am a left leaning democrat, and my party is becoming too conservative for me. I think this shows the leaning of the spectrum in general and the Cheney Rush rhetoric does not speak for the republican party.

    May 10, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  22. js007

    How far the party of Lincoln has fallen.

    May 10, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  23. Al Rocci

    No, Mr. Cheney, represent the extreme edge of your party. And your faction started an unnecessary war, squandered a budget surplus, destroyed the American economy, shredded the Bill of Rights, created a new generation of American enemies, and operated the worst, most corrupt, presidential administration in our history. "Loyalty" to this disaster is un-Republican, un-Conservative, and un-American.

    May 10, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |

    Put a shock in Cheney. He is talking more now than he did when he was VP. I wish he would have talked out more against BUSH.

    May 10, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. Mike Mc

    Cheney and Rush versus the world!!!!!!
    I think its time to get in your bunker guys..

    May 10, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
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