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. Gary

    Dick Cheney, Ala Darth Vader needs to close his trap! Both he and the Shrub screwed up big time for 8 years and a terrible attack on this country happened on their watch "9/11" !
    They were both notified by the FBI and did nothing to prevent it!

    If anyone wants to dispute this just email me and I'll send them the proof!

    May 22, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  2. Dave

    Okay, Rush Limbaugh will be kicking Ridge out of the party in 4... 3... 2...

    May 22, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. Davis

    FINALLY, a republican who is willing to speak up and tell the truth. All the others are afraid of Limbaugh.

    May 22, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. Sally

    It appears at least Ridge has some common sense. He is the only Republican to take a stand against Cheney's nonsense. However, I do agree with Obama that the Bush Administration used fear rather than insight , and I will go on further to say that Bush and company strove in every way to manipulate the American people by scare mongering. They dove into this cesspool day after day to get their way!.

    May 22, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. DF

    'Dick' cheney is a treasonous traiter. His names sums up his use in this world. Just another dick...

    May 22, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. just saying

    We are, without a doubt, much more safe now than we were under Bush; especially considering the HUGE 'positve' difference in foriegn relations that President Obama has effected. Even the terrorists are 'back on their heels' trying to figure out how to continue hating America.

    May 22, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. JM

    The Bush/Cheney administration had no real program or plan for the country, and 9/11 provided them an opportunity to run an 8 year program of goverance by fear and intimidation. Both men should face charges for a variey of crimes, in my opinion. They made the country less safe, jeopardized the Constitutional democracy and were as bad an administration as this nation has ever had. Cheney could be prosecuted for a variey of crimes against the nation and its Constitution.

    May 22, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. A. Goodwin

    Reminder to Rethuglicans: Mr. Cheney was in charge during the WORST attack on American soil. IN CHARGE!! So, when you folks spew your hatred for Obama indicating he will make our country LESS safe...let us think about under who's administration we were the MOST vulnerable.

    People – seriously – grow a brain cell.

    May 22, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. carlo

    Wow, Bush is having the time of his life, chile Cheney, aka Darth Vader, is going nationwide, speading his gloom and doom. Does Bush know something we don't?

    At least now we see who ran the White House for 8 years. Bush seems happy to just get away from mostly all of them.

    Bush was always likeable. A complete idiot, but likeable. Cheney? Not so much.

    May 22, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  10. Carlos the Gringo

    Note to the entire Cheney family: shut and go away!

    May 22, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. Pat F

    Hey "Where was the outrage when Ms Cheney Outed CIA operative Valerie Plame"

    Geez, read a paper once in a while. RICHARD ARMITAGE OUTED VALERIE PLAME! Colin Powell's underling, and Colin knew about it all along. Google it, genius.

    That is SO yesterday's news.

    May 22, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. Keystone

    Tom, why are still associating with this riff-raff?

    May 22, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. Erick in AL

    Yep ol' Rush won't have this. He'll soon retract because Rushy Rush will insult him. Ridge makes a good point and I'm glad a GOP has the audacity to stand up and supprot OUR president. Cheney is disrespecting Obama big time. He needs to go away and let Obama/Biden lead.

    May 22, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  14. david

    was there ever a time that the usa and/or its interests were ever totally safe from an attack from some nation, entity, organization, and so forth? thinking not.

    May 22, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  15. johninchitown

    Keep talking Cheney. You'll put your far-right buddies in the unemployment line like the folks you sent there with your economic policies.

    May 22, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. Patrick

    I would like all of the liberals that respond to this article to make this statement. "I would give my life to prevent any future waterboarding." This is so stupid. It is pure politics. If you work in the Hancock Bldg in California, are you glad they poured water on some psycho's head to save your life? Or do you wish you were dead to preserve our so-called intergrity.

    May 22, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. Mississippi Mike

    Imagine, that: Two opinionated people having different opinions. This is how grown ups talk about things, liberals could take some notes.

    May 22, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. toddderuyter

    i think both partys are so far off from what americans need. And why dont you ask the people who lost loves ones on sept. 11 if waterboarding was wrong if its your family member that had to jump to keep from burning to death.Wake up people

    May 22, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  19. liberal

    Why the heck are we giving any credibility to Cheney the lying criminal who never showed his face while in office?

    May 22, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  20. Shari, NY

    Afterthought: Ridge is criticizing both Obama and Cheney but in order to make the story sensational, Cheney's name takes the headlines. That's how the media grabs your attention and stir emotions.

    May 22, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  21. honest Ab

    Ron, what military/intelligence agree with Cheney? The ones who committed the crime along with him. You people are just full of it! What if these people performed the same heinous acts on our soldiers? Then you would think it's the most degusting thing that could ever been done, you would call it torture. Republican party is a disgrace to America.

    May 22, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  22. Ariana


    Give us PROOF. What has Obama said that gives off hatred and fear? That's what Republicans do, constantly try to scare people. You need to get your facts straight. None of your posts make any sense. You constantly come on here making a complete FOOL of yourself. You don't know how ridiculous you sound.

    May 22, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  23. Me

    One Republican disagrees with Cheney. And apparently all the Democrats disagree with Obama (because they voted that way). Weird, huh?

    May 22, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  24. Michael

    Of course Cheney is wrong. His values, philosophy, olicies, and practices are more in line with Nazi Germany than with America (whether you mean the America of Jefferson and Washington or the America that voted for Obama).

    May 22, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  25. I Am The Great and Not-So-Powerful Wizard of Rush

    Cheney ordered torture to get false confessions from iraqi prisoners of war to support his false claim that sadaam was in league with bin laden. He ordered torture for political reasons.

    He is scared and he should be because he shredded American ideals, institutions and values.

    May 22, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
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