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. Sharon Hughes

    Here, here! Why doesn't Cheney just go away. Nobody wants to hear from him. He is a war and fearmonger and the US is much better off without him.

    October 22, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. T Mckinley

    I have a question for Dick Cheney:

    If President Obama is really undermining our national security and making America unsafe, as you claim, then why haven't we been attacked yet like we were during the first year you and "W" were in office?

    Methinks thou art blowing smoke, Mr. Cheney.

    BTW-Have you found those WMDS in Iraq yet?

    October 22, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  3. C.K.

    Why does anyone listen to what Cheney has to say? Who cares what he thinks, he's not exactly someone who promotes peace, whether it's in his own country, or elsewhere. His opinions are irrelevant.

    October 22, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. Arin

    Gibbs is right. Bush/Cheney messed up Afghanistan and Iraq for that matter. We spent American treasure and blood for those two. I wished Cheney had dithered a bit before rushing into Iraq. 4500 American soldiers would be alive today if he had.

    October 22, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. victim of republican greed

    Karl Rove taught Little Richard how to criticize President Obama.

    October 22, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. MB

    Dick Cheney should go away. Go back to Wyoming, put his boots up on his nice old office desk and retire. He had his day and most of us are tired of his, "My way or the highway policies" Say what you want about Bush, at least he has enough sense to keep quite and not comment on the mess already made.

    October 22, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. CJS

    Cheney needs to go back to wherever he was hiding for the 8 years he was in office. I don't remember a vice president who was less in the public eye than he was. You knew every minute where Bush was, but not Cheney.

    October 22, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  8. John from California

    Dick Cheney and George Bush ignored Afghanistan for 6 years after 9/11 while they were hunting for Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq (or was it oil).

    Dick Cheney has even less credibility now than he did when he was in office and at that time it was around 15%.

    October 22, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. ob

    I do hope sometime in the near future Cheney and Bush will pay for all their crimes.
    It's sicking hear this guy now accuse Obama about the war he created and completely mismanaged while in power. What a hypocrite.

    October 22, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  10. victim of republican greed

    And the 'Dick' is about as popular as a turd in the back yard.

    October 22, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. bimmer

    I think Cheney should have kept quiet like Bush. But he is a true patriot. He should speak his mind if that's what he thinks good for the country without attacking some one personally.

    October 22, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. RaynFL

    I think dementia has set in on the OLD FOOL Cheney. After all it was his policies that has made America less safe. with his hell with ya attitude and my way or the highway polices and now that we have some thoughtful insight to problems that arises around the world, That my firend has confused cheny's thought process and left him a boundering fool

    October 22, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  13. Marva, TN

    Robert Gibbs is absolutely right. That chicken-hawk Cheney did nothing to increase the troops in Afghanistina because he was too busy doing nothing on Bush's bogus war in Iraq.

    So for this war criminal to accuse our president of being "afraid" is beyond stupid. Americans have better things to do than to waste their time, money and treasure (our men and women) on idle, stupid talk. Cheney and his daughter should thank their lucky stars that this president is focused on something else because Cheney's rear should be under the jail.

    To Cheney and Lize: Go away hateful, warmongering chicken hawks.

    BTW, when is Liz Cheney going to suit up? We could use her help in fighting one of her father's wars.

    October 22, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. Jackie in Dallas

    I'm GLAD that President Obama is taking his time and really considering all the alternatives about Afghanistan. Not even all the Joint Chiefs of Staff agree on what the best plan is, and many wonder where we would GET those 40,000 pairs of boots that McChrystal wants. We might be reduced to sending already war-exhausted Iraq veterans or re-instituting a draft. The volunteer army just doesn't have that kind of manpower available for immediate deployment without stripping other essential manpower bases.

    Former VP Cheney needs to keep his gob closed, or we might remember he was the driving force to get us INTO the war in Iraq, taking our attention OFF of Afghanistan, and for the torturing of prisoners.

    October 22, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  15. phoenix86

    What is curious is how Obama receives a complete strategic assessment (at his request) in March 2009 and when the recommendation comes in from his general about how to execute Obama's vision, then the president orders another strategic review.

    Cheney is correct, Obama is dithering while US servicemen continue to be under supported on the ground.

    Obama is so afraid of making a decision, that the US loses not only in Afghanistan, but everywhere. We may be "loved" by all, but Obama has turned the US into an international weakling.

    October 22, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. Joe the Comment Leaver

    Cheney's comments are ridiculous and irrelevant, but the man really, really should be making his comments from jail.

    October 22, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. alvy singer

    Go get 'em Mr. Gibbs!

    October 22, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. fashionpolice

    What an objectionable tie Gibbs has on.

    October 22, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  19. Bruce

    If it was so easy then why didn't Cheney and Bush take care it? Very curious, it is always easy to throw mud when you don't have to make the decision. We need a clear cut plan, whether that is increasing troop levels or pulling out.

    October 22, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  20. Splat!~

    Didn't we get a good look at Meg McCains Dick Cheneys last week?~

    October 22, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  21. Julie

    I for one am very happy that President Obama is taking his time do decide what to do in Afghanistan; it means he and the Adminstration will have a strategy and plan. It will mean my son and son in law both Soldiers, or someones daughter, son, father, mother may not have to to fight a war that needs to come to a close. Dick Cheny is a former, an ex, please be quite and please just go away...all you have done is caused frustration, heartache and the unnecessary funerals of our brave military.

    October 22, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. Roy

    You said it, Gibbs!

    October 22, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  23. Maria (Miami)

    Cheny is just a bitter old man with more ego than heart. I'm so glad we have a leader now,(President Barack Obama), who cares about the "lives" of our soldiers, and the affected lives of their loved ones. These are men and women, not plastic green toy soldiers. This is not a board game, Mr. Cheney.

    October 22, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  24. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Good for you, Gibbsie.

    Cheney is reprehensible and should be in prison.

    October 22, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  25. Lori, Houston Texas

    Gibbs hit back at Cheney? Have you seen the comments on your previous Ticker article on Cheney makin those claims? Almost 100% responded by telling him to go jump in a lake. Most people in America know Cheney is the reason Afghanistan is in the situation it is right now, and President Obama is the one trying to clean up the Bush/Cheney mess.

    October 22, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
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