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. MPSnerdley

    Message to the Obama Administration: stop blaming the Bush Administration for your inadequacies and your failure to act. If you can't stand the heat, then get out of kitchen, as the saying goes.

    October 22, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. Gary

    It seems odd that I heard the conservative talking heads chastise President Carter for criticizing a sitting president and their foreign policies saying "it makes us appear as weak" and it should never be done. This looks like the same thing shouldn’t Hannity and Limbaugh be telling their dear Dick to shut up!

    October 22, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. Lara Henderson

    The audacity of that creature Cheney; Mr five deferments from serving his country but he has no problems sending other mothers sons into battle. What a loathsome vile man.

    October 22, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  4. Pragmatic

    When Bush was considering war with Iraq, he talked to his Father: not the former President who had experienced war with that country – but his Heavenly Father.

    There is no record of what God replied – but Bush was soon declaring war, talking about WMD & promising we would be welcomed with flowers. I really, really prefer President Obama's more thoughtful approach in sending Americans to fight in foreign countries.

    October 22, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  5. Susan

    Go after him, Mr. Gibbs. This is just the same old fear-mongering by the remnants of the Bush administration, which botched everything it touched for 8 long years, and now is terrified that judgment time is approaching, so they go on the attack. Pitiful.

    October 22, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  6. John

    We had to pay attention to this war monger for eight years and look where it got us; why bother paying attention to him now!

    October 22, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. seebofubar

    Gibbs doesn't deserve to be in the same universe as Cheney. This administration should get down on their knees and thank the previous one that there is still an America left. I'm not so sure that America will survive for the next administration in 2012 if Bozo gets his way.

    October 22, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  8. Ken

    Cheney needs shut his trap. His determination to invade Iraq took the focus off of Afganistan. Commanders in the field there were begging the Bush Administration for more troops and equipment. Cheney and his co-hort on the right turned a blind eye to the situation in Afganistan and now he has the utter gall to try to push Obama.

    What ever happened to not criticizing the President during a time of war? Oh that's right it only applies when a Republican is in the White House.

    With war criminals like Cheney in their party, it's no wonder only 20% of the people identify themselves as Republicans.

    October 22, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  9. Lisa in Ga

    Dang, this is getting good.... Cheney needs to sit down.. his 15 mins of fame is over. He knew this when he was VP.... but didnt do anything.. it was IRAQ ...IRAQ...IRAQ.... and IRAQ was not the " true" problem....

    Cheney... your goose been cooked.....dryed out!

    October 22, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  10. george

    gibbs makes a very strong argument....

    October 22, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  11. Michael in Houston

    Robert Gibbs replied to the absurdity of Cheney's comments with a response that most all Americans feel. Given the strategic blundering of the Bush administration and its inept handling of one war in Afghanistan and one deceitful occupation in Iraq, I would suggest that the only thing missing from the Obama adminsitration response is a timetable as to exactly when will Bush-Cheney will FINALLY be brought forward and held to accountability.

    October 22, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  12. Megan

    As long as no additional troops are injured or die over there because they don't have enough support. Either send more or don't, but don't just leave our men and women out there floundering begging for more help.

    I don't want a rush decision either, but he is starting to look weak in my eyes (so I'm guessing there is at least one enemy out there that thinks the same). He comes across as being afraid to make a decision.

    October 22, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  13. Ted

    I don't understand the GOP. They do nothing but OPPOSE, COMPLAIN, DISTORT and DIVIDE. Their main focus is to create a "him vs. us" atmosphere in America, instead of focusing on the issues and instead of uniting and coming up with some new ideas! Republicans suck, plain and simple. They have become the party of LOSERS .

    October 22, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  14. sue

    My sentiments also! The GOP can whine and complain all they want but their leadership(or lack of) handed this mess to the American people. They are out of power for a reason and two wars in the middle east are on the top of the list!

    October 22, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  15. Sam Sixpack

    Waaaa.... I can't do my job. Waaaaa..... It's not my fault. Waaaa...

    October 22, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    You go Mr. Gibbs. How dare that incompetent AH say anything about how this administration is handling two wars. They lied and murdered over 4,000 of our troops and murdered hundreds of thousands Iraqis because they wanted oil. They NEVER talked about Afghanistan. It was an after thought even though that's where the 9/11 terrorists came from. I can't stand that man. Never heard from him in 8 years. Now he comes out from under the rock where he's been living and condemns our President. He needs to go to jail. He's a war criminal.

    October 22, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  17. Linda

    Ouch!. Those who live in glass houses should not throw rocks.

    October 22, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  18. Cryston

    Thank you Gibbs for calling out Former Vice-President Cheney on his amnesia. I have one request of you. Can you please go on Fox News? Any news program or talk show on Fox we believe you can handle. You destroyed Sean Hannity during the campaign so the American people believe that if anyone can speak intelligently to the issues and be sharp enough to expose them, you can. I don't know if you have time to honor this request, but Fox ratings go up by Democrats like me who can't believe how ridiculous they are and we wait for them to get hit by guys like you.

    October 22, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  19. Tony

    Looks like Cheney hit a nerve....

    October 22, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |

    Will this Cheney guy just go away, please? How could the president make a troop increase decision without taking all aspects of the war and political and social stability of Afganistan, into consideration? Right now, we don't know who the next president of Afganistan would be. Would the next Afgan president and government be an ally or not? These are serious issues not to be easily dismissed by darth vader.

    October 22, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. mary

    Gibbs is right. I really don't want to hear anything that Cheney thinks about anything. He's not in a position to criticize anyone as far as I'm concerned. I'd prefer that the president access whatever information is available and make the best decision he can based on that. We've definitely had pretty bad examples of the executive branch rushing to judgment in recent memory.

    October 22, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. New Age Independent

    It's safe to say that Gibbs stinks at his job. It is not his place to insert his own opinion over that of the Presidents. Speculation is one thing, but he's crossed the line.

    October 22, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  23. t

    Cheney needs to leave the political scene. He did NOT do what he was suppose to do when he was in power. The major mistake (Iraq) he made cost many lives. I want my leader to think before acting when lives are at stake.

    October 22, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  24. Do Not Send In The Cheney Clowns, Unless They Want To Suit Up For War

    President Obama is not just a great American, but he's an adult. He will not be persuaded to put our men and women in further danger because some schoolyard bully is calling him afraid.

    Let's talk about that schoolyard bully, Dick Cheney, a man who was deferred from Vietnam FIVE TIMES, a man who had 7/12 years to send more troops to Afghanistan, but didn't do it, a man who would not speak to the American public for 8 years, and yet has so much to say now, when he's off the clock. And let's face it, a man who should be tried for war crimes. That man is the one who is afraid– afraid to be held accountable for his crimes and his actions. A man who refuses to own the fact that the worst attack EVER, on this country happened on his watch.

    I will be running to the polls to re-elect the president and can not wait to do so.

    October 22, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  25. Jack

    It's toooo easy, Mr. Gibbs. But you done did a good job putting that old hypocrank in his place.

    October 22, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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