June 1st, 2009
09:10 PM ET
13 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. Georgia

    Cheney was ,is & probably will always be an evil,self serving liar.Old habits die hard.

    June 1, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  2. Judy from PA

    Ah, Dick Cheney. I miss him and his Halliburton friends. Now I have no one to blame the ever increasing gas prices on. OMG, could it be Obama's fault???

    June 1, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  3. Rick in PA

    Cheney must have been to umpire school: If you make the wrong call, at least make it at the top of your lungs so SOMEONE–however gullible– might believe you were right! 1, 2, 3 strikes your out, Dick. For the good of the country, it's time for you to go away.

    June 1, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  4. bill for barack

    Dick Cheney wrong ?
    Is the grass green ?
    Is the sky blue ?
    Did A-Rod use steroids ??????????

    June 1, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  5. sean

    i am glad the president Hit at all the hateful remarks! they say the bush Admin,kept us safe mmm funny they made 9/11 happen!!!!!

    June 1, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  6. marc

    Obama is a total class act compared to snide, unforgiving buffoons on the right!!!

    June 1, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  7. Ciera

    When is Pres. Obama going to realize that it's totally unnecessary to stoop so low as to dignify every Republican antic with a comment.

    He is the president AND we know the real deal...so ignore those bird-chested, old wind bags!

    June 1, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  8. dreamer

    hmmm man using allis shots kills one soilder and wounds another.his name looks muslim one has to wonder how many more are in this country let in with all the other illiagal's.how many years could they have been crossing right under the 26 years of Reagan,Clinton,and two Bushes.kinda a scary thought.Y'all think it's time to really take a good look at our borders?And really do a national positive ID system fast...Have to ask just how many sleepers are getting threw.

    June 1, 2009 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  9. quarterback

    Cheney is a war criminal. He commited treason by outing a CIA agent in a time of war.

    He should be arrested. Tried. And executed.

    He is both evil and stupid if he thinks he can keep getting away with this garbage.

    June 1, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  10. Shannon

    Cheney is entitled to say whatever he wants, but who the heck are the people who listen to him. He has harmed this country more than any other person in history.

    June 1, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  11. Yossi Gestetner

    Who cares if Gore waited two years or two months: is he the decider of when a former Veep can or should go on the attack?

    June 1, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  12. JS007

    Cheney just admitted, 7 years, $2 Trillion and 35,000 killed or wounded American soldiers after the fact, that there was no link between Iraq and 9/11. The sad thing is, he knew this all along. So, I guess 7 years from now he will say that it was a good idea to close Guantanamo – but then it'll be too little, too late. So as always, thanks DICK!

    June 1, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  13. Kevin B

    Mr Cheney has every right to state his opinion, although he is the main reason for the mess and international debacle we find ourselves in at this juncture in our history.

    The more Cheney defends torture, the better light Mr Obama will be cast in with our allies abroad and voters at home. So please keep it up Mr Cheney.

    I learned years ago to always take the high road.

    June 1, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  14. Frank

    Cheney insisted for almost three years that "the evidence of a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Queda is overwhelming." Now he says he never saw any evidence? Come again, Dick? Obama is correct, Cheney is simply wrong on so many things. Now he says we had to round up and designate "enemy combatants" to send to Guantanamo or kill them. Uh, ever heard of due process of law, Dick? Now George "slam dunk" Tenet is being used for a scapegoat on the Hussein/Al Queda connection. Those of us with any memory at all remember it was Cheney and Rumsfeld who insisted that the connection was clear, and that Hussein had or almost had, nukes. Remember Condi Rice and her "mushroom cloud" comment? Have we lost our memory, people?

    June 1, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  15. Amazed

    Dick Cheney should be at the Hague for his war crimes trial.

    Suddenly Saddam had no conection with 9/11......duh......

    Didn't they try to tell you and the guardian of Birmingham that in the first place????

    June 1, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  16. Had It

    He was proven wrong, or sometimes to contradict himself, at least 8 times.

    Hide him in his secret place again – he's making a fool of himself.

    June 1, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  17. Claudia in Houson

    Cheney was wrong for the country but was right for Halliburton and no one can dispute that fact. Since Cheney wants to do some lying, then maybe he can tell the truth about he and Halliburton.

    June 1, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  18. SGJ

    I would sell one of my kidneys to watch Obama eviscerate this pompous racist elitist in a one-one debate – Havard educated vs Yale failing – University of Wyoming MA in history making up facts as he goes ....

    The proceeds form that event alone could wipe out half the debt him and Bush ran up with the war in Iraq.

    June 1, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  19. John-Black Hills/SD

    The "Evil Doers" were right in our front yard for eight years. Bush & Cheney where Americans weak links, we didn't have a chance.

    June 1, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  20. Tom

    Does the American taxpayer have to pay for Dick Cheney's 24/7 cardiac crisis team?

    June 1, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  21. Sherri

    Mr. Cheney is a private citizen, Mr. Obama is President. Mr. President leave this type of disagreements to others in your administration. A statesman stays above this type of conversation.

    June 1, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  22. Ridgeway

    No Obama can do no wrong. So the whack job Yambo Nhakimba buena tarda beebe the Islamic sack of crap walks into a recruiting office and shoots an American soldier dead. But wait his name use to be Carlos Ima Useless welfare derelict and I voted for Obama. Yep, this Country is full of those low lifes led by the Dems.

    June 1, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  23. sue

    I believe that Mr. Cheney is now retired and should remain so as well as silent. We had enough of the "Bush Era" and now it's time to move on. Some do not accept change well and I believe that Cheney is one of them.

    Mr. Cheney don't you have a retirement home to go to?

    June 1, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  24. California

    I think is Cheney is hoping upon hope that his decisions were correct and in his heart trying to convince himself that his actions were necessary. Unfortunately, he is without a doubt, 100% dead WRONG, to the mayority of the american people and to the world, he has made the U.S. more prone to hate and a recrutement for people that do not like us to want to harm us even more because of him and his acts during the Bush administration.. How SAD that the only thing he can do now is continnue the scare tactics, I guess he needs the spotlight to live. Fear does not work anymore Cheney, as Roosevelt said "the only thing to fear is fear itself" . Maybe he should remember that phrase since history will remember Cheney as the vice-president that liked to torture and went to a war with lies.

    June 1, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  25. Jeff

    GW Bush didnt bash Clinton/Gore in every speech he made once he took over in 2001. Obama however bashes the Bush administration in almost every speech, went around the world apologizing for their actions, blames all the economic problems on Bush, terrorism is Bush's fault etc etc. I dont blame Cheney for setting the record straight and defending his administration. You cant argue with a perfect record of 0 9/11 attacks on US soil after 9/11 which we all thought would happen.

    June 1, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
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