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. Canadian soccer mom

    If Powell consideres himself a Republican, then he is a Republican. It doesn't matter what Cheney or Limbaugh say. Why do they decide who is in the party?That's just their way of telling others that you're either with us or against us, you believe exactly what we believe or you're not included. It's manipulation, no independant thought allowed.

    May 10, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. Peter

    The cabal of Cheney, Limbaugh, Coultor, DeLay, Hannity along with others will destroy the Republican party. GOOD. Colin Powell is a man to be respected and admired. Above all listened to. The people I mentioned above have no concept of unity. It is their way or nothing. However warped that is.

    May 10, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. Bill

    It's stunning to me that Cheney, a man who avoided serving in Vietnam by moving from college to college FIVE TIMES during the War because of substandard academic scores, can get away with criticizing a distinguished Vietnam veteran and accomplished man like Colin Powell.

    May 10, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. maf

    Can Cheney dig a bigger hole for himself and the GOP?
    If nothing else, it is fun to watch the Republicans self-destruct.

    May 10, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. ted d

    The more Dick Cheney talks, the more I hope his crimes get the full investigation and prosecution they deserve. Once he's behind bars for his many violations of the U.S. Constitution and his lies about the status of intelligence about Iraq, we'll all breath a big sigh of relief.

    May 10, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. Matt

    This just goes to show you that Cheney is an extreme right wing Republican. This is why the Republican Party is loosing members – they to not allow for moderates.

    May 10, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. Brian

    Does Dick Cheney even matter anymore? Does he hold any credibility anymore? If Cheney is "a Reublican" then Colin Powell should be glad Cheney considers him a Democrat.

    May 10, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  8. suzyku

    Dark Cheney has really , completely gone over to the dark and stupid side! The man needs to be restrained, especially his evil, clueless mouth! McSame is now spouting some of the same stupidity, I guess this party never learns and never will. Grand Old Putz'!!!!!

    May 10, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  9. Peter Carpenter

    As a life long Republican I am so saddened by the direction in which Cheney/Palin/Limbaugh are dragging the party of Abraham Lincoln, Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. The Republican tent is now so small that there is no room for anyone with either a social conscience or respect for diversity.

    May 10, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  10. adamandkanani

    Cheney still believes in segregation and would vote against women's rights if he could. He doesn't believe in the rights of the common working man or woman and he doesn't believe we are all equal.

    May 10, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  11. Lynn West Bloomfield, Michigan

    Typical for the Repugs. There is no room to think or your own or make your own decisions based on your personal preferences. it is all in Nazi step or they will eat you.

    May 10, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  12. Mark

    I used to like Powell, but no longer. Not because he is a democrat, but because he is an oportunist. Stand true to your convictions! One doesn't wake up one morning and have a whole new set of beliefs and principals. Shame on you Powell.

    May 10, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  13. John

    Does anyone else notice what I see in this? Cheney and Limbaugh are in essence telling Powell that he needs to get back in the back of the Republican bus and sit down like a good "boy" or be forced to get off the ride.

    Cheney and Limbaugh are so blind to what the country has told the Republican party they are trying to purge anyone who thinks differently than they do.

    Personally, the Republican party would look good to me if they moved a good bit towards the center. Right now? It's jsut amusing watching a political party not being able to reinvent itself because they're SO old fashioned, antiquated, and narrow minded.

    That's okay Dick! You just go ahead and beat up one of the only figureheads in your "conservative" party that actually brings some legitimacy to the table. Sorry Dick, go hunting for Democrats instead of your own party're obviously a great shot!

    May 10, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  14. Bob Shore

    Cheney is such a gift to the Democrats these days. Sure, he says, the admitted liar and drug abusing talk show radio host is who we want in our party! Let's distance ourselves from the man with one of the longest and most distinguished military and cabinet-level service records in our nation's history.

    May 10, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  15. The Voice

    It's nice to see how irrelevant this man and his party have become. Powell is till a Republican, will always be, but happens to be a moderate.

    May 10, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  16. No More Republicans Ever

    How can anyone still support this party of war profiteers and misery capitalists, all of these people are the scum of the earth and should be locked out of this country, how can anyone listen to Rush Limbaugh and think he may have some points

    Republicans are currently the party of the war profiteers the oil profiteers and all other greedy pigs who care about nothing else but their bank accounts

    Let the Republicans die the death they deserve, all of them are the scum of the earth

    May 10, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  17. aliousalam

    What is missing in all this is the trial of Dick cheney as the traitor who engineered the war in Iraq, instigated and twarted our laws to torture.

    May 10, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  18. GeorgeVT

    Please stop giving him air time (Cheney)... if he wants to stay in the public eye he should run for office, maybe a senate or house seat in Wyoming...

    May 10, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  19. MBergman

    Cheney was irrelevant and not widely respected as a Vice President and is even more irrelevant and even less widely respected as an ex-Vice President. At least President Bush was smart enough to ride off quietly into the sunset. As long as he continues to insinuate himself into the Republican party leadership, their chances of recovering any kind of critical mass in support are nil. The new administration has quickly garnered wide ranging support from around the country and throughout the world. There is a message there that Mr. Cheney ought to take personally.

    May 10, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  20. Sick of this crap

    Hey Dick – I hear there's a vacancy in the undisclosed location.

    May 10, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  21. MBSeattle

    The republican party no longer believes in fiscal conservatism . Militarily they shoot first and ask questions second.
    They appear homophobic. They favor big bailouts.

    Colin Powell would be the last guy I would like to see leave the republican party. Maybe it's Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh time to quite the party.

    May 10, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  22. BOB

    Why doesn't Mr. Cheney shut the hell up, take his billions and go off into the sunset?

    May 10, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  23. sue williams

    Don't people realize yet the republican party is infiltrated with democrats in republican clothing harping on how they want to change the republican party. They lie to get voted in then claim they want to change the party . These are the so called moderates who more often than not vote with the dems. This is what is destroying the republican party.

    May 10, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  24. Jim in Rochester (NY)

    Let's take a vote on who's done more for the US, Powell or Cheney. I don't think Cheney would like the results.

    May 10, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  25. Hammer

    Dick Cheney symbolizes all the worst qualities of the Republican Party these days: smug, condescending, self-righteous, say one thing then do another, lie whenever it suits you, no morals, bible thumping hypocrites. General Powell should take it as a great compliment that both Rush and Dick don't want him in their clubhouse anymore.

    May 10, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
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