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. Emma, San Jose

    More than ever, Cheney is showing his defensive narcissism. It reveals a lot about the kind of leadership we had in DC for eight years.

    May 10, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  2. cheneysux

    this is exactly why we are leaving the rebs to become indies-u can't thrive in a box. There is absolutely no growth in the party; it's like we're still using sticks to hunt.

    May 10, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. Westerner

    Is Cheney running for President? If not, I don't understand why he is being so divisive.

    May 10, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  4. Rick from b,ham alabama

    I am a independent voter that want to vote republican, I voted for President Obama but did not want to, I was not impress with him then and not real impress with him now eventhough I will say he is trying to do the right thing so I support him. But it is guys like Cheney and Limbaugh that is destroying the Republican Party, these people care nothing about the american public. Were are the Jack Kemp's of the party. IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE LISTENING!!!

    May 10, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. Sam Washburn

    Hmmm.... So, Mr. Ginrich, Mr. Limbaugh, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney pushed the party to the far, far, FAR right, to a place where you need to go to church AND support torture at the same time, and NOW claim that THIS is what the Republican party have always been and will always be...

    Quite frankly, i doubt that.

    If these people stay in power and kick out everybody who's not in total agreement and alignment with them the Republican party will cease to exist. There will be a bunch of wingnuts, biblethumbers, fearmongers, racists and other misfits, but they will be irrelevant.

    There will be a new party of pragmatic, well meaning, intelligent conservatives (financially and socially) who can work with the Democrats and the President. They will get the votes and Rush will get the sack as soon as he's deemed no longer useful by his puppetmasters...

    May 10, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. Rob C

    I wish Cheney would go away.

    May 10, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  7. Jamey

    While Powel may be a "Democrat" as Cheney claims (not that he has ever been right about anything), the World can take comfort in knowing that Cheney hasn't changed- he is still an American Nazi.

    May 10, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. cindy

    Darth Cheney is a whack job. What is wrong with him? How dare he slam one of the finest men this country has, Mr Colin Powell. Cheney needs to go back into his undisclosed location and stay there. He's just making things worse for the Republican party. Him and Rush both should go away. The American people decided we had had enough of this kind of fear, hate mongering. When are these people going to accept our new president? The longer they spew their crap, the worse it gets for them!

    May 10, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  9. Lynn

    So Colin Powell is not wanted in the Republican party but there is room for moderates as long as they don't move to the left (more to the centre).

    So a warmonger who avoided the war in Vietnam is criticizing a true military hero. The hypocrisy and the contradictions out of the mouths of the has beens of the Rep. party never fails to amaze.

    May 10, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. vmora

    Chaney and Limbaugh are not in the same league. Cheney is a common criminal that should be facing jail for crimes against humanity, and as to Limbaugh, he is just an irrelevant entertainer.

    May 10, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  11. jwbuurns

    It would be apleasure to view both Limbaugh and Cheney scout the land together in a controlled avian hunt.Oxycontin and firearms are a good combination towards fusing these two idiots in thye history books where they belong.Cheney can go f@@k Himself

    May 10, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  12. Alvaro

    Cheney's main dig on Colin Powell is that he endorsed Barack Obama for president. Now, did he really have any choice between Obama and McCain/Palin? He actually used his head and refused to rely on his Republican ideology. Cheney said that they have certain things that they believe in so I think he should air them out to us. Tell us how McCain and Palin would have been better for the US and the world? C'mon Dick, tell us what we ignorant masses need to hear!....Cheney you were a failure as a VP and brought great shame to our country, your party and to the office, so why should anybody with a functioning brain heed your advice.

    May 10, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  13. Black Republican, New York, New York

    Dick, I voted for Bush and you in 2000 and 2004, but never thought I'd have to say this: You have become a disgrace to the Unoted States and not just the Republican Party. You have have lost your moral compass, man! Even Dubya, for all his faults, realzied you abused your office as VP and now wants to have nothing to do with you!

    If being conservative means you have to disrespect others and their views in the Republican Party, then you are free to become another Rush Limbaugh, who neither speaks for Americans or even conservative Americans. Limbaugh, by the way, speaks for the ultra fringe rightists whose vision and views are undergirded by hatred and selfishness. True conservatives have values: God, family, respect for self and others, community and national service, justice, equality, rewarding success, inspiring confidence, protecting the homeland, etc..

    Limbaugh and Cheney represent angry and frustrated losers in the Republican Party who must be challenged to change or risk being purged. The Republican Party is not dead; only traumatized by out-of-touch egomaniacs. The Party will rise again with the support of Americans who resonate with the changes in America and the world and frame a policy position to lead again despite the changes around us.

    May 10, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  14. Devon

    this kind of statement makes my blood boil on so many levels it is not funny.
    First, this points out where our two-party system of Government fails to represent the people. Cheney and Limbaugh basically are making the argument that Powell is not loyal to the Republican Party. Since when were politicians suppose to be? I was under the impression that the politicians were to remain loyal to the people, not a political party?
    Second, this points out why politcal party agendas are ruining our country, and it does not matter what side of the fence you are on. Political party agendas (or "Platforms" if you will) essentially ensure that we do not get represented by these imbeciles we vote for, and in fact the only thing being represented is the agendas of the parties and their special interests.
    It comes down to this as far as I am concerned: we the people are now second (if not further down the totem pole) to the party an elected official represents. Their "loyalty" as Cheney and Limbaugh call it means that instead of voting for things that are better for me and you first, they vote for things to better their party's dominance in the political arena first, then they may think about what is better for us second as long as that does not interfere with the party's agenda.

    Sad thing is the media seems to never attack politicians head on about this. We the people need your help to right this wrong, but you so far hardly ever touch on this subject when you should be going for the jugular. Where are the tough questions for these people? They need to be asked, and they need to be fought for! The media needs to ask why the government wishes to regulate honesty in every industry but their own when it is that industry where regulation of honesty is needed the most. Media needs to ask why political party agendas comes first in politics and the people second. The media needs to ask the question to politicians if they would support legislation to make agendas from political parties illegal and have the parties be strictly a campain mananging firm with no rights to steer a canditates vote one way or another on any specific issue, and those officials vote for things on their own beliefs or that of their constituants. This is the way to bring back representation to our form of government. Where is the media's tough reporters to ask these questions? Are those a thing of the past as well?

    May 10, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  15. JM

    Cheney says: "We have certain things we believe in."

    The problem, is that some of the things that the current republican party 'believes in' is anti-science, pro-religious bigotry.

    Until this changes, yes, the republican party is going to be in worse trouble than they are now. We are a country that is enlightening over time. As this happens, the democrats will continue to stay on top, unless the republicans decide they are willing to ditch their rural religious base, and go back to the things that made them republicans in the first place. Small government, personal liberties, etc.

    Does Cheney even know what the core of his party is anymore? Is it really so dependent on thick headed bigotry?

    May 10, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  16. Stay Active

    I am no longer a Republican either.

    May 10, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  17. Michael MN

    Isn't it great watching the Neocons self destruct

    May 10, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  18. republicanturneddemocrat

    Seriously, why does anyone even ask Dick Cheney about anything at all? Is it really going to change anything?

    The man had 8 years, and the congress for 6 to make any changes for this country for the better, and instead him and George drove this country into the ground and brought it to its knees.

    He ruined it, now he should shut up.

    May 10, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  19. felicha from florida

    John King, lol you are so funny....

    How are you ratings?

    Eh Weee

    May 10, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  20. Marie

    Cheney thinks this because? well something tells me that Powell trust Cheney no more than he did when he was part of the administration.Powell cannot talk about intelligence reports but he probably can write a book himself about Cheney and all the dirty things he's done while pretending that he's worried now that Obama's president that the country is at risk.It is funny that he's only bias to news station and will not give them interviews because they'll ask him tough question but instead he caters to fox news that feeds him question like giving a child candy.Cheney is a LIAR,CROOK,THIEF and doesn't look at the ordinary person(middle class and poor) as human beings because if that was the case he would have spent more time on the airways fighting for us for eight years rather than now constantly trying to make his wrong for eight years a right now.I say good riddance to Cheney and just wish to never hear from him again

    May 10, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  21. Tom in S.A.

    If Powell was a republican he wouldn't have supported Obama, so Cheney and Rush are right. Hate them all you want, hate the GOP all you want, but they are right.

    May 10, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  22. chris

    Coin, you must be losing sleep over this...

    Come on.. should we even compare careers... Decorated, undecorated..
    Calm and collected, awkward and melancholy..

    Cheney, why don't you do something useful for this country and move to Mexico.

    May 10, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  23. Chris

    Now, I see why we never heard from DC when he was our VP. I don't like viewing the Republican Party as non-inclusive, but what the heck are normal people supposed to think? I'm not sure that Powell is asking the party to lean left, but he is asking them to stand up from having completely fallen over to the right. And what have we heard from DC since he's no longer employed by us? Nothing but negativity. As for Rush? Well, I listen to him from time to time, and I can see that he absolutely does make good points. Unfortunately, his arrogant rhetoric and his doomsday fears of anything not connservative do not really allow people in the middle to have any choice. You're either with us, or you are a stupid liberal socialist communist greenie pinko weak democrat. Uh, ok Dick and Rush. Sure, great proposal. Keep living in a world of absolutes. The rest of America will keep living in the real world, where things are rarely so clear cut.

    May 10, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  24. Randall in Torrance - Welcome to the end of the era of dumb ass republicans in power

    Oh my God! It's no secret that Powell is anti-Bush and anti-Cheney because the wiser and more educated you are the less likely you are to contract small-brain disease. Powell's intellect is light years more advanced than every Republican's brain combined. Of course he couldn't stay a loyal republican. That goes against logic and reason, both of which Bush and Cheney never acquired either through their genetic make-up or after leaving their mother's womb. To be a Republican you have to throw away all reasoning skills and become retarded to the 10th degree. Cheney says there are certain things Republicans believe in that defines who they are. Here's their creed: Greed, hatred towards the needy and poor, loyalty to only rich Americans, maintaining a constant state of war, waterboarding and torture, destroying the environment, lying to the world in order to create a state of fear, and claiming that God has given them a mandate to do all these atrocities. Neither Cheney nor Bush is fit to shine Powell's shoes or valet park his car. Limbaugh is not qualified to even speak on behalf of humans.

    May 10, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  25. Robert in CT

    The gall of Cheney is really amazing. They served in the same administration together for years, and here he is just doing what he knows best, dishonest political sliming and smearing.

    Why do the Sunday talk shows keep having this clown on? And why does the Republican Party keep letting him speak for them? They've got to realize how bad a spokesperson this guy is.

    May 10, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
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