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. demwit

    What Obama comments?? Why is CNN suppressing that part of the conversion here???

    May 22, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  2. indy

    Anyone see Rachel Maddow rip Obama's Gitmo plan apart.? Of course Olberman had only good things to say about it. She might one of the few honest media figures out there.

    May 22, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  3. Jeff

    Republican Presidents Ronald Regan and George H.W. Bush and CIA supplied weapons to Taliban and other Muslim Separatists to Disintegrate USSR in the 1980s and 1990s. These weapons were used in Bloodshed of thousands in Kazakhstan Tajikistan Uzbekistan Azerbaijan. So now Russia is supplying weapons to Al Quida to Attack US. Who is a bigger threat to our National Security? Russia or these Guantanamo Detainees?

    May 22, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  4. AA

    Good for Ridge!
    Cheney is now an irrelevant political personality. Why does CNN give him any airtime is beyond my comprehension. He should do what GW Bush is doing and keep out of the way. He said people shouldn't bad mouth the president during a time of war, I guess now that the president's a democrat that doesn't apply anymore.

    May 22, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  5. prosanto, Phoenix

    Inaddiion to fear, Bush & Cheny acted with reckless arrogance

    May 22, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. Anarcy


    Enjoy being sheep ... Because in power or not, with one party or the other, believing one or the other you are all still sheep and the only one who benifits from you being sheep are the Shepards remember that the next non-profit you join, the next communit service you provide, the charity you dontate to, or the protest you stand for, you are sheep until the day you will die because you have never chosen to stand for yourselves, to save yourselves ... you are sheep ... you are the dead

    May 22, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. no way a repub

    The Cheney family believes in war and torture, otherwise you are not pro-american. Smart family they are, I am so impressed.

    May 22, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  8. WhoCares?

    It definitely shows you who was behind all the ideas in the White House....the guy going on a media tour trying to justify them.

    May 22, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  9. Jyoti

    Why do they continue to refer to Cheny as "Vice-President Cheny"? JOE BIDEN IS THE VICE PRESIDENT NOT DICK CHENEY. Get is right America!

    May 22, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  10. Arun

    It's a no brainer that Cheyey is wrong!! Its ok for the US to torture, but how dare anyone else torture a US soldier or citizen. To me the Bush administration was the biggest terrorists!!

    May 22, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. lynn

    when cheeny was vp you never heard or saw him.. now he has so much to say.. why did we not hear your comments in the last 8 years.. go back under the rock

    May 22, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. donttreadonme

    Obama is not CIC material and it shows.

    Cheney is right – water boarding when used on specific people to prevent attacks and the loss of life is prudent and was the right choice. Discomfort vs. death?

    May 22, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. Mike/Chicago

    Hey – Patrick:
    I didn't see you end your entry with the phrase you suggested others use. Have you ever put yourself in harms way for your country, or like DICK Cheney, are you just a weak, deferment-laden conservative who has only bark – and no bite?
    You're not only in the 'party of no' – you're in the party of 'no way man, not me.'

    May 22, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  14. JT

    Didn't think it possible, but Cheney is making himself look a lot worse. You can never go around doing a Torture Tour promotion (and even more absurdity entails – with his daughter) and expect reasonable people to accept it. Never. Not in America, not in any country.

    Torture was wrong, illegal, and we would never wish any other country to do the same on our citizens.

    May 22, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  15. gorefan

    Dick Cheney has been wrong on virtually every aspect of terroism.

    He was wrong on WMDs,.
    He was wrong on Iraqi involvement in 9/11.
    He was wrong the "last throes" of the Iraqi insurgents.
    He was wrong on the US being welcomed as liberators in Iraq.
    He was wrong about the defeated Taliban.

    With such a poor track record, why would anyone think he right now?

    May 22, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  16. Proud Member..Party of No

    Obama's "soft on terrorism" approach will be a recruiting tool for terrorist organizations all over the world.

    May 22, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  17. Chris ~ Albany, NY

    It's about time someone with a sack stepped up on the republican side and admitted that Cheney is WRONG!!!

    May 22, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  18. I Am The Great and Not-So-Powerful Wizard of Rush

    Patrick @ 12:35: It's the Library Tower in LA. The plot was discovered through normal FBI questioning before cheney started torturing detainees.

    So you, in your defense of torture and your regurgitation of right wing lies – you can't even get the name of the building straight – are no better than the terrorists.

    Patrick, please move to a country that will appreciate your views, like North Korea, Burma, China or Saudi Arabia.

    May 22, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  19. Rob

    I give Tom Ridge a lot of credit for telling it like it is. But I give him more credit for not taking one side or the other. That's how it should be. Nothing kills credibility better than one-sided thinking.

    May 22, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  20. Jay

    John King should leave CNN and join the FOX network so he can reflect his bias as a republican. He always seem to talk to previous and present republican folks and see how he can promote his bias views.

    May 22, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. EDR

    @A. Goodwin – Too bad your boy Clinton did not take care of Bin Laden when he had the chance. Who was in charge during the first WTC attack? Who failed to go after Al Quada back then, allowed them to come back and finish the job?

    May 22, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  22. dapperdon

    Dick Cheny has a lot of gall to be disrespecting Obama so much. Who benefits from his unnecessary talk? What exactly did Cheney do for America in 8 years that was positive? This is the same chap who shot his own friend. I link Cheney with evil. This man was the de facto President and ruled like a dictator. Who is he really? Edgar Hoover reincarnated?

    He should get out of th emedia and find something to do in his old age. He and Bush have given us much remeb4r them by.

    May 22, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  23. denise campbell


    Do your self a favour and go away.
    I have never seen a person with so much hate.
    Guess what Dick you lost!!!
    And we won't forget what YOU DID in the past 8 years.

    May 22, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  24. JO

    Keep digging CNN, I bet you can find and start a new blog. Find a Republican a Day" that will hack away at the leadership of this country. They do not have to make any new points as Ridge did not, just quote him whining about how poorly this administration is doing.

    You guys are no different than Fox News...I can not tell you apart.

    May 22, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  25. Ben

    thetruthisoutthere – "if cheney does not think waterboarding is torture, maybe he would like to volunteer to have the technique demonstrated on himself…"

    Newsflash, moron: We waterboard our own troops as part of their training. If we do it to them, it ain't torture.

    May 22, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
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