May 11th, 2009
09:10 AM ET
11 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. Marisue Alsobrook

    Thank you Cheney, for recognizing that Colin Powell is not a Republican. He has common sense, a desire and knowledge that far exceed the Republican model. He has, indeed, pulled away from the sinking ship of Republican elected officials who do not care about their country as they demonstrate with constant "no" votes. How can they show they want solutions when they provide none and vote for none?

    Thank God, Colin Powell wants to change the party of "no."

    And, what Rush Limbaugh thinks does not matter, as he has said, there is no recession, he's making $400 million and inciting hate and anger to all who tune him in. TUNE HIM OUT.

    May 10, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  2. Alan in Marietta

    If Colin Powell left the GOP, then Dick Cheney left the human race.

    May 10, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  3. KansasGirl

    Short and sweet, but totally accurate. Mr. Cheney has not changed his views or ideals like other people I THOUGHT were Republicans.

    May 10, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  4. George Washington

    you guys are pathetic. why don't you quite whining and slamming, and represent America correctly, and spend your time working for the betterment of America, instead of all your time whining ????? huh? answer that one.

    May 10, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  5. Erik

    Hmm, what does it mean to be a Republican. From what I hear they can't eat anything that wasn't made in the US of A judging by the furor they raised over Obama's choice of mustard.... Hmm, I wonder, I bet Rush has eaten Russian caviar at sometime or other, I imagine Cheney has done so many, many times as well, so I would suppose by Republican standards, Cheney and Rush are commies ...

    May 10, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  6. Alex

    Dick Cheney already lost his entire credibility and now he decided to attack another Republican for being less Republican?

    Get lost, old man. You have no right saying something like that, especially after you put this entire country into giant mess over the last 8 years.

    May 10, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. Jet

    Things are upside down in this country when two draft dodgers [Cheney&Limpballs] are calling out a Vietnam vet and professional soldier. Two fine examples of chickensh#t. And any Republicans that think these two are the shining examples of our countries best need their heads pulled out of their you know what. I admire men who stood up and refused to serve in Vietnam and did so because of their beliefs. But these two are sleeze balls and they have been their whole life. They believe in nothing but enriching their own selves and people dying because of their piggishness means nothing to them.

    May 10, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. Bodu

    The most unliked man in the party slamming one of the few Republicans who might still appeal to moderate or fiscally conservative voters. Yep, that's the way to win in 2010!

    May 10, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  9. Ben West

    As a lifelong republican who voted for Obama, Cheney's comments reflect the very attitude that is driving away republicans and may well foreshadow the beginning of the end of the republican party.

    May 10, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  10. Shawn

    Isn't it strange Cheney is talking up a storm since he's left office, but while he was running the country he couldn't be found?

    May 10, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  11. Wally Wolf

    Cheney is single handedly destroying what's left of the Republican Party. With his historically low ratings, you would think someone in the party would try to shut him down. Is he so mad at Bush, who left the party in shreds, that he's trying to damage the party even more? It's almost too sad to watch.

    May 10, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  12. elrushbo

    "We're Republicans. We have certain things we believe in. And maintaining our loyalty and commitment to those principles is vital to our success." War, torture, exploiting the environment, misleading the public, abusing the Constitution, lying, lack of financial oversight - that ideology seems to be working out really well for us. Keep up the good work Dick.

    May 10, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. Kim, Boston

    Oh Dick Cheney, I think you're the one who's not a true Republican, you're certainly no Patriot, regardless of party affiliation.

    May 10, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  14. GOP Disaster

    I guess the GOP is now longer a big tent party!

    May 10, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  15. Tim S

    Please take this frustrated grumpy old man out of the public. He is a danger to himself and others.

    May 10, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  16. Lou

    Just keep running your mouth off Dick! It suits Democrats and Independents just fine to have you Rush and Ann Coulter being the party spokes people. Much appreciated.

    May 10, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  17. linell, former Republican, Winter Park, FL,

    I heard it this morning; I couldn't believe it. What Cheney said, and he said it twice, is that given a choice between the two, he would choose Rush Limbaugh over Colin Powell. I hope he keeps this up, because the few moderates who are left will eventually come to their senses and leave the Republican party like I did. After over almost 40 years I am now an Independent...there is no longer a place for me in the GOP.

    May 10, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  18. Trollmaster

    The Republican party can't comprise their principles and stop being servants to the Military Industrial Complex.

    May 10, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  19. Angela in LA

    The LAST thing the Republican party needs to do is loose the last respectable, level headed, and flexible war hero they have. I sincerely hope they do not temper tantrum him out.

    We need more than one political party in this country. I may not agree with a lot of the Republicans ideas, but they need to be here for balance. if Powell leaves, its over.

    May 10, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. GM from MN

    "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." "

    Hey Cheney........in case you forgot the GOP redifined its base a long time ago and moved to the FAR RIGHT.......now the religious whack jobs now feel the need to have the Government poke its nose in to the personal lives of those who they feel aren't living up to the standards of the bible.

    May 10, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. Ann

    I don't like Cheney but what is reported here makes sense.

    May 10, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  22. JN

    Obviously, Powell is not a Cheney/Limbaugh/Coulter/Hannity style Republican. But then it seems only 12% of the 21% of Americans who call themselves Republicans are.

    May 10, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  23. Vence

    One more time the torturers (GOP) reject everybody who thinks different. Later, they complain why their party is in trouble if only white old racist guys are included.

    May 10, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. Sharon - NC

    So I guess Colin Powell was supposed to endorse McCain/Palin no matter how horrible they were? Straight party line, with no thought as to what is good for the country? Typical. And why is Dick Cheney relevant now to the point where we need to know his thoughts? We see more (entirely too much) of him now than we ever saw of him when he was supposed to be Vice President.

    May 10, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  25. Louis

    Perhaps if the Republican party possessed some iota of ideology which reflected a humanitarian approach to the issues that we face as a nation today, instead of trying to feed us the same old outdated excrement which prevails in their agenda, we might be listening.
    Our enemys somehow remind me of Patrick Henry. We have got to realize that we cannot always bomb our adversarys into submission. I can really appreciate the dialog which we are trying to establish throughout the world. Our new young voters are the backbone of the new stratigem which is embraced by a people that has been able to rise up because of the mass communication we have accessed over our new technologies. It is a base which is no longer controlled by the fear-mongering which the Republicans use to control outcomes which ultimately results in our further isolation in the world.

    May 10, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
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