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. Tim

    Two things. First, Cheney is right, otherwise Obama wouldn't bother to address him.

    Second, Gore spoke out within 6 months against Bush, you need a fact checker.

    June 1, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  2. Obama is a Mistake

    Obama dreams. Cheney knows.

    June 1, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  3. JT

    Dick Cheney is trouble. For the 8 years he was pulling strings behind George Bush, he stirred up fear, hate, and war. It's hard for an old dog to learn new tricks, because he's still stirring up fear and hate hoping if not to stir up some kind of war, to stir up a war of Us vs. Them.

    June 1, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  4. Jason

    how is it that the press can find cheney, but the fbi doesn't seem capable of doing so?

    June 1, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  5. bill

    Cheney is tha biggest terrorist to america with his dumb ass coments and unpatiriotic the way he wants the country to fail

    June 1, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  6. Francisco Cardenas

    Chenry is not wrong on security and he is not wrong on gay marriage. Obama is wrong on both!

    June 1, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  7. Bill

    We all no Vice President Cheney is not only wrong but has lied to the American Public so many times I do not understand why this guy gets the press coverage.

    Vice President Cheney should just please go away. We been there heard the lies before.

    June 1, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  8. How Obama makes your family vulnerable....

    Obama threatens N. Korea and Iran every other day but never takes action....consequently, they know he is weak and continue on with their nuclear programs...someday the nukes will be flying or a terrorist will show up with a suitcase bomb that they bought fron either N. Korea or Iran.....

    Treeorist have no fear of Obama because he poses no threat to them....consequently you are more vulnerable....buy your armored car today from the new Obama Motor Corp[oration...

    June 1, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  9. Perusing-through

    Dick Cheney is evil.

    June 1, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  10. howard

    Cheney is a chump...he is a guy who didn't have the courage to carry a gun when he was called into national service and when he started hunting little birds with a big gun he couldn't shoot straight. He just reminds me of an old man reliving a life that never existed in the first place. He rode the coattails of a frat boy whose daddy was President to the office of VP where he hid out for 8 years behind his desk. He is a political has been that never was...a legend in his own mind and that of a few Rush conservatives...half a brain between them.

    June 1, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  11. Fitz in Texas

    If either one of these guys told me the sky was blue I would have to go outside and look for myself. But, before looking for myself, I would believe Cheney over Obama. Everyday Obama becomes less and less credible.

    June 1, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  12. Confused

    Obama is a goof. He is uncomfortable in his first actual job, which happens to be president. I was wrong about this dork being a socialist, he's a Marxist. God save us from this reprobate.

    June 1, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  13. gl, Pittsburgh

    Thank you President Obama for speaking against Chencey.

    June 1, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  14. fm37212@yahoo.com

    We just lived through the worst 7 years of a presidency as a result of that one being easily baited. I wish the current president wouldn't show that he can be baited too. Too easy.

    June 1, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  15. Jim

    Let's just cut to the chase
    Fact: The country is worse off now then we were eight years ago.
    Fact: Mr. Cheyeney was a more than significant, albeit behind the scenes, player in the failed Bush Administration.
    Fact: It will take the country years to dig out from under the financial, political, social, environmental and international rubble that is resultant from the policies of G. Bush and Dick Cheney.
    Fact: They lied, and thousands of young people are dead.
    Fact: If they were responsible for only a small part of the above in a corporate setting, they would have been fired and faced prosecution.
    Of course Dick Cheyney is going to "speak out" and cry "innocent." When have you ever known a guilty person to say, "I'm guilty."

    June 1, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  16. Post always rejected by CNN

    Well if you were really the president behind the scenes like cheney apparently was, you would defend your decisions, like cheney is doing.

    You don't hear bush commenting...now do you.

    June 1, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  17. Jimmy

    Who (that matters) give a rip about what Cheney says! An administration that will be remembered only in comparison that of Nixon and Carter. Sick Cheney and Rush Limbo are obviously sharing the same crack pipe!

    It is time for true red blooded Americans, who believe in the SUCCESS of this Country to NOT ALLOW professional politicians who are purposefully divisive to continue to rip our country apart.

    There is nothing to fear but fear itself . . .

    June 1, 2009 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  18. neil

    Obama has spent all his time criticising the past admin, its time to do something other than throwing trillions of taxpayers around. By the way Cheney gets my vote on Gitmo as I don't want those terrorists as my neighbours

    June 1, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  19. Larry

    Cheney is a coward of the worst kind ...

    Knife in the back, on one's way to church ...

    His mouth spews nothing ... but lies

    A coward of the worst kind ...

    Cares only for himself and those like him ...

    Disgusting self centered, arrogant, power hungry ... bastards ...

    June 1, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  20. Baby Ray Ray

    Obama is such a bed wetter. This country is screwed

    June 1, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  21. Sara

    Dick Cheney has been proven to be a liar, by everyone, even people who use to work for him, are out saying that Cheney is telling bold face lies!

    June 1, 2009 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  22. New Yorker

    This is our national security we are talking about. Cheney sees, clearly, there is no time to waste. The sooner people realize the danger Obama is putting our nation in, the better. It seems like we are heading for another disastrous 4 years, much like when Carter was making his blunders, only this time we, may not be able to recover.

    June 1, 2009 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  23. Hope

    Obama is a class act.

    June 1, 2009 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  24. gary

    No you're wrong...No you are....No wah wah wah....

    Stop being a baby. Releaes the memos and prove Cheney is wrong or let it go. I"m sure you've read the memos and if they showed Cheney was lying, I'm sure that you'd have released them already. This whole issue is silly.

    The real issue is: If you could get information that saves innocent American lives by waterboarding, would you do it? Debate the issue and lets stop insulting each other.

    June 1, 2009 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  25. Keith in CA

    Can Cheney tell us what the Bush administration did to keep us safe prior to the 9/11 attacks? Certainly the bombing of two US embassies in Africa, the attack on the USS Cole and the NSA report titled "Bin Laden determined to strike within the US" should have been sufficient reasons to take proactive action to prevent terrorist attacks on US soil.

    June 1, 2009 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
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