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. Sean the thinker

    The world has changed dramatically since the 60's, 70's and 80's. Unfortunately people like Cheney, Limbaugh and others fail to realize this or appreciate the need for more government. Instead they rely on misguided principles, principles that the founding fathers espoused against a tyranical government.

    However, this is not the 1700's and our current government is not comparable to the governmental rulership in Britain cira-1700. We do have taxation with representation

    May 10, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. therealcedric

    Your either with us or your against us. I guess if your a republican you can't vote for a democratic candidate. Everything in Cheney's mind is so black and white. Duality is the way of washington and that is why nothing ever gets accomplished. Cheney needs to go off and have a heart attack somewhere! Give it up already!!!

    May 10, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  3. liz

    I guess the idea is that if you don't support torture; giving banks and industry free rein to run our economy into the ground; and crying "you're supporting terrorism" every time someone disagrees with you, you're not a Republican. Works for me.

    May 10, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  4. Artful

    As a former, and until that time lifelong, Republican, it disheartens me that the likes of Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh have commandered the party. Our reward as a nation is an economy that is in shambles and what seems like another lengthy war. Thank goodness that Colin Powell has a thicker skin than I and is committed to leading this once great party back from the brink of collapse.

    May 10, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. Aaron M

    Someone really needs to let Cheney know that no one really ever cared what he had to say, even when he WAS VP. He only got there by riding the Bush family coattails, regardless of how much of a crazy-cowboy he is. Talk about Rush Limbaugh being crazy! This guy is bonkers!

    May 10, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. Pat F

    Of course Cheney is correct. It is not consistent with being even the most moderate Republican in the world to have actively supported Obama for president. Obama is, far and away, the most radical, left-wing socialist in the elected office in this country. Read his 2001 interviews – all about forced redistribution of wealth.

    Unless, of course, Powell's support was strictly based on Obama's skin color and not on Obama's principles or positions. In that case, Powell is just a racist and not worth discussing further.

    May 10, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. joe magaratz

    Cheney's right when he says "...we are what we are." Thank God–this makes it easier to assure their demise.

    May 10, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. Wake Up Please

    "Republicans. We have certain things we believe in." Like what? Being evil, manipulative, hypocritical liars?

    Drive out the moderates, and pretty much anyone who believes in facts and science, and what do you have? Neocons and the Fundamentalist WIngnut Right.

    Let's just fade out the Republican party all together. The Libertarians have a much more legitimate position anyway – we should raise them up instead.

    May 10, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  9. Cystem Phailure

    Rush has become a one-answer person: anyone who disagrees with him on an issue needs to leave the GOP. Have another pill, Rush!

    May 10, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. Tim

    I hope Limbaugh and Cheney keeps on talking because the more they talk the more they are damaging their party. They are the prime example of the arrogance, intolerance and irrelevance which their party has become. The American has people finally (thank goodness) become tired of this rhetoric. The last 8 years under Bush, Cheney and his fellow cronies was the "my way or the highway" mentality. Our country needs a new direction and no more of the polarizing BS of the past administration.

    May 10, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. jrnycsb

    Why is this guy even getting quoted? Him and his lackey, GWB, are irrelevant, even to their own party. Like Meaghan McCain said, it's time for him to just go away.

    May 10, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. Paul

    Dick Cheney? The way he talks about the almighty Republican party and seems to hold his party in higher esteem than his country, I didn't know he was still an American.

    May 10, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. David Newport, OR

    YES!!!! more stupidity please...Keep up the "good" work DICK. This will help us expand our already substantial majority. We appreciate your effort.

    May 10, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. DF

    Oh my gosh....does anyone really care what dick has to say??

    May 10, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  15. Jacob

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

    Now just who is it here that's left the party? I'm sure if Cheney's mood sours a bit more he'll be accusing the entire Democratic party and two-thirds of Republicans of high treason.

    May 10, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  16. Lol Monster

    I'm sorry, but Powell is NOT the only Republican who thinks things should "stir" and change! Powell is in NO way on the same level of "republicanism" as Cheney and Limbaugh - hate to say it, but they're wrinkly old white men, stuck in their ways. You have to be kidding me that they don't sense their own party is buckling at its knees because it's SO resistant to change.

    May 10, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Jason Berne

    It is amazing how neither party realizes that it is the gray area of moderates, or most Amercians, that control the elections. Unfortunately, both sides are controlled by big money lobbyists and this needs to be stopped. Also, disagreeing with something others in your party agree on does not make you wrong. I see a third party gaining alot of influence soon.

    May 10, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. Chuck

    Colin Powell is an American first and a Republican second. He has always demonstrated his loyalty to the flag and ideals of this country. People such as draft dodger Cheney and drug addict Limbaugh have a difficult time with that concept.

    May 10, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. dave

    Cheney is a coward who used 5 deferments to avoid service to his country during Vietnam War. He could have shown he respects and loves his country , but he chose to purposely and aggressively avoid serving.
    HE is criticizing Powell? A man who served in the military admirably for over 30 years as a respected leader of men. A MAN who served in war theaters?
    Who is Dick Cheney to criticize a real man and Patriot? THIS is exactly why the Republican Party is a joke and a farce...keep 'em coming , boys. Destroy your party . It is to the benefit of our country that you keep up this line of political theater.

    May 10, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  20. Zach

    More sour grapes from an irrelevant, unpopular Cheney. Anyone else had enough of his whining?

    May 10, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  21. Marie

    So Joe Lieberman was a patriot who put country ahead of party when he endorsed John McCain but there are different rules for Colin Powell. Thanks for clearing that up, Mr. Cheney.

    May 10, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  22. BigTEX

    That Chaney would prefer a drug-addicted -1 year of college -radio jock over a 4-star general with an advanced degree shows Chaney's priorities pretty clearly. Chaney clearly put God, Country & Flag behind Haliburton, Saudi Princes & anyone else with BIG MONEY. Chaney should be prosecuted as a traitor for his role in outing our secret CIA agent . Chaney committed treason during a time of war.

    May 10, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  23. Mr. Davidson

    Obama is still only playing by the Bush playbook anyway ,what diffference does it make.No wonder why Cheney is still so active,same bus different shade of driver . Its no surprise why Steele has been viewed as an eunuch because Obama has taken his torch away in a political grandstand based on change only nothing has or will change. Just as Powell is drinking the same kool aide that voters did Summers and crew robbed the treasury ,again,Halliburton changed their handle to KBR ,still running the show in Iraq and Afganistan.All major Bush Republican players at bat today Gates Petraeus same war different day 4 more years ,Mc Cain couldn't have done it better.

    May 10, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. Conrad

    So with Cheney taking Limbaugh's side over Powell's, the Republicans surely are lost.

    I'm beginning to think that Bush was a good guy* who was unfortunately surrounded by a bunch of self serving, mean spirited and power hungry morons who only told him what was in their best interests.

    *Never thought I'd find myself saying that.

    May 10, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. smokey

    I think Mr Cheney is a perfecte xample of the declining support for the Republicans. He is largely responsible for the unpopularity of Americans internationally. It is also why Obama and the Dems are seen asa breath of fresh air.

    As for Limaugh.....well he does appeal to the fringe and ithis s how he makes his money. He has little or no credibility with the majority and but does a tremendous job in assisting the Dems maintain their popularity as he does not provide much of an alternative.

    May 10, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
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