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. Grog in Ohio

    Dick "5 deferment" Cheney calls someone "afraid" from his undisclosed location? I say again that Republicans seem to be born without a sense of irony.

    October 22, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. victor madrid

    dick cheney will never admiit that the bush admiinistration ever made any mistakes. he should respect his president and let him make the decisions to keep our country safe

    October 22, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  3. victim of republican greed

    Cheney/Bachman in 2012!

    October 22, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. Dan

    8 years in Afghanistan under Bush/Cheney with ZERO results. We need to think about how to get out of this failed state. What are we Russia?

    October 22, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. Joe

    It's not surprising that Cheyney doesn't recognize rational analysis and deliberate thought when he sees it. Also not surprising that he fears it. After all, what if it works? OMG!

    October 22, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. Aaron

    Yeah Gibbs, good job, blame the war in Afghanistan on the Bush administration...could it be that our European allies who were gun-ho to support us never really did, or maybe that it took Pakistan 7 years to start assisting with fully military support? The Obama administration is full of cowards and dimwits. The war in Afghanistan went bad not because of the Bush administration but because the Europeans and Pakistani's never helped...the Europeans are still hardly assisting. Obama and his crew are like terriers they just bark, bark, bark and that's about it.

    October 22, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  7. David

    I love the Obama administration's willingness to call out the liars and anti-Americans from the Bush administration. You can't really argue with cold hard facts! I appreciate that President Obama is gathering all the information he can before he makes his decision; there is a lot at stake here.

    October 22, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  8. Colin

    Excellent point by Gibbs about Cheney's hypocrisy in ignoring Afghanistan for 7 years. Anyway...it's obvious Cheney wants to see the country attacked.

    October 22, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  9. Jerry in NC

    What's really scary is that there are MILLIONS of people in this country, that actually think like that war monger, criminal and are supportive of his destructive ideas!

    October 22, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  10. sonny chapman

    Haste makes waste. In war, it gets people killed needlessly & results in failed military operations. Cheney must have some deep seated- macho insecurity that makes him paranoid about being percieved as "weak". Maybe if he had served in Nam & not taken all of those deferments he wouldn't be so paranoid & insecure. Or maybe if he had been looking at el quida as a National Security threat on 9-10-01 instead of at China(repressed guilt complex) he wouldn't be so over the top on all this. And then when you throw in his infallibility dementia, we're dealing with , to quote Bush the Elder, "one sick puppy."

    October 22, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  11. Jimmy

    Old Broken record Gibbs, Bush's fault, Bush's fault. That's what you do when you have no plan and no idea what to do. Too bad reasonable people know that. Obama was hired to do a job and not blame everyone else. If he can't do the job, resign.

    October 22, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  12. Bonnie C.

    Why doesn't Cheny just go away?? Why is his opinion even considered important any more?? He was conspicuously "behind the scenes" for the axis of evil he served, and should retire already!!

    October 22, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. Colin

    Dick Cheney is a traitor as far as I'm concerned. His comments are really meant for the terrorists. He's egging them on. Dick Cheney wants America to be attacked so he can say "I told you so." This is true.

    October 22, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  14. Jim

    Gibbs is a joke. This guy will be gone after the midterms. As soon as Repubs get more seats, this guy's mouth is going to get him in trouble. Bet on it.

    October 22, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  15. James Michael Roberson

    Dick Cheney and Bush has left us in the worse shape we have ever been in. Cheney has a lot of nerve and he must be an idiot. Obama has a lot of work ahead of him straightening out the mess he inherited. Wherever you look the economy, health care, or war our country has a lot to do to correct the problems created by Bush, Cheney and the republican controlled houses of congress. Cheney needs to just shut up his fat mouth and learn.

    October 22, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  16. Doug

    My President Obama is ill served by his own staff. Flack Gibbs and Hack Dunn should be recycled immediately. Chairman of the White House Axelrod has his own money conflicts starting by the sale of his former companies used extensively by Senator Obama. Now Foreign nations are buying their services using his son to pay his father back. As an Obama supporter and a democrat, save yourself and cut these lifelines MR President.

    October 22, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  17. kd

    Cheney is a dangerous incompetent and nobody should listen to a single word he says. Countless lives have been ruined or ended by his callous, cold, foolish and selfish decisions. The world is better off without him. Every time he opens his mouth we get a glimpse of the hellish world we've been able to avoid due to his being out of power.

    October 22, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  18. victim of republican greed

    Cheney has so much in common with the Taliban. Maybe that is why the Bush/Cheney white house gave them a pass.

    October 22, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  19. Lee

    Cheney criticising anyone's handling of affairs in Iraq is like a spoiled brat yelling at the maid because he crapped on the floor and she's not using his favorite brand of paper towel to wipe it up.

    October 22, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  20. peter

    Dick Cheney, why don't close your big mouth?

    October 22, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  21. JayG

    um 2 wars at once is a little difficult. All you people hate Bush but fail to mention how we have now won the war in Iraq with the Bush/Cheney/McCain strategy and now you dont want to follow it to win in Afghanistan too??

    October 22, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  22. Laurie

    Again, thank you Mr. Gibbs. One would hope that President Obama would be deliberative regarding this issue, as there are so many young lives at stake. Mr. Cheney, you are despicable. You were part of an adminstration that brought this country to it's knees. Worse than that, you squandered many Americans most precious possessions, their children, for an illegal war that was a lie.

    October 22, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  23. Dinah

    What would you expect from a corrupt Republican and especially one like Dick Cheney who practically ran America into the ground.

    October 22, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. waiting

    Obama promised to close gitmo and bring our troops home. We're still waiting mr. promises.

    October 22, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  25. John

    It's great that Obama's administration is learning from a previous administration's mistakes, but I think there is a fine line between being cautious and being a leader.

    October 22, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
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