June 1st, 2009
09:10 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama refutes Cheney: He's 'wrong'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/21/art.cheneyobama.gi.jpg caption="Obama hit back at Cheney's comments in an interview on NPR Monday."](CNN) - President Obama is hitting back at Dick Cheney's string of recent statements declaring the new president has made America more vulnerable to a terrorist attack, flatly telling NPR Monday the former vice president is "wrong."

"He…happens to be wrong, right?" Obama said laughing. "And last time, immediately after his speech, I think there was a fact-check on his speech that didn't get a very good grade."

Obama's comments come 10 days after both he and Cheney gave dueling speeches on national security, during which the president sharply condemned Bush administration interrogation practices while Cheney vigorously defended them.

But Obama said Monday Cheney's vigorous criticisms do not complicate his administration’s efforts to chart its own course when it comes to conducting the war on terror.

"Does it make it more complicated? No, because I think these are complicated issues and there is a legitimate debate to be had about national security," he said. "And I don't doubt the sincerity of the former vice president or the previous administration in wanting to protect the American people. And these are very difficult decisions."

Obama also said he doesn't find it unusual Cheney has become so outspoken in his criticism of the new administration, citing former vice president Al Gore as an example.

"As I remember, there were some speeches given by Vice President Gore that differed with President Bush's policies and I think that's healthy; that's part of the debate," he said. "And I don't in any way begrudge, I think, anybody in debating sometimes ferociously these issues that are of preeminent importance to the United States."

But Gore himself may take issue with that statement. Appearing on CNN last month, the former vice president said Cheney is speaking out too early.

"I waited two years after I left office to make statements that were critical,” Gore said. (Some have noted Gore actually began to criticize the run-up to the Iraq war in September 2002 - about a year-and-a-half after Bush took office.)

Filed under: Dick Cheney • Extra • President Obama
soundoff (159 Responses)
  1. Mike O'Brien

    Former Vice-President Dick Cheney has been 'wrong' for eight years ! Mike in Montana

    June 2, 2009 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  2. Edward

    I hope one day I will see CNN criticize Obama. CNN is the main network that keeps Obama have a good name in the midst of any troubles.

    This is not what we call a "responsible journalism".

    CNN must be labeled as the oficial network of the Obama administration.

    CNN is Obama's dog in the media.

    June 2, 2009 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  3. arivera

    Cheney is a guy who said flat out in front of the camera "all democrats are cowards and traitors". Who are the people in American he wants to protect? I don't need protecting I am a real veteran and don't live in constant fear, it's not healthy. We have the strongest military ever known yet it is not enough. Ask yourself why then? Could it be there is money to be made within the arms business.

    June 2, 2009 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  4. mike

    Give it a rest, barry. You are a disgrace.

    June 2, 2009 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  5. bsmith171

    where precisely would Obama have learned anything about national security?

    in the Illinois Senate?

    it makes no sense.

    June 2, 2009 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  6. Angry

    Obama is an arrogant jerk! Way to go 1/2 of America! You have ruined our country!

    June 2, 2009 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  7. Victory (Vic)

    Cheney is a LIAR and the American people know it with out a doubt. All of a sudden he's coming clean about Iraq not having anything to do with 9/11. Hell, for about 4 or 5 years he was telling everybody that Iraq was totally behind 9/11. The American people know a LIAR when they see one and Cheney is a guy who will LIE to just try and get leverage for political reasons. Now if we could get the BIG FAT LIAR to shut the hell up were Obama can have more time to clean up the huge mess that BUSHLIAR/CHENEYLIAR left him.

    June 2, 2009 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  8. Tatianna

    Obama is the darling of people that hate America. He has no class, and displays a virulent distaste for America by standing on foreign soil as our president and bashing our nation. Obama apparently doesnt know the difference between appeasement and diplomacy. A diplomat will sell you and your nation for a price, an appeasor will give it away without getting anything in return

    June 2, 2009 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7