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. jumpugly

    Thank you Mr. Ridge. I may not always agree with you, but I do on this one. Perhaps you can see that Cheney is crushing the GOP in his efforts to try and save his legacy?

    May 22, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. jack mcbride

    tom ridge is the same person who on national television urged americans to go out and buy saran wrap and duct tape to protect themselves from a biological attack. only some days later did he call for americans not to buy duct tape and saran wrap. this guy should be put in gitmo with corporate ceo's and label them domestic terrorists.

    May 22, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. The Slayer

    @donttreadonme you're apparently not familiar with the fact that rules of war, in some capacity, have existed for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It is also doubly obvious to me that you've never served in any branch of the military.

    May 22, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. david

    I guess what happen to daniel pearl and all those americans who were beheaded on video and seen world wide is okay or the kidnapping of Gilhad Shalit because the liberal media wants to pretend we are living in a utopia

    May 22, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. BigWill

    Ridge is somewhat right; but I'm with President Obama all the way. What some people fail to realize and to understand is that President Obama is also working hard to change the psyche of the American public at large that have been fallen prey and victim to the stupidity and ignorance that was Bush-era politricks. Bad enough that Bush-era policies have duped so many people (mostly those ignorant and in some cases inbred gun-clinging religious nutjobs), but now the idiotic part of America that hugs onto every asinine word uttered by the o'reilly's, the beck's, the hannity's, and the limbaugh's.

    May 22, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. jsc

    Cheney needs to go back in his cave, the one he was in for eight years
    why is he coming out now. I guess he is running scared, that we will find out he was the one watching over the waterbording, that's the sort of thing he would enjoy. He must be missing his entertainment,

    May 22, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  7. Jake

    prosecute Dick Cheney – there is a special place in a prison for him!

    May 22, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  8. SoSaysSam

    Dick Cheney is a lier and a fool, and anyone who believes a word he says is an idiot.

    Pres O is a breath of fresh air in the polluted politics of America.

    May 22, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  9. former republican

    Thank You Tom Ridge! Its about time Republicans start acting honorable like they used to!

    May 22, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  10. once upon a horse

    @ phoenix86..

    PLEASE post copies of the speeches you've heard where President Obama uses hate, warfare and fear when he talks. I bet my life savings you couldn't do it. You have to be an uninformed dittohead

    May 22, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  11. MDM-VA Real

    All Cheney is pure evil....and racist!

    May 22, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  12. CJ

    Joe, 12:12
    For God's sake! Get a grip you whiney, spoiled brat. The man just became president in January...give it a rest with your negative, ridiculous attitude. Take an anti-depressent and watch some comedies while you "wait".

    May 22, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  13. triana

    I have not seen Cheney for the last eight years and now he is on the news every day, what is his agenda? Message to Cheney: Go and hide and allow President Obama to do his job because you all did not. Stop hating!

    May 22, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  14. Pat in IL

    Is anybody even listening to Cheney? He is so far out on the edge that his lies are spilling over at an alarming rate. I'm glad that someone who knows the truth has the guts to call him out on some of this stuff.

    May 22, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  15. ashley

    @American First...Have you actually READ the constitution to know that Bush and Cheney chewed it up, spit it out, put it through the shredder and then buried it behind the Whitehouse?

    Cheney needs to have the least respect for his country and fade out, like Bush.

    May 22, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  16. bob

    And this is the reason he ran away from the job at Homeland Security. He just couldn't handle the pressure of being wrong all the time.

    May 22, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  17. Le Malin

    Dick Cheney should be waterboarded to get the truth of 9/11. We spend half a trillion dollars in defense and amateurs with blades fooled us and committed those attrocities? Does Cheney believes we believe him?

    May 22, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  18. ggallati

    thegitmo/torture argument would be unnecessary if bush/cheney had heeded the warnings in the summer of 2001 that suicide bombers were planning attacks on the united states-9/11 happened on bush/cheney's watch, now cheney is over-reacting out of guilt!!

    May 22, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. katiec

    Ridge left Homeland Security as a dismal failure and now he is being given the headlines by CNN.
    Agree with a fellow blogger, CNN touts and supports any republican that speaks out against our president and the democrats. They have many more republican "experts" than Democrats for interviews and smile and agree with them while giving their few Democrats the third degree.

    May 22, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  20. mypitts2

    donttreadonme: I've been hearing that same nonsense about Vietnam all my life, growing up in this military town. Save it. Usually this supposed prescription for winning involves carpet bombing of both friend and foe. That' some people's version of "playing to win." What I've found out is that people who talk this way don't know anything about the complexities of the war.

    May 22, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. TjayeInLA

    Whoa! Way to go Tom Ridge.

    And Phoenix86...I really can't believe how genuinely stupid your comment was.

    May 22, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  22. Lt.Dan

    Most military experts agree with Mr. Ridge and Pres. Obama. The Bush/Cheney Presidency has made us put us all in danger.

    May 22, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  23. mark culbertson

    I also want to say that Cheney's time is up and he needs to go sit down some where and enjoy his grand kids. They really need him more. The country will be fine.....

    May 22, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. Safe?

    Who are we kidding? No matter who is president, if there's going to be an attack, there will be. These take years and years to plan and implement, and those who want to see us suffer will stop at nothing.

    May 22, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
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