June 1st, 2009
09:10 PM ET
12 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. Anthony

    Cheney is a crazed-out Nazi.

    June 1, 2009 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  2. Meagan

    That grin will kill ya if you turn your back.

    June 1, 2009 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  3. MJHS1967

    Perhaps D-i-c-k Cheney is suffering from "swine flu" -or- is he just an outdated nutt! 🙁

    June 1, 2009 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |

    The real terrorist is Dick Cheney.

    June 1, 2009 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  5. demwit

    Come on Cheney.., we all know that spending our grandchildrens futures while gutting the military IS a liberals way of protecting America! Just look at Jimmy!!

    June 1, 2009 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  6. T williams

    No matter how much the Obama-haters scream and shout, this guy always shows class.

    With their silly 'tea parties'.

    Their kneeling at the feet of Limbaugh and cry baby con-man Beck.

    Their lack of understanding our complex world.

    Their incompetence, their lies, their ignorance, and their treasonist behavior.

    They hate the fact that Obama is simply smarter than they are. And they won't rest until something awful happens.

    June 1, 2009 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  7. Mark Anders

    Who the hell is Obama to say that Cheney is wrong? In his eyes maybe, but then again, my children often thought I was wrong but learned better once they grew up.

    June 1, 2009 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  8. Clarence Chung

    With Obama as commander in chief, US armed forces's morale will inevitably plummet. Why would a father send his son to battle if, as Obama said, US forces will have to fight "with one hand tied" if necessary, just to uphold some higher moral principle. It reminds me of Vietnam. History has come full ccircle. In the eye of the enemy, the US elected an incompetent idealist as president ! What a shame..and for that the whole world will not like America more.

    June 1, 2009 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  9. American

    Obama is pathetic- he needs to focus less on politics and more on governing. He needs to STOP BLAMING THE PAST. Do your job to protect Americans NOW.

    June 1, 2009 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  10. they don't call me Darth Vader for nothing

    Cheney, they call you Darth because you are evil

    you torture, you spy on your own neighbors, you give sweet heart deals to your friends at the expense of the nation, you out a CIA operative to get even with her husband, you widow 5000 soliders spouses to keep your lies going, you bring us to recession econonically torturing U.S. families

    you are evil

    June 1, 2009 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  11. Sidney Jacobs

    If Obama can criticize the Bush administration,
    the Bush administration can certainly criticize the Obama administration.
    History will prove who is right.
    The question is "Who is safeguarding the country FROM Obama?"
    The enemy lies within the White House.

    June 1, 2009 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  12. Mike

    Who made America safer...Dick Cheney & George whats-his-name, or, Obama & Biden? Well, America experienced its worst domestic Terrorist attack in the history of America...while George W. Bush was in Office. You tell me which made our country safer.

    June 1, 2009 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  13. Skyview

    Chaney and the Repubs are playing political games in an effort to reestablish their party favorably in the eyes of the electorate. But they are in a hole of negativity and the more they flail trying to remove themselves from their self-induced trap, the further they become entangled in the web it has weaved.

    June 1, 2009 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  14. Philabias

    Oh look its bevis and buthead

    June 1, 2009 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  15. Mike

    Who made America safer…Dick Cheney / George W., or, Obama / Biden? Well, America experienced its worst domestic Terrorist attack in the history of the country while George W. was in Office. You tell me which administration made our country safer!

    June 1, 2009 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  16. Elley

    Dick Cheney is a wolf in sheeps clothing....dangerous.

    June 1, 2009 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  17. Yolanda

    Cheney is a sly fox that has no where to run. Moron.

    June 1, 2009 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  18. tiff of lithia springs

    Very WRONG!

    June 1, 2009 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  19. Brian

    Nice comeback, and a good logical arguement: "He's wrong," says Obamer!!

    Also nice to see Al "I invented the Internet" Gore giving Cheney advice on anything other than how to start his own compost heap to minimize his carbon footprint. Gore has always been good at inventing a job for himself since he couldn't keep one in real life!!

    June 1, 2009 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  20. New Yorker

    Sorry you don't have a comment request for the Clinton promoting gay rights around the world. Talk about arousing the furor of muslims around the world. Doesn't she still not understand that homosexuality is still considered a sin by more than just those on the far right? She claims to be a Christian; she should read the new testament teaching regarding this issue. Or would she, like Obama, consider those scriptures "obscure"? Double dog dare you to post this CNN.

    June 1, 2009 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  21. Michele

    This is America, and we still have free speech. All Cheney is doing is trying to stay out of jail, and didn't he recant today and then try to blame everyone BUT himself for 9-11 and Iraq? Maybe he's getting dementia.

    June 1, 2009 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  22. bradfordsbakershampers

    Give peace a chance. Any comments may do good or harm. Cooperation is of the essence in this chaotic time. Pres. Obama is just after peaceful manner of solving any misunderstanding. He cannot accept another life wasted for an unworthy decision. Let's give him a chance to prove his worth. Anyway, the citizenry knows best.

    June 1, 2009 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  23. AUC

    Dick Cheney is like an "old fart".... still stinks and won't go away!!!!

    June 1, 2009 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  24. David

    Thank You Mister President! We all know the truth, Dick and Bush can't rewrite history while their war is still on, and millions of Americans are out of work and homeless. This one is gonna stick for a while. Thank you for 'volunteering' to fix this mess for us.

    June 2, 2009 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  25. ThinkAboutIt

    President Obama, gracious as always. It's so nice to have an intelligent, thoughtful, steadfast leader back in the White House after so many years of fear-mongering and deceit.

    Thank you, Mr. President – keep up the good work!

    June 2, 2009 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
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