Clinton praises Cheney's political prowess
September 18th, 2011
01:24 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton praises Cheney's political prowess

(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton said former Vice President Dick Cheney was playing politics when he suggested Secretary of State Hillary Clinton run for president in 2012 against President Barack Obama.

“I'm very proud of her. And so I'm always gratified whenever anyone says anything nice about her. And I very much agree that she's done a good job,” Clinton, a Democrat, said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “But I also have a high regard for Vice President Cheney's political skills. And I think one of those great skills is sowing discord among the opposition.”

Cheney, a Republican, floated the idea during interviews to promote his memoir, “In My Time,” when he praised the former New York senator and encouraged a primary contest on the other side of the aisle.

But Clinton said his wife, who lost the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination to then-Sen. Obama, is committed to her position in the Obama administration and doing a “heck of a job.”

“I think he, by saying something nice about her and the way he did it, knew that it might cause a little trouble,” Clinton said. “I don’t want to help him succeed in his political strategy, but I admire the fact that he’s still out there hitting the ball.”

Cheney, who appeared on the CBS program after Clinton, said he was not trying to stir discord with his remarks.

“I just thought … that the Democrats ought to have as much fun on their side of the aisle as we’re having on our side in figuring out who is going to run,” Cheney said.

Hillary Clinton has repeatedly shot down speculation that she may run for elected office after four years at the State Department, despite a recent poll showing her as the most popular politician in the United States.

Bill Clinton said the polls are simply an example of the political climate.

“She’d be the first to tell you that, you know, the further you get out of the line of fire, the more popular you’re likely to be,” Clinton said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I don’t think you can take that seriously. She’s secretary of state, she’s not president.”

Filed under: 2012 • Bill Clinton • Dick Cheney • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (145 Responses)
  1. Craig from Pa.

    Have her replace Joe Biden as VP this time around....Obama wins another term...then Hillary runs and wins the next 2 terms!.. Maybe then we will have things back on track....Vote all Repubs and Teatards out as they are only obstructionists in the effort to right this ship we call the USA. May be our only don't need any more Repubs to take us back to where we are trying to get out of, do you???

    September 18, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  2. Scott

    Think again is dead on. If people simply vote with no more thought than: "Things suck; fire the guy in charge!"l they're in for a horror when the other choice turns out to be much worse. Republicans in power means our rights and money will be given to corporations, through policies and right-wing activist judges selected to give all American power to the rich. "Small government" means no balance to wealthy power.

    September 18, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    Clinton is amusing.

    September 18, 2011 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  4. Bozzz

    She shouldn't run because she'd lose and that would end her political career. If she waits four years, she can follow Obama; and if the Republicans keep putting up this weird selection of candidates she'll probably win. And it'd be great to have her.

    September 18, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  5. bmull

    Spoken as one criminal to another.

    For her part, HRC has been a major failure as Secretary of State. Her blind allegiance to Israel and obvious hatred for Iranians has crippled foreign policy in the most important hot spots.

    September 18, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  6. Gerald

    Or maybe Cheney is simply implying Obama sucks.

    September 18, 2011 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  7. beevee

    President Clinton did not say it directly but the guy Cheney is a crook and is trying to put a wedge within the democratic party. Who will trust this nasty man.Glad he no longer holds any power outside of his party.

    September 18, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  8. Boo

    Cheney should keep his advice to himself, then enroll in a gun safety course.

    September 18, 2011 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  9. independent

    Cheney is no Rove, though they have both been seduced by the Dark Side. A shame, imagine the good they could have done if they had applied their considerable skills to helping people, strengthening America as a whole – instead of political warfare.

    September 18, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  10. valwayne

    The democratic party clearly made the biggest mistake in the entire history of the nation when the spurned Hillary and chose Obama. Clearly almost nobody would argue now that Obama was the right decision. Even Jimmy Carter look good compared to Obama. Cheney may or may not have been trying to sow discord, but its hard to argue that the democratic party and the nation need someone to come in and save the party from Obama. Obama has done everthing wrong and made everything worse, and he's taking the democratic party down a road to a historic defeat.

    September 18, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  11. Karl In Ohio

    Cheney rocks.

    September 18, 2011 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  12. Larry King

    Darth Cheney is the monster responsible for every single death resulting from the Iraqi war that never should have been. Darth is the living example of the tragedy that can happen when a powerful buffoon like George Bush enables a hideous egomaniac like Darth Cheney.

    September 18, 2011 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  13. Randel Tony

    Former President Bill Clinton says he has high regard for Dick Cheney's political skills even if the former vice president tries to cause mischief for Democrats.

    Cheney recently praised Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as one of the Obama administration's "most competent" members and said it would be "interesting to speculate" how she might be as president.

    Cheney suggested, tongue in cheek, she might want to challenge Barack Obama in 2012, and said he wouldn't discourage a primary fight.

    Bill Clinton tells CBS' "Face the Nation" he's "gratified whenever anyone says anything nice" about his wife, but one of Cheney's skills "is sowing discord among the opposition" and he doesn't want to help Cheney's strategy succeed.

    Clinton did elbow Cheney, saying, "I admire that he's still out there hitting the ball."

    September 18, 2011 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  14. Liz the First

    Notice he didn't praise Cheney for anything good he actually did. cheney is an evil man who deserves to spend the rest of his miserable life UNDER Club Fed. there's no telling how many deaths he's responsible for. And, LOGIC, you've got it totally bass-ackward on the class warfare thing. the rethugs have been waging class warfare for a couple of decades now, and here's a hot flash for you, YOUR CLASS IS LOSING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! asking the fabulously wealty to pay their fair share is NOT class warfare. trying to destroy the middle class and leave this country a land of a desperately poor workforce ruled by the rich IS class warfare. and if you had been paying attention to reality instead of the rethug lies, you'd know all this.

    September 18, 2011 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  15. Bessy

    Right on Mr. President.-– @ Mary-– My thoughts exactly. Some people who contribute to this blog should resd the whole statement not just the headlines. MAYBE, just maybe, they will then understand what is being said. Hillary will not run in 2012 and she should not. Now, 2016, I hope so.

    September 18, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  16. Tony

    Hillary wouldn't have had the exact same assaults on her as Obama does but they'd definitely go after her–and I don't think she'd have the political skill Obama does at deflecting these assaults, frankly. Regardless, we're a whole lot better off with Obama and Hillary in the executive branch than we were under Cheney, or any of the billionaire coddling rodeo clowns trying to be next in line.

    September 18, 2011 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  17. sara

    "Thinkagain".....well said! One of Cheney"s political skills is robbing America through no-bid contracts to Cronies and Waterboarding other countries citizens. Where isn't he in Jail yet. I know that once a new administration is sworn in....they forgive and move on, as Ford did to forgive that other "crook"......but whiy the DOJ hasn't charged this "heat attack joker" with War crimes, I don't know. He and his Wall Street buddies that brought this nation down should be sharing a cell.

    September 18, 2011 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  18. Voiceinthewind

    Put Cheeneey in prison for life and water board him daily along with The Shrub and the rest of thier crew. They bankrupted America Financially and Morally and don't deserve to be free to walk the streets and live among civilized humans. They are Greedy, Murdering, Thieves.

    September 18, 2011 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  19. ED FL

    WELL Bill Clinton has now shown that he is ready for the NUT FARM. A person had the utmost respect from all Americans has just now put him in Dick Cheneys categorie. He must have been locked in Cheneys undisclosed chamber when all the GOP"ERS send all those kids off to get killed. If Hillary is smart she will now change her last name to anything but CLINTON. What a shame for a once honorable politician.

    September 18, 2011 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  20. Will

    Bill Clinton is a master! He criticizes (and simultaneously praises) Dick Cheney, reaffirms his Democratic Party "team player" credentials, but also suggests that Hillary would be a great candidate in 2012...

    September 18, 2011 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  21. Hawkeye72

    The first step in Dick Chaney's return to politics would be to "give back the medical and pension benefits he got for being the Vice-President" for eight years.

    Should Mr. Chaney not take the above step, I would suggest that 'Tricky Dick" shut his mouth and keep running with that money. He has nothing vested in the current debate which centers on balancing the country's balance sheets after the "unlimited spending" which occurred on the watch of the Bush/Chaney administration.

    September 18, 2011 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  22. Pat in il

    The republican slate is too flakey to have a real candidate. Romney is the only one who stands a chance, because he is the only one who isn't either a clown or an idiot.

    September 18, 2011 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  23. Dan

    Although I'm not a big fan of Cheney, and I'm sure he has his political reasons for suggesting someone (namely Hillary) challenge Obama.... I think Hillary running would backfire in his face... and she'd win. I really hope (though I'm sure she wont) she will challenge Obama.... We need a strong leader... and I'm pretty scared about the offerings from the Republicans....

    September 18, 2011 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  24. Terry Gloege

    Mighty high praise to heap on a walking corpse.

    September 18, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  25. Mike, Albany

    This is the problem with the democrats: They insist on being diplomatic and civil, as Clinton's remark suggests. Even though Clinton's remark is a negative one, he stops short of calling Cheney out on the real issues, namely his profiteering from deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, his role in the economic disaster we are now in, and so on. Unless democrats are willing to stand strong against republican partisan politics, they will continue to look like weak and maleable.

    September 18, 2011 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
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