CPAC organizers concerned about jeers for Cheney, Rumsfeld
February 11th, 2011
01:28 PM ET
9 years ago

CPAC organizers concerned about jeers for Cheney, Rumsfeld

Washington (CNN) - Organizers of the Conservative Political Action Conference said they were concerned some of the negative reaction to former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld crossed the line and was inappropriate.

But they said the two speakers did not seem to mind. The conference is the annual gathering of some 11,000 conservative activists and has become an early testing ground for potential GOP presidential candidates.

When introduced both men were greeted with a lot of applause but also with some boos. Cheney was greeted by a few attendees who heckled him about the war in Iraq and other issues. Several of them were escorted from the hall.

Cheney was a surprise guest and introduced his former colleague, Rumsfeld, who was being given an award at the event.

Asked on Friday whether the reception the two men were given did cross a line, the chairman of the event, David Keene, told CNN "I personally think it did, but it didn't bother either of them. They played off of it and it worked fine."

"We were concerned it had crossed the line, but the affected parties" didn't seem to mind, said Al Cardenas, who is succeeding Keene as chairman of the American Conservative Union, the main sponsor of CPAC.

Pointing out that many of the attendees have strong opinions, "You get a lot of rambunctious people on a lot of issues. There were a couple of people who complained about some of, some of the dissenters," Keene said adding he was sitting next to Rumsfeld, and he didn't see any signs the reaction he received bothered him.

"He doesn't feel comfortable unless there are folks there he can play off of," Keene said.

Cardenas said conservatives are known for voicing their opinions and pushing for individual freedoms. "And they take it to heart when they are here."

Both Keene and Cardenas added they believe it is important that the conference maintain civility.

And in the end, the former Vice President seemed to take it all in stride beginning his remarks in typical Dick Cheney style: "Alright, sit down and shut up," adding, "It's the usual spirited exercise."

Filed under: CPAC 2011 • Dick Cheney • Donald Rumsfeld
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. NJfinest2009

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! CPAC organizers, you didn't expect Dick Cheney to be boohed and heckled, the man has killed thousands of our own he deserves it!

    February 11, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  2. sammieb51

    Those were well-deserved geers and boos coming from that crowd. I believe it was Bush/Cheney on stage in 2005-2006 at the national press dinner joking about "WMD's, don't see any here" and the press corp wre all laughing like a bunch of buffoons, as were our P/VP. Funny joke, guess on all those parents and spouses, family members who were greeting sons and daughters maimed and mutilated or worse, coffins for the cemetery! Or Bush's famous comment - "Osama Bin Laden? I don't Know, I just don't think about him much". Imagine if Obama said that!! He's be impeached.

    Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld are viewed as war criminals in many parts of the world. In fact Bush had to cancel a speaking engagement in Switzerland recently because there was strong possibility he would have been arrested as a war criminal. Nigeria brought corruption charges against Cheney. Unreal..... too bad the world didn't interfere in that presidency, it would have avoided lots of problems the world is dealing with right now.

    February 11, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. Video Guy

    A conservative would never boo, not two Conservative Gods like these two. Must have been a Democrat or two that were waiting tables.

    February 11, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. WTH

    You mean his not dead!!! Well my day is runied!!

    February 11, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. irene

    Booing is not good enough. Both of these thugs deserve Jail time for crimes against humanity!

    February 11, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  6. Mickey, NY

    Finally, some COMMON SENSE among the right. Or maybe these people had just had a stroke?

    February 11, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  7. Doug

    Dick and Don are two Americans who have damaged this country more than almost any other, including Nixon. Even a well reason conservatives knows this. Just today when somebody on the radio asked a conservative commentator why America's influence in the Middle East waned he didn't Obama's and Hillary Clinton's policy, but said the war in Iraq made America loose any creditability. They don't listen to us any more. Thanks to Dick and Don.

    February 11, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  8. Ken, AZ

    The largest gathering of dinasaurs in one place since the Ice Age. One idiot after another got up to criticize President Obama, but not a single speaker or attendee offered an idea, plan or approach to moving this country ahead. However, they all have a desire to move the country backwards; all the way back to the Constitutional Congress to rewrite the constitution they all so revere.

    February 11, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  9. Treadstone_seventy-one

    "Rumsfeld, who was being given an award at the event."

    too bad it wasn't a Purple Heart!

    I never imagined such pillars of salt as these two losers would continuously be stuffed into our war wounds.

    February 11, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  10. Joe

    Cheney and his boss should be arrested and tried for war crimes. "Rendition" is another word for kidnapping and "enhanced interrogation techniques" is torture. The US and the World Court have arrested and convicted others that were guilty of inhumane treatment of prisoners, Bush and Cheney are not above the law and should be prosecuted and if found guilty, incarserated.

    February 11, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  11. Livin' the good life

    The only way I care to see either of their faces again is through bars! They have hurt Americans more than they will ever know and the residue/fallout from their decisions will affect not only our children but, our grandchildren too. Good luck and thank you President Obama for standing up and willing to help the US out of the situation/quagmire the former administration left us in...Beau Colby

    February 11, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  12. nena

    The American people know very well who the Republican criminals are, and it's well known that these two are the biggest criminals in U.S. history. It's a shame that the Republicans still parade around with these two low lives and still continue to award them for their shameless activities. They brought so much shame to our country, no wonder they are booed.

    February 11, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  13. T'sah from Virginia

    If these CPAC folks feel that EVERYONE in their PAC must abide by ALL of their rules and regulations – then it is very obvious they feel the same way about all AMERICANS!!! They want NO ONE to differ, NO ONE to deviate, NO ONE from the outside, NO ONE with a mind of their own, NO ONE to compromise, NO ONE to agree with others outside their PAC and NO ONE to be bipartisan!!

    They DO NOT represent all of America and this is why they will FAIL along with the RepubliCAN'Ts who follow them!!

    February 11, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. mcore

    Yeah, it was no problem for Cheney & Rummy – AFTER they ejected the worst of the hecklers. Dissent within the ranks is not very well tolerated in the Republican Party.

    February 11, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. carlos

    11,000 freaking prevariators, beguilers and on top of that, inept, incompetent and for those two being jeered...well deserved, the crowd should have shown them the bottom of their shoes, not a custom here, but well recognized all over the world......

    February 11, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  16. Colleen

    They should be used to it by now!!

    February 11, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  17. Sgt Schultz

    Why? It is what it is. Cheney and his henchman were complicit in the biggest swindle in U.S. History. Even a small % of Republicans will concede that the premise for Cheney's War was based on a pack of lies. I applaud those in the audience that mocked them...and for Ron Paul to be the only Republican with the guts to question the integrity of the Iraq agenda.

    February 11, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  18. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    What does it tell you when the Swiss government advises Bush not to come into their country because he will be arrested for war crimes, these two birds aren't respected either.

    February 11, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. Jaywing

    War criminals should be booed.

    February 11, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. GOP = Greed Over People

    Dick Cheney is the smegma of mankind.

    February 11, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. Duck Fallas

    Somewhere, on a distant farm, a litter of piglets cries because they took their momma's heart and gave it to Cheney.

    February 11, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. otto1967

    They were both almost assuredly getting paid to attend. Do you really think they would mind?

    February 11, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  23. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Rummy and "Uncle Dick" didn't mind because they have ignored every negative thing directed against them for years. These two were the architects of failure by failing to provide enough "boots on the ground" for our invasion of Iraq. Yes, the number of troops were sufficient to conquer an ill-equipped army with poor morale. What the troops were insufficient for was to hold the country intact and minimize the insurgency that followed. We had significantly more troops in Germany after the end of hostilities in Europe in WW2, to cover about the same size territory.
    Of course, we were also dealing with a people who had a tradition of self-determination and democracy (with a 12 year hiatus after 1933), so their recovery was significantly easier than a country that still had not recovered from 2 other devastating wars, crumbling infrastructure and one power-hungry family that refused to recognize their country's plight. Kind of like Rummy and Uncle Dick in their own country!

    February 11, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  24. Mom concerned for the future

    CONSERVATIVES are booing Cheney and Rumsfeld!?! Wow, Cheney and Rumsfeld have sunk even further in popularity! They really should be ashamed of the unnecessary war they foisted on Americans.

    February 11, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  25. duke

    The fact that they are booed in their own circle should speak volumes,but to the deaf it means nothing!
    It seems that politics today k!ll off one of your senses,its just unfortunate that the deaf and the senseless have such influence over the american political system!
    These two can't go to europe for a reason,but to those who have loss their sense of everything nothing is wrong??
    War criminals,protected and loved by the party of god(gop)
    No wonder they want mubarak to stay in power.

    February 11, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
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