October 22nd, 2009
06:33 PM ET
12 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)
  1. Mike

    Like past leaders Cheney should rise above politics. Is he just so filled with hatred that he cannot do that ?

    October 22, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. jd

    Pour it to them and tell Chenny to play with himself.

    October 22, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. Ashley

    Funny how they forget how they caused the economic turmoil of a lifetime..

    October 22, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. Nikki Johns

    I wish the Obama Whitehouse would stop giving weight to anything the previous administration says. By acknowledging this group, they are getting attention that should be going towards bettering our economy, ending these senseless wars, and getting the health care debacle taken care of. By now we should have learned that the Bush Whitehouse were experts at using WMDs (weapons of mass destraction). Cheney pops up just every now and then to give the sad GOP a talkshow talking point and to take attention away from where it should be; fixing the country they so thoroughly destroyed. Please, Obama Whitehouse, no more Cheney, Bush, Palin- McCain comment acknowledements. When and if they win the Whitehouse again, they can do all the destoying they want to do, you all just stay focused.

    October 22, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. Kerry in VA

    Dick Cheney (the Devil) should not even be speaking at this point. He is the reason why this country almost went off the cliff. Bush and Cheney are the reason why the war in Afganistan got to this point. They should have concentrated on that war instead of attacking Iran. He should go into a hole and stay there and keep his comments to himself. He should have made that decision when he was still in office.

    October 22, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. christi

    unbelievable...... exactly 7 years of war........its rediculous. why wasnt this corrected the last 7 years and stop playing blame game. just take responsiblitiy for not caring for the last 7 years.

    October 22, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. Chaim Gogol

    Another radical unpatriotic Republican attacking rather than supporting our commander-in-chief.

    October 22, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. JBS

    Does Cheney mean 'afraid' as in 'get five deferments to avoid the Vietnam draft' and avoid the War "coward or afraid like that”?

    This man is shameless and needs a lobotomy!

    October 22, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  9. Todd

    This "we Inherited" act is getting pretty old with Obama. I sure hope he is a One Term Wonder!

    October 22, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. carrie miller

    who or better yet what /is cheney and why does it matter what he THINKS hes a nobody now we voted his type gone or at least trying to vote them out

    October 22, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  11. Nobama

    So the plan is the same. Blame Blame Blame. My four year-old does that too! Way to go Dems, you blew it again!

    October 22, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. DNA

    Dick Cheney is the most evil and corrupt person America has ever seen.

    October 22, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. peace

    cheney is a warmonger who should be in jail. I approve of President Obama's cautious stand on Afghanistan. War is not a game for old fools like Cheney.

    October 22, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. AIB

    Where was Dick in the last 5 years? I remember that he was in hibernation. This man is so inconsistent and irrational.I do not how people like can be in power. That is really sad.

    October 22, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Sol Dunanover

    Gibbs comments put the ball squarely in Obama's court. This is now his war, with no one else to blame. His argument during the campaign was that Iraq was the wrong war, and Afghanistan need emphasis.

    Let's hope the Soviet history with Afghanistan is not repeated. Unfortunately, I don't think that will be the case. Just as we cannot legislate morality, we can't legislate Westernism in the guise of "liberation."

    October 22, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. Retired US Army Officer-Kansas

    We are still having to respond to the "former" Vice President, unbelieable. This man is a draft dodger, he failed in his duties as Sec of Defense by agreeing to end ending a war prematurely because it would look neat in the history book, the 100 hour war. He supported a doctrine of using military force as an option of first resort rather than last resort. He as GW's apparant senior advisor conducted war from his office on two nations committing insufficient military force to either to accomplish the unclear and poorly stated missions, he used cherry picked intelligence and rumors to justify these actions and for that matter the use of force in the first place. He who never served proclaimed to know how to extract information from prisoners and ignored the senior military commanders. And now he is going to attack the President in his efforts to clean up the mess that Vice President Dick Cheney was a major player in creating. This man knows no shame, or then again may be he does and these attacks against the President are the only means he has left for self justificaton of actions he was a party to during the conduct of his private wars.

    October 22, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. Brian

    Robert Gibbs' response to Cheney's irresponsible and hypocritical comments is appropriate. Cheney and Bush's rush to war in the wrong country is clear evidence of irresponsible behavior. From my perspective, the Obama administration must continue pursuing investigations concerning Cheney's gross misconduct while he was in office. Wasn't it Cheney who fires the Army Chief of Staff, his General in the field, when he recommended more troops to fight and win in Iraq? How can Americans continue to even listen or have regard for Cheney?

    October 22, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  18. Tony in Dallas

    I am perplexed that the likes of Cheney could still have the gutts and shame to criticise someone who is trying so hard to fix the many problems they left behind. Does he really have a concience? and does he really love this great country like he claims? hmmmm I will let the true Patriots of this country decide that. A word of wisdom for you "Dick" please go to your usual undisclose locations and hide your shameless face, for we don't need another Cheney-like in this nation.

    October 22, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  19. Ryan, CT

    Can somebody please tell Mr. Cheney that he is no longer in office.

    You hear more from him now then you did when he was Vice-President!

    October 22, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. Christopher Santos

    I am wondering what is Mr. Cheney’s agenda with all this comments, if we are today struggling to send new troops to Afghanistan is because the mess his administration caused in the first place, so my word to Mr. Cheney is – Your time is over, Get Outta Here.

    October 22, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. Zeba

    Good for the Press Secy!!! I think the Obama Administration needs to push even harder against such idiotic rhetoric. They put us in a war we didn't need to be in and ignored the one we should have been fighting and now they have the gall to blame the current President for their mistakes. Unbelievable!!!

    October 22, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. 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 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  23. Don

    Today, National Security Network Senior Adviser Gen. Paul Eaton (Ret.), who served more than 30 years in the United States Army and from 2003-2004 oversaw the training of the Iraqi military, responded to Dick Cheney's accusations on Afghanistan from last night:

    "The record is clear: Dick Cheney and the Bush administration were incompetent war fighters. They ignored Afghanistan for 7 years with a crude approach to counter-insurgency warfare best illustrated by: 1. Deny it. 2. Ignore it. 3. Bomb it. While our intelligence agencies called the region the greatest threat to America, the Bush White House under-resourced our military efforts, shifted attention to Iraq, and failed to bring to justice the masterminds of September 11.

    "The only time Cheney and his cabal of foreign policy 'experts' have anything to say is when they feel compelled to protect this failed legacy. While President Obama is tasked with cleaning up the considerable mess they left behind, they continue to defend torture or rewrite a legacy of indifference on Afghanistan. Simply put, Mr. Cheney sees history throughout extremely myopic and partisan eyes.

    "As one deeply invested in the Armed Forces of this country, I am grateful for the senior military commanders assigned to leading this fight and the men and women fighting on the ground. But I dismiss men like Cheney who inject partisan politics into the profound deliberations our Commander-in-Chief and commanders on the ground are having to develop a cohesive and comprehensive strategy, bringing to bear the economic and diplomatic as well as the military power, for Afghanistan - something Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld never did.

    "No human endeavor can be as profound as sending a nation's youth to war. I am very happy to see serious men and women working hard to get it right."

    October 22, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  24. James

    Notice he did not comment on the fact that the strategy Obama has is the one the Bush administration gave them right before they left office. Even he could not make that lie and that is saying something when you consider all the the lies Gibss tells.

    October 22, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. Ralph Kramden

    I am so sad that a vice-president could say such hurtful things about such a wonderful person. Barack is the greatest man in the history of America. No other president holds a candle to him. He is smart and caring. He is the wind beneth our feet and all of America loves him and what he has done for our country. Bush is to blame so stop beating up Barack. We now have a hero so leave him alone and quit pushing him for results.

    October 22, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
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