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)

    Obama is a tough guy who's used to criticism.......I'm proud of him!! I hope the media calms down w/ repeating charged words like, America's less safe, ccommunist, and socialist when regarding the President......This is all hatespeak, and America does have nuts out here that want to, and will act on these charged statements.....

    June 1, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  2. H-Town

    Texas is changing & ready for the DNC. Bring it on.

    June 1, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  3. Jasmine in Germany

    It is about time that President Obama openly disagrees with Cheney. Al Gore should have started earlier.

    June 1, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  4. Larry

    To Burn In The Hell That Cheney Does Profess ...

    Would be way to generous ...

    For one so evil as he ...

    If there was a God ... it would be my prayer, they he Richard, does see the fate ... that he Richard, does deserve ...

    Which is so far beyond what any hell could ever offer ...


    June 1, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  5. Ted

    Cheney is wrong, wrong, wrong. Cheney is a moron and a despicable rectal orifice. The stupid thing here about Cheney is that he is a very wealthy man from his Halliburton stock. So why doesn't he just go home to Wyoming to his ranch and STFU?

    June 1, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  6. Jon

    I'm glad President Obama finds national security a laughing matter.

    June 1, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  7. Too True For You

    Well the difference is Gore's positions have been proven correct, and Cheney's have been proven to beat the very least wrong, at the worst, catastrophically illegal.

    June 1, 2009 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  8. Leslie

    We're not amused with your antics Obama, you've become old news in less than 6 months in office. You're spending taxpayers money like water. Are you going to REFUND the people of this country that cost over $24,000.00 for your dinner date with your wife in New York?

    You talk the talk but you can't walk the walk. Cheney knows what he's talking about, you don't. I can't call you Mr. President, to do so is an insult to thinking Americans who uses common sense.

    June 1, 2009 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  9. S M R

    Your too easy on this numbskull President Obama. Stick up for yourself and the American People and order a thorough investigation of this war criminal. By doing nothing it shows them they are untouchable and above the law. MAKE US PROUD SIR.

    June 1, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  10. steve

    Cheneys first name sums it up. How can Cheney say he and Bush made America safe....did he forget their historic failure in the first 8 months in office...it was called 911. No other president or administration in peace-time US history lost as many innocent american lives by the hand of an enemy then Bush and Cheney....No other president or administration in US history allowed an enemy to attack our homeland without a single defensive counter-attack. Of our vast military might...not one shot was fired prior to all the planes hitting their targets, average americas on flight 93 did more to protect this nation, while Bush and Cheney did what? No other president or administration in US history fought a war that lasted this long and never brought justice to our real enemy then Bush and Cheney. If a republican was president during WWI, WWII europe would be German. And Vietnam and Korea speak for themselves, republican presidents. Bush and Cheney failed on 911 and the 8 years to follow...history is already written.

    June 1, 2009 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  11. S Callahan

    Frankly, I wished they would all pipe it in for a little while...lets focus on getting the country back on firm ground, pay off the China debt, and get our children educated. The adult role modeling for our tech savey youth is really poor with this bickering non stop.

    June 1, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  12. Dan, Idaho Falls

    Cheney is a irrelevant, pathological liar and war profiteer. Why would any reasonable listen to him?

    June 1, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  13. Shut up!

    I am so sick of Chaney and the rest of the Republican party that left this country a mess that I could puke. Let's get a couple of things straight...911 happened during your watch there were two planes that crashed into the towers, one plane that crashed into the Pentagon and another plane probably headed towards the White House – 3 separate horrendous acts that happened during your watch Chaney. It is now documented that you – the Bush administration ignored hard evidence from its top intelligence officials between April and September of 2001 about an impending attack by al-Qaeda on US soil, so shut up and go back to your cave. We haven't heard from you for most of the eight years you were screwing up this and other countries, you were no where to be seen when dead bodies were floating during Katrina. Go back to where you were hiding.

    June 1, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  14. Jon in CA

    Aside from his apology tour of handing out money and waiving the white flag – the only decision Obama has made as C-I-C is "closing" GITMO without a plan.

    Glad to see Obama finds it all amusing, although what could anyone expect from a president who thinks it's A-OK to spend $24,000 on dinner and a play – while the rest of America shoulders the difficulties of our economy.

    Gee – here I thought the White House had a full-time 24/7 staff of Chefs to prepare WHATEVER they want.... a private movie theater... and a constant parade of "stars" visiting the WH. But Michelle wa wa wa waaaants NY.

    June 1, 2009 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  15. American

    Dick should shut his mouth and creep under the rock he was hiding before he started opening his mouth...

    June 1, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  16. Dale

    Politicians, always there to point the finger but never there to take the blame.

    June 1, 2009 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  17. Illinois 2

    I don't agree with a lot of President Obama's views, however I do agree that Former VP Cheney is not only wrong, he has caused a great deal of lives being lost for his backing of Iraq. If you really look at the first Gulf War, he was one of the main people that wanted to go into Bagdad and what do you suppose that was for, maybe oil and his links to the oil companies.

    By the way CNN, I am sick and tired of all my comments having waiting moderation on them....

    June 1, 2009 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  18. Pepper from CA

    I believe President Obama. Cheney/Bush lied to the American people about weapons of mass destruction, torture, etc. So Cheney/Bush have lost all credibility. I think Cheney is just trying to do a little CYA because he sees the American people calling for an investigation.

    June 1, 2009 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  19. Robulous529

    It's easy to tell who is the bigger man in this war of words and it ain't the former VP.

    June 1, 2009 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  20. Kimberly

    cheney is scum, criminaal, and completely out of touch with reality. I think Obama acknoledging him is not smart, The man is irrelivent, he has ZERO respect from any one that matters and Obama is so far above him they re not even breathing the same air.

    June 1, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  21. harold

    CHENEY....why did you ignore all the warning signs before 9/11?... ITS documented.. one by the acting director of the FBI at the time... about Terrorism.. attack... imminent........... answer please?

    June 1, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  22. Independent_me

    Obama should not respond to the Great Liar. He will implode on his own.
    Uop until last week Cheney was saying Sadam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Today he is saying that he didn't. I think that he is planning to run for President in 2012.

    June 1, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  23. Terry McGraw

    I believe that Pres. Bush wanted to protect America, and so does Pres. Obama. Dick Cheney, has his own views. His disrespect for our President is un american. He hasn't given him (Pres. Obama)time to clean up the mess that they including Dick Cheney left behind.
    I can't remember in my life time A President ever taking office with all that our President has had to deal with. For America , support from both sides would be helpful. I am sick of the bickering that is taking place. The Name calling is way out of hand. The GOP lost the last election for the same things that they are continuing to do now.

    June 1, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  24. Ellie Hawking

    Obama is always laughing at the most inane moments. Does he find National Security and the protection of American lives a funny thing or have they hired Wanda Sykes to write his speeches now?

    June 1, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  25. Will Cheney be wrong.....

    when N. Korea or Iran sells a nuke to Al Qaeda and it finds its way into the U.S. in a suitcase?

    The real problem is that Obama puts out threats to N. Korea and Iran but does NOTHING. Its like telling your kids you are going to punish them but never following through. After a while they stop listening to you.

    Obviously Iran and N. Korea now know that Obama is weak and that they can continue their nuke programs without fear of retaliation.

    June 1, 2009 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
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