May 21st, 2009
02:58 PM ET
11 years ago

GOP leadership: Cheney entitled to his opinion

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he didn't watch Cheney's speech.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he didn't watch Cheney's speech.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, isn't exactly embracing Dick Cheney's high-profile defense of the Bush administration's national security tactics.

The Minority Leader was asked on Thursday if he thought it "frustrating" that Cheney is now at the forefront of the debate over the use of harsh interrogation techniques, given McConnell's remark in January that the GOP is free of the "political burden" of the Bush years.

"I didn't watch the vice president's speech," McConnell said. "I am here today reacting to the events of yesterday" - the Senate's overwhelming rejection of President Obama's request to fund the closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison - "and to the president's speech."

He added: "Everybody's got an opportunity to have their say in this country."

McConnell's Republican counterpart in the House, John Boehner, was more convivial, calling Cheney's opinions "helpful to the debate."

"Dick Cheney is a private citizen and certainly entitled to his opinion," Boehner said at his weekly press conference, adding that he was "glad" to have Cheney as a member of the Republican Party.

"Listen, Dick Cheney has been around this town for the last 35 years, 40 years," Boehner said. "He knows how this town works, and frankly he's very knowledgeable when it comes to the strategies that the administration took with regard to dealing with this terrorist threat."

Filed under: Dick Cheney • John Boehner • Mitch McConnell
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Ellen

    We didn't hear a peep out of Chencey when he was VP, now he thinks he's got all the answers? This guy thinks he's royalty and we need to bow and praise him?!......moron.

    May 21, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. Willy G

    They better be nice to Dick.

    They might be dealing with him a lot more in the future.

    All Cheney has to do is to get the GOP presidential nod in 2012, which is just about a done deal; and then beat the incumbent in the general election.

    How does President Dick Cheney sound folks?

    May 21, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. Joying

    Amazing that they didn't want his opinion during the 2008 election process....not even invited to speak – what a bunch of hypocrites..

    May 21, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  4. Lois

    Bush has more class than Obama could ever hope for. Obama is tearing this country down on a daily basis....Everybody had better wake up. Blacks are the racists. All they want is a handout.....

    May 21, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  5. Lois

    Irma in NC: why don't you move to dumb idiot...

    May 21, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  6. Ryan

    I'm very glad that I didn't watch Evil Vice President Cheney's speech today. I don't care what he thinks because he has been telling the people and the news over and over. Mr. Cheney isn't in the office A N Y M O R E. I am not interested what he says. He abused the office as a VP. Evil Vice President Cheney oughts to shut his mouth. He should forget the whole situation and move on. I believe that Mr. Cheney tries to make President Obama look bad. President Obama is cleaning the image of Bush and his evil Vice President up. I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR ABOUT the evil VP period....

    May 21, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. John, Brooklyn, New York

    This stands as a shining example of the really desperate cynicism of the Republicans. Mitch McConnell was silent about Cheney's rants until Cheney got an uptick in the polls. Now he's on the bandwagon. Talk about Republican politics as usual!

    May 21, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  8. John

    Some how the media should not allowed this so called vic-president to express his opinion as there is nothing he did other than keep American peiple in fear and leave the country in mess.We are in 21st century now , get out from this old thinking and let the young administration to work. He and his daughter should keep their mouth shut...........................

    May 21, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  9. JT

    Lois – Bush has more class than Obama???????? Really?????

    The rapidly shrinking 20% GOP base obviously is undereducated, on meds, needing meds, or have a few problems with color.

    May 21, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  10. MH

    Cheney stinks! Let's talk about ALL the lies he has told and secret he has been hiding. He and bush administration ruined America in the last 8 years. Isn't it enough already! Why any media still gave his platforms to talk and why anyone would listen to him anyway?

    May 21, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. JT

    Willy G – How does Inmate Dick Cheney sound to you? Maybe he'll luck up and get assigned to the same cell as one of the re-located GITMO detainees that he water boarded.

    May 21, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. Peter

    Freedom of a speech is within the Consitution....BUT I do believe that since Mr. Cheney has broken the law, all of his rights are gone. Not to mention he has a mental defficiancy, so I believe his remarks shouldnt be taken seriously...

    May 21, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. Kurt

    Keep on a talkin'....DICK!

    May 21, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. David Evan

    The statements that Mr. Cheney made today are their own indictment of the man. Only demonic hubris can state that the only way to win a war is to start one.

    May 21, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  15. Kurt

    Lois, it's pretty easy to see that you are a moron.

    May 21, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  16. Never Repub again

    These people may feel diffrently if they knew that the Bush/Cheney family is in the WEAPONS MFG business. That is why they starts wars and break the banks. The banks failed the last time a Bush was in office.
    We never hear about Neil Bush who ran one of them.

    May 21, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. John Witmer

    Why is the EX vice president given free air time? He had his 8 years in office during which he allowed torture and further undermined the Constitution. His party was voted out of office. Of course he is entitled to his opinion, but he doesn't deserve free air time to frighten the country with ideas that sound like the worst days of Cotton Mather and the Salem witch trials.

    May 21, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  18. Karl Rove

    Lets have a FULL investigation into the torture debate, starting with Bush and Cheney and working down to pelosi and whoever else.

    Leave it to the GOP to think the investigation shoul only be on Pelosi.

    Seriously, can anyone not see the hypocrisy, obstructionism and outright contempt for the common (not wealthy or corporation) man?

    May 21, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. Keith in CA

    Sure, Cheney is entitled to his opinion. I would give my opinion of Cheney, but I doubt CNN would deem it appropriate for posting.

    May 21, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. nda

    Lois, you must be racist for bring that up about handouts. Doesn't matter if your black or white, we are all Americans. Why don't you get your facts straight and pick up a book and learn what it is to be an American. Let me give you a tip. Don't ask Dick Cheney for help with the answer

    May 21, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. Jason, Nevada

    When I look of what Dick Cheney is doing now, the psychology of it all is very sound. When a person is no longer in a position of power, he wants to maintain control and not fade away. He still wants to be heard; to matter! George Bush has stayed out of the fray and it can be said that it shows a degree of class, but it can also be said that it proves who truly wielded the power in the previous administration.

    May 21, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. Lee-- Dallas, TX

    Hmm– entitled to "opinion", not fact– I get it now; he's a commentator just like Glenn Beck; no need for facts.

    May 21, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. Karl Rove

    I agree that everyone is entitled to an opinion, however there are only one set of facts.

    Unfortunately, Republicans do not argue facts they argue ideologies, myths and dogma.

    May 21, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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