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. pam Eugene OR

    That is exactly why the Republican party is dying. They have become a party of extremist views with no room for moderates. Rush Limbaugh has declared himself to be the leader and no one has the nerve to stand up to him. Anyone who dares to speak up for the Republicans to be more inclusive is ripped to pieces on fat boy's radio show.

    May 10, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. nmmom

    Why can't Cheney go away. Why isn't he in prison yet?

    May 10, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. Fredi

    So Cheney is basically saying that the Republican party has no room for people
    – with integrity
    – respect for the constitution
    – an independent opinion
    – who disagree with Cheney or Rush
    – who are critical of anything Bush/Cheney have done
    this will be a very, very small party

    May 10, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. Ivy

    I didn't know Cheney was still alive! Please someone send him on an extended hunting trip.

    May 10, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. Josh

    Why are we still asking Cheney questions? Furthermore, why does the press trust Cheney? Don't you people realize that he's one of the most secretive people to ever hold public office? Why should we trust his judgment?

    May 10, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. mellow

    I dont evenlike Cheney...but what he is saying is RIGHT ON

    May 10, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. Don

    What a shame when one of the greatest monsters of our time (Dicikie), is allowed to besmurch a person like Powell. Cheney could not rise high enough to lick the soles of this mans shoes. Go ahead Dick, keep trying to convince us that torure was a wonderful tool, and your Republican cohorts can decide so is Mustard, Cyanide Gas, and Biological warfare. You and Bubba have probably had more to do with bringing the world to the brink of destruction than anyone else in history.

    May 10, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  8. Jayden,FL

    I think we all know Cheney is an Idiot! and I will gladly welcome Colin Powell to the Democratic Party whenever he decides to make the switch.

    May 10, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. Nelson Williams

    Go ahead guys, keep rejecting people from your own party.

    This is so narcissistic it is laughable. All Rush and Dick want are a bunch of yes people to do what they want, not what is right for the country.

    Thankfully, the American people realized that as well this last election and booted those guys out.

    I am sure that the Democrats would welcome Sec. Powell into the party, coupled with a lot of votes that will certainly follow.

    May 10, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. Jim

    Mr. Cheney,

    I think that maybe you need to stop and take a look around. The main reason your "party" lost the last 2 elections is that you are so far out of touch. People are tired of extremeism from BOTH parties. Yours has just been more vocal about it. Your devotion to extreme right-wing thinking just serves to display why that kind of thinking is wrong. You are the man who outed a spy as a political punishment, you are the man who authorized the use of torture, you are the reason (Much more so than GW) that we are in Iraq even though we didn't need to be here. You saw a potential profit point for Haliburton, and you used your influence to make sure they were able to exploit it. So, before you go casting aspersions at others, you better be prepared to look in the mirror....

    May 10, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. Karen

    I think Colin Powell would be welcomed with open arms into the Democratic Party. He is one Republican I can respect. He has some moral fibre.

    May 10, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. sharon in pa

    i agree w/Powell. I've been a republican for 38 yrs. & long for fairness, niceness, a party free of name calling, free of hatred, free of either-or mentality. Le'ts be moderate, open-minded, promote gun control, get Russ off the air-waves, negotiate & compromise & brainstorm together until we find the best way, a bipartisan way to builds our country w/a global perspective.

    May 10, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. Sean Chong

    Rush and Dick are the two persons that do not belong to the Republican Party! Get the hell out of the party before you guys destroy it!

    May 10, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  14. Jimmy McTimmy

    How ironic and sad that Cheney barely said a word while in office, and now has diarrhea of the mouth.

    May 10, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  15. Robert

    For a guy that was supposed to run on the encumbent ticket for his party,but did not, I see no validity in anything Dick Cheney says. Seriously, where does he get off trying to be the party's leader? Just another relic from the Reagan Era. Move On Republicans

    May 10, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. Tom

    Let's see. They are a political party that wants fewer people? They want to keep the "right" people I guess. Of course, their idea of right is wrong.

    May 10, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  17. dawn

    This country is in denial or the reality that republicans are not democratic so how can they be in a democratic government such as the United States if they aren't democratic.

    If they want a republic government, than I guess they will have to move out of america. Because last time I checked America tells the world they are a democratic government.

    May 10, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  18. Jim El Paso Tx.

    Old Dicky just doesn't get it...maintaining their loyalty an commitment to the hate an fear policies of the Party is the only way to insure the complete destruction of the Republican mantra. Keep it up! Too bad there isn't more Powels an less Cheney's on that side:)

    May 10, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  19. Texas Teacher

    Ah..... so Limbaugh AND Cheney are the head of the sinking Republican Party. As things go I would say that neither one of them is wise to exclude ANY member of their party.... since there is so little left of their party!

    May 10, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  20. Ambrose

    Mr Cheney and Mr Limbaugh are the reason many are leaving the Republican party. Not all are interested in extremist views even in American politics. I am sure Mr Powell is one of those.

    May 10, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  21. Keith

    Is there really any reason why Dick Cheney is still around spouting crap from his mouth? Who cares what he thinks anyway. He has said more now than in his entire 8 years in the office of VP! Complete loser in every sense of the word.

    May 10, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  22. joel

    i think the republican party need a vacation right now !!!All i can see is confusion,confusion,confusion,!!

    May 10, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  23. David

    This is too funny. Not only are people running from the republican party by the millions, but now they are trying to pretend that they have the 'option' of kicking someone out of the They shouldn't worry, any sane person has already left or are packing their bags now.

    May 10, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  24. IMHO

    Not much of a tent, there Dickie ... The GOP's rebranding effort is just that: a new "look" on the same old, tired, worthless, tried-and-failed economic, social and political policies and ideas.

    The only real new thing about the GOP is their very public push to drive out of their party anyone who doesn't fall lock-step in line with their rigid ideology.

    Two words come to mind when I think of the GOP today: Fascist dictatorship.

    May 10, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  25. alex - mandeville, LA

    losing Powell would be a huge hit. Spector was just dead weight...

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