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. Rich in Austin

    – by the way – he is the same little side-kick who was strumming a guitar in California when the dikes broke in New Orleans. These people take us for fools.

    May 22, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  2. Chris

    The more Dick talks the more it clearly, shows who was running this Country in the last 8 years. I mean seriously, Bush has moved on from all this political folly, yet DICK is out front and center in the media like his life is depending on it!!! DO YOU GUYS NOT RECALL HOW HE SHUN DOING INTERVIEWS WHILE IN OFFICE? The guy needs to go sit down some where!!!
    People it time to stop letting Dick and the GOP distract on issues that need to be addressed in this Country.

    May 22, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  3. morris diehl

    Here we go again with the sunshine patriots, they talk war (chaney, bush and other right wing cowards) and they won't go. Would you rightwingers do us a favor and go fight in Afghanistan, that way you can say you fought over there to keep the terrorists out of here. This country should have a policy of putting all of the sunshine patriots on a boat and then sink it. Semper Fi unless its a coward.

    May 22, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  4. Jim

    Dear donttreadonme,

    If waterboarding is a justifiable means to an end, why don’t we allow the police in this country to waterboard suspects? It’s torture, plain and simple. Those of us who went through survival school had the technique ‘demonstrated’ on us and it is terrifying. After a few minutes you’d confess to anything. Get a grip on reality.

    May 22, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  5. truthsayer

    John King: Republican enabler

    May 22, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  6. Dwayne NC

    Blah blah blah, so does this mean that we have all agreed that the terrorist will be set free here in the US and given citizenship?

    Long term effect of smoking to much weed? A Liberal
    Early warning signs of smoking to much weed? A Democrat

    May 22, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  7. carlos

    why don't they put a rope around the neck of these two cheneys? and the rest of the ignorant bloggers here?


    May 22, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  8. David Newport, OR

    here comes Rush and Dick telling Tom that he really is a Democrat and he should shut up and leave

    May 22, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  9. txleadhead

    The head of the snake.

    May 22, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  10. Felonious Monk

    I have a very silly question regarding torture.

    Would Jesus have tortured Pilot to find out the name of teh apostle that turned against him?
    Would Jesus have tortured to find out Judas' name?

    Justify that one, if you can!

    May 22, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. Marie in Texas

    thats it, I am never going to be a republican AGAIN or send them any more money ! CNN and NO news station should have aired Cheneys speech following our presidents !!!

    May 22, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  12. Nini

    Isn’t interesting that CNN doesn’t even mention the fact that OBAMA scheduled his speech exactly on the time that Cheney had his speech planed already.
    And out of respect for the office Cheney waited until Obama was done and then started his speech.

    Now, why do you not mention THAT CNN?

    What we need is not change in our government in this country, what we need is journalists that do their job with conscious.

    We need an uprising against the media.

    May 22, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  13. Lue Blackwell

    Cheney has to be the most miserable man in the world-and the fact that he is on television everywhere-( and that evil just like him daughter) and the media feeds into his "evil ego"-so what is next for the former vp-who knows-but he is NO longer the vp-and the media needs to acknowledge that!

    May 22, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  14. JB

    Wasn't Cheney recently quoted as saying he and the other old guard should leave the stage and make way for the new GOP.

    Has he been off TV a single day since he said that???

    May 22, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  15. bb

    Fist of all Dick Cheney shoul shut up, he is no longer a politician,
    when he was VP you never heard anything from him.
    I sincerely believe tha PRESIDENT OBAMA should release the
    pictures of interrogation by the Bush administration so the world and every one will be able to see exacty what happened

    May 22, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  16. Deb in Colo

    @ phoenix86

    Maybe you should actually listen to Obama instead of letting Rush tell you what he said.

    May 22, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  17. Tarheel

    Tom Ridge and Colon Powell should run for President and Vice-President. I'm just not sure which party they would run for. Maybe Arlen Specter could be their campaign manager.

    May 22, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  18. kp

    who cares what a 'former' anyone in politics thinks anymore? Like him or not, Cheney has the guts and spine to speak his opinion, unlike the spineless 'polticians' who only speak what they think their constituents want to hear.
    But seriously, did we not learn from the Vietnam War that politicians CANNOT run a military and war?
    Unbelievable, it sounds like 1969 again.

    May 22, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  19. truthsayer

    The media was complicit in Bush and Cheney's march to war. Now they are complicit in carrying water for Cheney and the GOP. I agree John King should leave CNN and go join Fix News

    May 22, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  20. redleg

    Once again, those who were there, like SSG Ridge and those who hid behind women on the other hand.

    May 22, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. Ken


    We didn't torture the Japanese (Battan Death March) and we prosecuted Japanese officers who waterboarded Americans.

    Why do you and every idiot right winger want to use tactics that the Soviets and Chinese use to extract false confessions? Why do you want to turn into the very barbarians you condemn?

    May 22, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. Gary

    If I knew Dick Cheney cared about me or my safety I'd probably listen to what he had to say, but none of these gov't officials care about me or my safety or my liberties. Dick is more concerned with his Halliburton stock and ensuring big oil has sustained supplies from Middle Eastern oil. Don't sell me on keeping me safe. I can do that on my own just fine. Release the records from NEDPG Dick. Why did you go to the Supreme Court to hide, Chicken Hawk.

    May 22, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  23. Tarheel

    Nancy Pelosi,Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton and Barney Frank. The Democrats sure are a powerful Party whwn you consider these four are their best and brightest.

    May 22, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  24. Scott, Mizzou

    To "America First"–

    Do you really feel like the passed eights years were ran with America First??? Your education level is what??? You silly conservative republicans couldn't dig holes for yourselves faster with dynamite.

    May 22, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  25. TF, CO

    All I hear from the people on here it that's its ok for us to torture because others have done it to us. Don't most Republican's read the Bible? Didn't Jesus turn the other cheek? Or is the Bible only good for wedge issues, and you really don't believe in all the teachings of the Lord, just the ones you think are right. I can't wait to hang out with GW and Cheney in Hell.

    Hypocrisy = GOP

    May 22, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
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