Cheney: Iraq invasion was the ‘absolute right thing to do’
July 14th, 2014
05:22 PM ET
9 years ago

Cheney: Iraq invasion was the ‘absolute right thing to do’

Washington (CNN) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney defended the Bush Administration’s decision to invade Iraq more than a decade ago on Monday, saying, “I believed in it then. I look back on it now - it was absolutely the right thing to do.”

A few minutes into a Politico event in Washington, where Cheney, his wife Lynne and his daughter Liz were speaking, protesters began to heckle the three members of the Cheney family. The protesters called the former Vice President a “war criminal” while holding signs reading “Arrest Cheney.”

Cheney’s wife Lynne brushed off the interruption, joking, “I wondered why the line (to the event) was so long.”

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A man dressed as Dick Cheney in a prison uniform stood outside of the venue, protesting as attendees entered the Mayflower Hotel where the event was held.
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Asked about the current crisis in the Middle East, the former Vice President said that President Barack Obama isn’t totally to blame for the conflict there, but that his policies calling for a decreased military presence in the region have been “totally unwise.”

“The world’s not getting safer,” Cheney said. “It’s getting far more dangerous all the time, and we are rapidly withdrawing from that portion of the world where the danger is going to emerge from. The policy is his responsibility. He has created a situation in which our friends in the region are scared to death. They don’t think they can trust us and we prove it to them on a regular basis.”

While Cheney criticized the president for the White House’s foreign policy agenda, he did have some kind words for current Secretary of State John Kerry, calling his efforts to help facilitate a recount in Afghanistan’s most recent election “a plus.”

Asked to choose between the judgment of Kerry’s predecessor, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and her husband President Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney wasn’t thrilled with either choice saying, “I didn’t vote for Bill and I don’t expect to vote for Hillary either.”

His daughter, on the other hand, was a little more forward.

“Taken in its totality in how one conducts themselves in all aspects of life, I’d have to go with Hillary,” Liz Cheney said. Pressed why she would pick Hillary, Cheney responded, “I said all aspects of life.”

Lynne Cheney also weighed in saying, “I’m not sure there’s a difference.”

Asked whose judgment he respects more between the recently dueling pair of Rick Perry and Rand Paul, Dick Cheney said that he doesn’t plan to endorse any candidate.

But "one of my great concerns is that we’ve gotten to the point where, within our own party, we have sort of an isolationist strain developing," he said.

Cheney said that anyone who believes the United States can retreat from the international stage after the 9/11 attacks is misguided, adding, "I think isolationism is crazy."

On a more personal note, the Cheney trio shared some details about their family, admitting that they like to talk about war stories from campaigns they were involved in around the dinner table.

They also opened up about how the family has dealt with Vice President Cheney’s heart condition.

“Every day when I wake up, I’m thankful with a smile on my face,” Dick Cheney said. Things like this “really affect your sense of what’s important and what isn’t.”

One topic of discussion that was not dwelled on during Monday’s talk was the public spat between Liz, a former Wyoming Senate candidate, and her sister Mary on the issue of same-sex marriage.

Asked about the conflict, Liz said that while she loves Mary – as well as Mary’s wife Heather – the issue is something they disagree about that and she has “nothing new” to add to the conversation.

Filed under: CNN's Gut Check • Dick Cheney • Iraq • Liz Cheney • President Obama • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. independant jim

    Cheney will be judged as the Worst VP in American History and his minion G W Bush will be judged the worst president ever

    July 14, 2014 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  2. neutral observer

    If there is evidence he broke the law, go on charge him. But I think if there really was such evidence, with all the hatred on the left he would have been charged already. Oh too bad, those pesty laws of fact and due process just keep on getting in the way.

    July 14, 2014 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  3. Michael

    What else felt so right Dick....911 perhaps. You were magnificent the day you ruled the world.

    July 14, 2014 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  4. John

    Saddam Hussein fought Iran to a draw during the 8 year war in the 80's.........if we had not invaded Iraq, Hussein would still rule the country with an iron fist and provide a counterweight to middle east power.....ISIS would not be in Iraq......The invasion was more the work of Cheney than small wonder he is pleading his case......very few will buy it.....

    July 14, 2014 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  5. Chitt Romney

    We Weren't Soldier's.....Starring Every Elected Republican't in the house and Senate(Except John McCain't) coming to another one of their war theaters near you Soon....

    July 14, 2014 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  6. Donna

    Dick Cheney is just another stupid republican. I wish the entire GOP, especially George Bush, would take their slimey, hippocritical, self-righteous selfs & crawl under a rock where they all belong. Better yet, take a LONG walk off a SHORT pier.

    July 14, 2014 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  7. S. B. Stein

    He never thought through all the ramifications of the Iraq invasion. If he had, there would have been more understanding as to why it shouldn't have been done. We didn't have enough forces; there was the factor of Shia vs Sunni vs Kurd, the fact that Saddam was a counter weight to Iran.

    July 14, 2014 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  8. rayray1

    Are you kidding me? Him and George Bush perpetrated the biggest lie in recent American history. Cheney's claim that they had evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. He lied and that lie led to the deaths of 4000 Americans. Dick Cheney the 5 time draft dodger/deserter should be on trial and found guilty murder. I would be the first to volunteer for the execution squad.

    July 15, 2014 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  9. Vaq

    U think Cheney was bad u outta see obama and he's current !!!!not six years ago

    July 15, 2014 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  10. a concerned citizen

    And no bid contracts are what's motivation is now, he simply doesn't care about anything but money, see how worthless your precious children are to him? Its not just him, listen to the gop they want involved everywhere, and we appreciate our president keeping us out of every conflict, too bad he's not heavily invested in military contracts, sorry dick, go home!

    July 15, 2014 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  11. We are watching

    The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has uncovered trillions of taxpayer dollars remain unaccounted for. The Department of Defense has repeatedly received failing grades in federal accounting transparency and accountability. Likewise, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Service, and the IRS also failed the GAO’s assessments.

    In 2003, Inspector General to the Department of Defense revealed that $1 trillion had essentially disappeared along with 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missiles.

    The United States’ ventures in Afghanistan and Iraq have contributed significantly to the trillions of missing and unaccounted for taxpayer dollars. Twenty billion dollars were shipped to help support the reconstruction of Iraq, most of it was never seen again. Waste and fraud on the part of war contractors has cost up to $60 billion in the span of 2002 to 2011. President Bush and Dick Cheney's legacy.

    July 15, 2014 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    Lynn Cheney hit the nail on the head: the protesters outnumbered the people who wanted to hear him speak. Pathetic, but who can blame anyone? Watching a man use his daughter to defend his worthless legacy is distasteful, even for most Republicans. Besides, every time a member of the Cheney family opens their mouths, Obama's approval starts to bounce back, since they are reminded as to why Cheney left office a reviled, shunned figure.

    July 15, 2014 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  13. jim

    4000+ US soldiers died – 100,000+ Iraqis died. Billions added to US deficit –

    America - Was it worth it????

    July 15, 2014 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  14. Paul

    Belongs in the Feltcher Memorial Home for incurable tyrants and wasters of life and limb.

    July 15, 2014 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
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