May 22nd, 2009
03:52 PM ET
14 years ago

First on The CNN Ticker: Ridge disagrees with Cheney

(CNN) - Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge told CNN former Vice President Dick Cheney's repeated charge the Obama administration has made the country less safe is wrong.

"Yeah, I disagree with Dick Cheney," the Pennsylvania Republican and former Bush administration official told CNN's John King, adding he does not think the country is more vulnerable to an attack under President Obama.

Ridge's comments come after both Obama and Cheney gave dueling speeches on national security, during which the president sharply condemned Bush administration interrogation practices while Cheney vigorously defended them.

In the interview with CNN, set to air in full on State of The Union with John King Sunday, Ridge said he disagrees with "the approach both men are taking."

"It's just the whole notion of a Republican vice president giving a speech after the incumbent Democratic president," he said. "It's gotta go beyond the politics of either party."

The former Pennsylvania governor also took issue with a portion of Obama's speech, during which he said some Bush national security decisions were based on "fear, rather than foresight."

"I'm surprised that President Obama, who I really, truly believe knows better, would make such a statement," said Ridge. "The men and women in charge of America's security, whether they're military, or the intelligence community - the president, the vice president, the attorney general, the FBI director - did everything they could at the time to prevent another attack on America. And did it consistent with the Constitution and the rule of law."

Ridge, who served as the country's first homeland security secretary in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, said he's "disappointed in the president" for spending time criticizing past actions of the Bush administration."

"He keeps looking backwards to justify what he's doing now and I don't think at the end of the day - I think that becomes more politics than policy, and I don't think it's the kind of approach that we need to bring America together on this very important issue," he said.

Filed under: Dick Cheney • Popular Posts • State of the Union • Tom Ridge
soundoff (304 Responses)
  1. phoenix86

    Obama plays on class warfare, fear and hatred. That is the basis of every speech he gives.

    May 22, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. Ryan

    He will have to apologize as soon as Don Rush Limbaugh hears of this.

    May 22, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  3. Dave B

    Tom Ridge is the classy politician we need more of in Washington,

    May 22, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  4. rj

    oh boy...el blimpo dumbaugh is not going to like this...not one bit.

    May 22, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  5. Minnesotan

    Good for Mr. Ridge. Everybody with an IQ over 12 knows that Cheney is a liar who's only trying to avoid being prosecuted for war crimes, failed policies and promoting corruption.

    May 22, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. Dave C - NJ

    Good for Ridge...he gives an honest forthright critique of Obama and also dismisses Cheney's obvious BS.

    Put him in the "New GOP" category for making an intelligent statement.
    The "Old GOP" will be dead soon anyway 🙂

    May 22, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. Lynn

    And what is Cheney doing but looking back and rewriting history.

    The Bush Administration did nothing to insure the security of America in the future:

    1. North Korea: nothing
    2. Iran: nothing
    3. Middle East Peace: nothing
    4. Afghanistan: nothing
    5. economic security: nothing
    6. Social Security Reform: nothing
    ...the list goes on....

    I am sure John King was very disappointed that Ridge disagrees with Cheney!!

    May 22, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  8. Pat F

    Ridge is like a well paid lady of the evening – give him enough dough, and he'll say anything you'd like.

    May 22, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  9. The Truth Is!!!

    You are SOOO Right!!!!

    May 22, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  10. Ping

    As a Democrat and former Pennsylvanian, I have to say I love this guy. He is a real man among wimpy politicians. Go Tom.... and go away back to your 2001-2008 cave home Mr. Burns/Scrooge/Cheney.

    May 22, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  11. precious

    Your headline should read: Ridge: I disagree with Cheney and Obama.

    I can now so understand, why I am starting to get SO BORED and only watch movies and the weather channel.

    May 22, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  12. Karen

    I dislike Republicans but there's good advice here for Obama. When you defend yourself, you give credence to what you are defending against. Obama needs to set a course based on information and our values as a country, not in reaction to political opinion, criticism, and past actions.

    May 22, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  13. ETM

    Tom Ridge is a decent man but it is absurd to suggest that the Bush Administration, particularly, Cheney, followed the rule of law. On the contrary, they trashed it and created a mess that Obama, Congress and the courts are still trying to clean up.
    If Ridge wants to do the country and his party a favor, he might start by telling Dick Cheney to go away and never come back.

    May 22, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  14. ron

    Not only is only ONE side of the issue presented here, but it's the minority opinion. MOST military/intelligence experts AGREE with Cheney. Of course, THIS website is too biased to report that.

    May 22, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  15. Jimmy the Greek

    After the next terrorist attack on US soil... we'll be sure to get Tom Ridge and Obama in the same room so they can explain what happened.

    May 22, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. EDR

    No one thought the U.S. was vulnerable on September 10th, 2001 either, but the next day we all found out how wrong that assumption turned out to be.

    May 22, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  17. Julie

    This man is a true Republican....looking after the people and the Country and not playing politics.
    Dick Cheney is making himself look more foolish.

    May 22, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. TTBALA

    Oh Phoenix86,

    Are you deaf and dumb, and blind you didn't see or hear what the bush administration did for the past 8 years lie, scare, people and promote hate, the whole world knows this, I can't believe you are so stupid as to say what you said out loud, please get your head out of the sand and get some education.

    Mr. Ridge, I am really proud of you, this is how it always should be to either party when something is wrong it is wrong I don't care what party I belong to.

    May 22, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  19. JT

    How can you agree with someone in good conscience and in reasonable logic that is doing a Torture Promotional Tour? Cheney is like a traveling salesperson from deep darkness.

    May 22, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. pat c

    our president can stop looking back and talking about the mess of the last eight years when idiots like cheney.rush,palin, hannity stop! the sicko's that i just mentioned don't seem to understand that obama won the election. he was chosen by the people to lead us into a better tomorrow. i am sick of cheney acting like a current sitting vp when at the time he was in office he was nowhere to be seen.president obama is our choice now so the republicans need to suck it up and either help america or shut up. either way they are so lost it really doesn't matter..

    May 22, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. Ursula

    Good for Mr Ridge.... not everyone in the former Bush administration is stupid.

    May 22, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  22. The Truth Is?

    @phoenix86 May 22nd, 2009 12:00 pm ET
    Obama plays on class warfare, fear and hatred. That is the basis of every speech he gives.....Please advise... exactly what is Cheney doing ??(eyes Rolling)**You are SOOO Right Mr Ridge!!!!

    May 22, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. T Lang

    I agree. Obama, stop talking about Bush and make decisions based on what you think is the right thing to do. That's it. Shut up already about the past administration.

    May 22, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. Republicans are the American Taliban

    I seriously believe the Republicans will start funding terrorist groups so that they can gloat when something does happen. Notice how George Bush and DICK Cheney have traded roles? Before we never heard from Cheney, who was hiding in a bunker somewhere, and W was constantly making stupid the opposite. Guess it's obvious who was really pulling the srtrings huh. W is doing a tour of jr. high school gyms

    May 22, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  25. Independant Voter

    to Ron:

    You have been given some serious misinformation.
    Most military and intellegence analysts do NOT agree with Cheney.

    Just because you say it, doesn't make it true, Ron.

    May 22, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
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