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. suzanne

    We need more Tom Ridges who are unswayed by politics and speak the truth.

    May 22, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. Zion

    Libertarians get ready, you will be the new party against the Democrats. The Republicans are self-destructing.

    May 22, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  3. dick delson

    Dick Chaney is a creep and a crook who should be brought up on charges of conspiracy. Meanwhile, someone should stick a cork in his mouth.*

    May 22, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. Ed Jones

    Cheney is a liar. The mastermind of creating the Iraq war on a lie is his legacy, and he probably would do anything to rewrite history. I wouldn't be surprised if Cheney would be happy with a terrorist attack on the U.S. just to support his agenda.

    May 22, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. Kevin in Ohio

    Cheney is right. Ridge is wrong. The fearmongers are the Obama crowd.

    May 22, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. Buffalo

    It's good to read of more cracks in the walls of the Bush Cheney fortress of fear. Tom Ridge and Colin Powell are just a start of the process which will expose this administration's lies and manipulation of United States citizens for it's own gain.

    I agree that President Obama need not address the former Vice President regarding his fear-mongering and loathing. Leave that task to the upcoming Truth Commission investigations.

    May 22, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. matt

    remember daniel pearl and all those americans who were beheaded on camera and shown worldwide or how about Gilhad Shalit who was kidnapped almost 3 years ago

    May 22, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. Zion

    We'll stop talking about the past 8 years, when the past 8 years stop making themselves a part of the present. Republicans give me a call when you officially rejec the biogoted fear based group that you have chosen to embrace.

    May 22, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. donttreadonme

    Only a small percentage of terrorists(3 out of over 400)were waterboarded yet when Obama talks about Gitmo he talks about torture most of the time?
    Obama the Civil Rights Lawyer is inherently more concerned about the criminal than the victims.

    May 22, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  10. jon

    This article should have been entitled, "Ridge disagrees with Obama." The article had 1 quote showing his concern with Cheney, another expressing distain with both sides, and 2 comments disagreeing with Obama. Do the math and then write the headline.

    May 22, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Jimmy the Greek:

    Be careful what you wish for . . .

    May 22, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  12. faithplusnothing

    Why do you NEVER do a story when a democrat disagrees with a democrat. You write the most childish, biased stories I have ever seen. No wonder no one watches CNN.

    May 22, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. djvan

    He's quite right. Communism was at its strongest when the world felt it was a guiding light. Minds are much more powerful than arms. The shock of 9/11 will have the desired effect if the US abandons its principles.

    May 22, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. MADinAZ

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

    A Republican disagreeing with President is hardly news; one violating Reagan's "11th commandment" is.

    May 22, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. A. Goodwin

    I agree that Cheney is wrong – Americans are as safe now as they have every been.

    What I disagree on with Ridge on is that we should never look back. The world is looking to us know to see where we stand, and what Obama is doing is simply telling the world – we WILL not torture, that we respect humanity, and we will not let these cowards in the former administration get away with their deplorable behavior. Our actions are crucial to our standing in the world.

    May 22, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  16. Cardinal

    Cheney is a criminal....why even listen to anything he says?

    May 22, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. Independent_me

    Thank God there is a sane Republican out there!
    The Republcans, through their propaganda machine (FOX) are bent on destroying this nation with their hate and fear mongering.

    These people are the wolves in sheep's clothing that Jesus warned us about!

    May 22, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. P. D.

    Everytime Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz step in front of the camera, the first thing people think of is torture. This is very damaging for the Republican Party. Everyone invovled with the torture memos should be investigated and prosecuted. EVERYONE. That means Republicans and Democrats. I'm am tired of Dick Cheney trying to scare and berate us just to save his dubious legacy.

    May 22, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  19. Shari, NY

    I guess that since Palin is stale news, Cheney is now a hot topic which is beyond pathetic. His fear mongering reminds me of Chicken Little who declared that the sky was falling when it was just a measly acorn that hit him. I suggest that the GOP redeem itself by getting some fresh, well rounded, tech savvy, bi-partisan college types to fill the void.

    May 22, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  20. Truth Hurts

    Republicans have always done things based on fear mongering and Obama was right on that!! Cheney is a hypocrites among other things. He always said that we should not criticize Bush while a war was going on and now he is doing just that. The conservatives just do not respect Obama and they think they are better and handled the country better!! NOT!!

    Cheney you are not commander of chief, never been and never will be!! Enjoy your retirement and try not to shoot anybody else!!

    May 22, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  21. Baze

    I disagree with Ridge's assertion of Obama looking backward. The G.O.P. has been very defensive about their activities in the Bush administration, and issued direct challenges to Obama's perspective. Obama showed them that he's a man that believes in his ideology, which I respect very much.

    May 22, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. WhoCares?

    Anyone with their head not shoved so far up their tail-end knows that Cheney is wrong.

    May 22, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  23. cbc

    Now, what will Ridge do when Limbaugh attacks him? I'm thinking and hoping he is man enough to not cave in to the lunatic right.

    May 22, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  24. Wolves 4 Palin Charlotte, NC

    Shhhhhhh! Don't tell "Good Morning Joe," he thinks Cheney has and will save the world.

    Finally, thankfully a Republican with a rational brain and the courage to use it!

    May 22, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  25. C Spurgeon

    Good for Tom Ridge. I do agree that this country needs to move forward and do not want Obama spending any of his time on Cheney. I think that this has been difficult with Cheny,Pelosi etc and the other No NO NO Republicans bhut Obama won and needs to move on.

    May 22, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
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