October 22nd, 2009
06:33 PM ET
13 years ago

Gibbs hits back at Cheney

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/22/art.gibbs.cnn.jpg caption="White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs fired back Thursday at the latest criticism from Dick Cheney."](CNN) - White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs fired back Thursday at the latest criticisms from Dick Cheney, and suggested the Bush administration did not send U.S. troops into foreign conflicts responsibly.

"What Vice President Cheney calls 'dithering,' President Obama calls his solemn responsibility to the men and women in uniform and to the American public," Gibbs said. "I think we've all seen what happens when someone doesn't take that responsibility seriously."

Gibbs' comments come a day after the former vice president issued a blistering a wide-ranging critique of the Obama administration's foreign policy, saying Obama appears "afraid to make a decision" when it comes to troop levels in Afghanistan, and the president's indecision is "hurt[ing] our allies and emboldening our adversaries."

In his comments Thursday, Gibbs said the delay over a troop decision in Afghanistan is largely due to the fact the Bush administration did not adequately assess the conditions in the country ahead of sending troops there.

"I think it is a curious comment," Gibbs also said, "I think it is pretty safe to say that the vice president was for seven years not focused on Afghanistan. Even more curious given the fact that an increase in troops sat on desks in this White House including the vice president's for more than eight months - a resource request filled by President Obama in March."

"I find it interesting that he's blaming us for something that he didn't see fit to do over, best I can tell, seven years of a war in Afghanistan," he added.

Filed under: Dick Cheney • Popular Posts • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (300 Responses)

    If the WH would start performing instead of reacting to what people or news organizations say, there wouldn't be room for WH criticism! Duh! Cheney speaks the truth and, as many other have in the past as well, the OWH absolutely cannot stand to be questioned or for that matter, even adversely commented on. Thin skin is what I think its called. The bloviator-in-chief needs to act, not campaign and forever give speaches. Someone needs to tell him talk is cheap!

    October 22, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  2. David

    Is Dick cheney for real? This thing talks as if he lives in a different world. His citicism to Obama's prove nothing but how neglegent, blind and arrogant the previous Admin was and still is........! May God bless America by not bringing guys to the Admin like him in the future....Cheney get lost....

    October 22, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. dick who?

    I find it more than amusing that DICK cheney accuses President Obama of being afraid, when he is the one that begged to have his secret service protection extended.

    I say, cut it off and let's see who is afraid. What a loser.

    October 22, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. Dave

    Back in 2002-2003 we had the Taliban on the ropes and Afghanistan was ceasing to be a problem. Then the Bush/Cheney team decided that Iraq needed invading. All of a sudden Afghanistan was ignored, left to fester and now it is a mess.

    Now, instead of offering constructive suggestions on how to solve the problem that their administration created Dick (it's NEVER my fault) Cheney accuses Obama of being afraid.

    This is the problem with both parties. They are too content with beating each other up, running each other down, scoring points, etc. instead of acting like they want to make America better. Bitter politicians slinging insults solves nothing.

    October 22, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  5. Becky

    WHAM!!! I hope Regressives understand that We arent playing softball anymore....They are messing with Americans lives for profit and we are not going to let that happen again.

    October 22, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. Hollywood, California

    if anybody is afraid it should be Dick, I say open up the investigations of war crimes against Dick and Bush, oh, and the Colon too! what a triple disaster they were!

    I judge them by their names!!!!

    October 22, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  7. J.Crobuzon

    When you said Cheney had been 'blasted,' I hope, of course, that you meant with a grenade. If there was any justice in this world, the bloated carcass of Dick Cheney would be rounding Cape Horn right now in the belly of a hammerhead shark.

    October 22, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  8. Howard

    Thank GOD for a sensible approach by this administration. Bush/Cheney should be spending their lives in prison. The damage these two caused to this country will take decades to repair. Cheny is upset because every day of sensible delay is costing his no-compete contract buddies a lot of money. This situation over there is NOT winnable. Let us NOT carelessly sacrifice any more young lives, limbs, minds, money on these situations in Iraq and Afg.

    October 22, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  9. Nancy Harrison

    I feel that Cheney and Bush had 8 years making a hugh mess of this country and getting us into 2 wars, neither of which were managed very well. They left a hugh pile of cow dung for President Obama to clean up. I think it is time for Mr. Cheney to shut his mouth, creep back into the hole he crawled out of and STAY THERE!!!!!!!! Let a real MAN solve the problems Bush and his administration put us into. Mr.Cheney is lucky that we aren't prosecuting him and his co-president for crimes against the state. SHUT UP!!!!!!!

    October 22, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  10. Joe Skeen

    Let me say what Gibbs can't from the podium in the White House Press Room:

    "Mr. Cheney, shut up!!!!!"

    October 22, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  11. New Yorker

    Nice try, Gibbs, but the fact that Obama continues to delay in making a decision has nothing to do with the former administration's decisions. You seem to keep forgetting that Obama said the war in Afghanistan is a necessity but now he just can't seem to make a decision about how to deal with the necessary war. His record shows that he has a tough time making decisions other than the decision to vote "present" much of the time. Perhaps he should BE "present" and fulfill his responsibility as Commander in Chief, and make a decision. The troops are waiting.

    October 22, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  12. proudmemberofthepartyofdumbasrocks

    To be a [R] these days takes a stunning level of delusion and hypocrisy, and a child-like blind willingness to fall for fairytales constructed by the rightwing underbelly of this nation. Hitler could not have asked for a better pack of thoughtless neo-tartds to blindly follow him.

    October 22, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  13. Shirley In California

    Go Mr. Gibbs! Dick reminds all of us how fortunate we are to have a real president and vice president again.

    By all means Dick – please keep talking. Between Dick and that Alaskan nut job – democrats are guaranteed a second term.

    From the bottom of my heart – thank you.

    October 22, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    YEAH!!! we all saw what a great job cheney and bush did for 7 years.
    They took the war to iraq insted of afghanastan and basically ignored the war they started there now suddenly they are the experts on winning the war.
    Cheney need to go away , FAR FAR away

    October 22, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. Steven

    With Al Qeada and a few other terrorist organizations topping the list as most dangerous to our nation, next in line as a danger to us is the cheney, bush, rumsfeld group et al. These world class criminals have done more harm to this nation in 8 years than any criminal/terrorist organization has done in the entire history of the USA. They should ALL be in the deepest, darkest hole under Leavenworth Federal Prison

    October 22, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. Bill Sampson

    Absolutely right, Robert! The lunatic Cheney is a bully who avoided military service 5 times through draft deferrals. He is an armchair warrior who failed in protecting America (9/11), then attacked two countries in the aftermath without adequate planning. He is trying desperately to pass some blame for his failures to this new administration. Don't let him do it!

    October 22, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. Ron Feuer

    I voted for the present president. He won a prize to stop wars...it is known as the Nobel Peace Prize...He also copped about $3 million (which he does not need) as an additional perk of the Nobel prize He certainly does not need the money. He is rich enough. I'd say if this is an honorable president, he should give back the monetary award or let it go toward some innovative peaceful purpose. And oh yes...why does he need to send in 40 thousand new troops? He won a peace prize, not an extend the war prize. Obama could stop the Afghanistan war on a dime by taking a little of the advice of past General George Patton...Patton said when you fight a war...throw everything you have at the enemy...if you have the strongest weapons, use them!!! Forget sending in manpower that only lengthens the situation, gets more Americans killed, and never ends this type of fight. Ever heard of using an atomic bomb on Afghanistan? One bomb would end the terrorist threat to the US and this president would be known as a president that did not jerk off but ended a foolish fight against a very uncivil country.

    October 22, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  18. Matt Dobson

    Interesting – but the bottom line is excessive contemplation on war issues are not good. President Obama made strong arguments about how important this issue was during his campaign now he needs to make some important decisions. The blame game specifically on this issue undermines much of what he's already stated. The doves will never understand an issue like this so fly away here and bring in the hawks!

    October 22, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  19. SeaWife

    This man Cheney (and ALL his family people) should just keep their mouths quiet and let the smarter Presddent , Obama take charge and control w/o Cheney's whinning.. What Cheney can't get through his thick head is that he is no longer in office.

    Aside....this always boggles my mind that when Pres. Obama extended and approved ( a few months back) extra time for Cheney's secret service detail that would have already expired.

    President Obama went over and beyond for DICK Cheney. Think about that.

    October 22, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  20. Tom

    This is definately not White House Approved. Do these guys in the WH take any responsibility for their actions? Where is some sort of conciliatory action here? Its just tit for tat and our soldiers are getting killed out there while these morons at the WH blame the world for everything. Actually sounds like a bunch of lawyers making policy at the WH. This is what we get for putting somebody in there with NO experience. I hope CNN passes on my name and email address to the WH so I can make the "enemies list". Atleast that way I will get more attention.

    October 22, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  21. Julian

    Thank you for punching back at the lunacy that has been generated by Cheney and his family. He is more responsible than anyone, including Bush, for a war that should have never been fought, hundreds of billions of dollars that should have never been, and thousands of American lives and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives that should have never been lost. History, and God, will judge him harshly in ways that will make regret his fat checks from Halliburton.

    October 22, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  22. Tre'

    It's all Bush's Fault!!!!

    October 22, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  23. t22

    Stop commenting on everything everyone else says and act. Either we're going to send in these troops, some smaller number or do nothing but we've got to make a decision.

    Every time the White House calls out one of their ideological opponents, they give that person the high ground. So far this administration is merely amateurish, but they may soon be dangerous.

    October 22, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  24. John D.

    Gibbs is right.
    Cheney is really the last person (besides President Bush) that should be throwing stones.

    October 22, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  25. usualone

    Mr. Cheney gives us senior citizens a baaaaad name. Contrary to published polling reports, some of seniors think the President is doing a fine job. He should take his time in making decisions. The fact that things happened so fast during the last administration obviously caused all the kinds of messes we face today. Americans have to realize that the brutish tactical ways Cheney operated did not produce any good for America or the world. Other VPs have gone away quietly and not been in the spotlight, something this man obviously needs deeply. Some, such as VP Gore, came out only when they had a new cause. Cheney just stirs up anomisity and is not constructive at all.

    October 22, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
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