Entries in Dick Cheney (25)


Cheney: Edward Snowden May Be Spying for Chinese Government

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former Vice President Dick Cheney called NSA leaker Edward Snowden a “traitor,” during an appearance on Fox News Sunday this weekend, and warned that he may be spying for the Chinese government.

“I think he's a traitor,” the former vice president said. “I think he has committed crimes in effect by violating agreements given the position he had.”

Cheney, who defended the NSA’s domestic spying program, said the leak was one of the worst in recent memory, and did serious damage to the national security interests of the United States. He expressed concern over the fact that Snowden fled to China of all places.

“I'm deeply suspicious obviously because he went to China, that's not a place where you ordinarily want to go if you're interested in freedom and liberty and so forth,” Cheney said.

“I am very, very worried that he still has additional information that he hasn't released yet, that the Chinese would welcome the opportunity and probably willing to provide immunity for him or sanctuary for him, if you will, in exchange for what he presumably knows or doesn't know,” he continued.

“I don't think this is just a one-off disclosure. I think there's a real danger here that he'll go beyond that.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Dick Cheney Unconcerned with Critics in New Documentary

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In The World According to Dick Cheney, a new documentary by R.J. Cutler, former Vice President Dick Cheney is unrepentant, and says that he doesn’t care about what critics think of him.

The documentary, which premiers March 15 on Showtime, gives a rare and in-depth look at one of the most influential politicians in recent years.

“I don’t lay awake at night thinking ‘gee, what are they going to say about me now?’” Cheney remarks in the upcoming film.

“He does say a lot that he’s not interested in what people think about him, but it’s hard to imagine that he’s not invested in what his legacy is,” Cutler said in an interview with ABC’s This Week.  “He is a significant figure of American history.”

“He does not feel there is room for compromise,” Cutler said. “I think it raises the question, when total conviction serves a democracy and when it can be problematic for democracy.”

Though the planning stages of the documentary and interviews were slow, Cutler got perhaps unprecedented access to the vice president and his way of thinking over the course of several interviews. Cutler even accompanied him on a fishing trip.

Culter told This Week that he had to go into the interviews with a totally open mind.

“You need to enter most of all with curiosity,” Cutler said. “Not with expectations, not with preconceived notions, but with questions.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Will Paul Ryan Release His Tax Returns?

(NEW YORK) -- As a candidate for Congress, Paul Ryan has released financial disclosure forms for years, but he has never released his tax returns.

We know that Ryan turned over “several years” of tax returns to the Romney campaign during the vice presidential vetting process.  We have asked the Romney campaign if any of those returns will be made public.  No answer yet.

As a reminder:  Dick Cheney released 10 years of returns after he was named George W. Bush’s running mate in 2000.  Sarah Palin released two years when she was added to the John McCain ticket in 2008.

The level of disclosure for the vice presidential candidate is normally set by the presidential candidate. Cheney recently told ABC News that Romney has released enough tax returns. But he also explained why he released a decade of his own as a running mate.

“I did what [Bush] did.  In other words, you weren’t going to have the presidential candidate do 10 years and the vice-presidential candidate not do that,” he said.

An assessment of Ryan’s congressional financial disclosures by the Los Angeles Times pegs his wealth at between $2 million and $7.7 million with income from his congressional salary and an inherited trust in the name of his wife.

Democrats have criticized Mitt Romney for not releasing more than one year of tax returns. Romney has also released preliminary returns for 2011. He has promised to release the final return when it is completed.

The Obama campaign and other Democrats have argued that Romney should release more years of his returns, like President Obama did as a candidate. But Romney has said he will not; Democrats, he said, will never be satisfied with how many years he releases and just want to use the information to highlight Romney’s wealth.

“If he had two years out, they’d want four,” Cheney told me, defending Romney. “If he had four years out, they’d want six.  If he had six years out, they’d want 10.  He’s made his judgment.  I’m confident — I have great confidence in what he’s put out there.  He’s been a very successful man.  And there’s no evidence of any kind that he’s done anything improper or inappropriate.”

As a vice presidential candidate, then-Sen. Joe Biden released 10 years of tax returns in September 2008 following the Democratic National Convention. He has released his returns every year since.

Candidate Barack Obama released eight years of tax returns before the election: seven years’ worth in March 2008, and his ’07 return in April 2008. He has released his returns every year since.

Both Obama and Biden have posted their tax returns dating back to 2000 on the campaign’s website here.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Dick Cheney Seeks to Clarify Sarah Palin ‘Mistake’ Remark

ABC/Taylor Glenn(WASHINGTON) -- In an interview that aired Monday night on Fox News, former Vice President Dick Cheney tried to clarify what he told ABC News 10 days ago about Sarah Palin.

In that interview, Cheney said John McCain’s decision to pick Palin as his running mate was “a mistake” because, he said, Palin did not pass the test of being ready to be president.

“I like Governor Palin.  I’ve met her.  I know her.  She is an attractive candidate.  But based on her background -- she’d only been governor for, what, two years -- I don’t think she passed that test,” Cheney told ABC News Senior Political Correspondent Jonathan Karl.

“Of being ready?” Karl asked.

“Of being ready to take over," Cheney replied.  "And I think that was a mistake.”

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Now, Cheney tells Sean Hannity he was talking about the “process” McCain went through in choosing a running mate.

“It wasn’t aimed so much at Gov. Palin as it was against the basic process that McCain used,” Cheney said.  “My point basically dealt with the process in terms of that basic requirement, is this person prepared to step in to be president of the United States when they’re picked?  And it was my judgment -- I was asked if I thought the McCain process in ’08 had been well done or was it a mistake, and I said I thought it was a mistake.  That’s not…meant so much as a criticism of Gov. Palin as it is that I just thought it was not -- the process didn’t meet the standards I would like to see our candidate pursue when they pick a -- a running mate.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Cheney to Skip Republican Convention

ABC/Taylor Glenn(WASHINGTON) -- Dick Cheney has plans for the end of August, but those plans don’t include going to the Republican convention in Tampa.

In fact, while his party gathers to formally nominate Mitt Romney for president, Cheney will be out of the country. He tells ABC News’ Jonathan Karl he is going fishing – in Canada.

“I've got a fishing trip planned that week,” Cheney said.  “I've done a lot of conventions over the years, and -- but this is a special trip I've been planning on for a long time.”

Cheney, an avid fly fisherman, has been a fixture at Republican conventions since the 1970s, but this won’t be the first one he’s skipped.  He didn’t go to the 2008 convention in St. Paul, Minnesota either.  

Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush have also indicated they won’t be attending this year’s convention.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


McCain on Cheney's 'Mistake' Comment: 'I’m Proud of Sarah Palin'

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Dick Cheney’s remark to ABC’s Jonathan Karl that John McCain’s 2008 selection of a running mate was a mistake has drawn the rebuke of his daughter.

“Rarely do I disagree with best VP ever but @SarahPalinUSA more qualified than Obama and Biden combined. Huge respect 4 all she’s done 4 GOP,” tweeted Liz Cheney, a conservative commentator.

McCain was a little more pointed in his response to Cheney Monday morning on Fox News.  He said he respects the former vice president, but pointed to their disagreements over the years, particularly on the subject of torture.

“I’m always glad to get comments four years later,” said McCain with a chuckle. “I respect the vice president.  He and I had strong disagreements as to whether we should torture people or not.  I don’t believe we should have. The fact is I’m proud of Sarah Palin. I’m proud of the job she did. I’m proud of the job she continues to do.  Everybody has their own views and I respect those views.  But I’m proud of what we did.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Dick Cheney Recalls Knowing His Heart Was ‘At an End’

ABC/Taylor Glenn(WASHINGTON) -- With a new heart, Dick Cheney is back. In an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, the former vice president reflects on his heart transplant and shows he is as confrontational as ever, taking on President Obama and even Sarah Palin.

Cheney, 71, details how far back he has come.  He remembers waking from weeks of heavy sedation after having a pump installed in his heart in 2010, a grueling operation that left him seeing his own mortality in the mirror.

“Two years ago this time I was on a respirator, heavily sedated.  Just had a pump… installed on my heart because my heart had gotten so weak after six heart attacks and 30-some years of heart disease that it was, you know, it was at the end,” he said.

“I lost 40 pounds.  I was heavily sedated in the intensive care unit for weeks afterwards.  I had pneumonia while I was in recovering from the surgery.  And by the time I came out from under I looked in a mirror and what I saw was my dad shortly before he died.  He was in his 80s,” Cheney said.

That is why Cheney, in his first interview since his heart transplant four months ago, calls his recovery “nothing short of a miracle.”

“I haven’t felt this good in years,” he said.

Cheney doesn’t know who gave him his new heart because protocol is to maintain anonymity, but the former vice president said there is a program that allows an intermediary to reach out to the donor family to see if they want contact with the recipient.

“At some point I would be, you know, certainly amenable to contact with the family.  But we have not at this point exchanged any information,” he said.

If contact was made, Cheney said he would “express my gratitude for what’s a magnificent gift.  I can’t think of a more magnificent gift than to be given additional years of life.”

Healthy again, Cheney has resumed his love of fishing and his frank evaluations of politicians, including himself.

Cheney left office as one of the most unpopular vice presidents in the country’s history, but the man known for his defiance of public opinion is vintage Cheney.

“I’m very comfortable with what I did, and why I did it, and how I did it,” he said.

When asked if he had any regrets, Cheney replied, “Not really.”

The former VP did not spare his fellow Republicans in the interview, calling Sen. John McCain’s selection of Palin as his vice president running mate a “mistake.”  Cheney said Palin had been governor of Alaska for two years at the time and “did not pass the test” of being ready to be president.

His harshest criticism, however, was for Obama.

“I obviously am not a big fan of President Obama.  I think he’s been one of our weakest presidents.  I just fundamentally disagree with him philosophically.  I’d be hard put to find any Democratic president that I’ve disagreed with more,” he said.

When asked if he thought Obama was “worse than Jimmy Carter,” Cheney replied, “Yes.”

Cheney gave Obama credit for killing al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, but added that “a lot of that intelligence that laid the groundwork for what ultimately led to the capture of Bin Laden [was] as a result of programs we had in place in the Bush administration.”

He was sharply critical, however, of Obama’s plans to withdraw troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We should not be running for the exits.  We should not be turning our backs on our friends in that part of the world,” Cheney said.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Dick Cheney Says Romney Best Suited to Handle 9/11-Like Attack

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WILSON, Wyo.) -- Former Vice President Dick Cheney sought to bolster Mitt Romney’s foreign policy credibility Thursday evening during a high-dollar fundraiser at which he said the presumptive GOP nominee would be best suited to handle a terrorist attack as severe as 9/11.

“There is one other credential that I care a lot about, and I have learned over the years in all those administrations that there is always, sooner or later, a crisis that’s totally unanticipated,” said Cheney.  “You can’t plan on it.  You don’t know what it’s going to be.  You go through the campaigns and study the history books and talk to the experts.  Sooner or later, there is going to be a big surprise -- usually a very unpleasant one.”

Cheney said that when he thinks about the kind of leader he wants to handle “life-and-death” decisions in that sort of situation, he thinks of Romney.

“Whether its 9/11 or the other kinds of difficulties or crises that arrive, they always do,” said Cheney.  “And that’s when you really find out what kind of leader your president is.  And I’m convinced that, in addition to all of these other qualifications that you all know about, when I think about the kind of individual I want in the Oval Office in that moment of crisis who has to make those key decisions, some of them life-and-death decisions, some of them decisions as the commander-in-chief who has the responsibility of sending our young men and women into harm’s way -- that man is Mitt Romney.”

The fundraiser, which was expected to raise more than $4 million, was co-hosted by Cheney and his wife, Lynne, who hosted a more exclusive dinner for the highest-dollar donors later in the evening at their nearby home.

Held at a country club in Wyoming where attendees were ushered between events in golf carts in the shadows of the Teton Mountains, Cheney’s remarks came just more than a week before Romney will set off on the first foreign trip of his candidacy.

This is the first event at which Cheney and Romney have appeared together, and it was closed to television cameras.

During the event, Romney did not mention Bain Capital on a day that political news was dominated by questions regarding when exactly he left the private equity firm and whether that date was accurately reported.  He instead mocked President Obama for saying that his biggest mistake during his presidency was not telling more stories about his vision for America.

“He was asked what his biggest mistake was in his three-and-a-half years.  I have a long list for him,” said Romney, referring to an interview Obama did on Thursday with CBS News’ Charlie Rose.  “I mean, I just went through a few related to his domestic policy, but his foreign policy mistakes may be even longer lasting in their negative impact on the country."

“What was his answer as to his biggest mistake?  Not telling stories to the American people about his vision,” said Romney.  “That was his biggest mistake.  Oh really?  Really?  Look, look, he’s out of touch, he’s out of excuses, he’s out of ideas and we’ve got to make sure in November we put him out of office.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney, Supporters Headed to Fundraiser at Cheney’s Wyoming Retreat

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Mitt Romney is heading to Jackson Hole, Wyo., on Thursday for a fundraiser hosted by a former VP, Dick Cheney (and wife Lynn). It’s the first time Gov. Romney and the former vice president will appear together in public.

Like any fundraiser, there are different levels for donors and therefore access to the presumptive GOP nominee, as well as Cheney. The main event is at the beautiful Teton Pines Country Club, with its sweeping views of the Teton Mountains. The minimum donation for the general reception is $2,500 per person. For those who donate $50,000 or $100,000 per couple, they will not only get to have dinner with Cheney and Romney but are also invited to the host committee reception and will become a Founding Member of Romney Victory. For $5,000 each, an attendee is invited to a photo reception with the two. For those who’d like dinner, that’s $30,000 apiece, $60,000 per couple.

The Cheneys aren’t the only hosts: Cheney friends Dick and Maggie Scarlett and Allan and Frances Tessler. Dick Scarlett is chairman and CEO of United Bancorporation of Wyoming. Allan Tessler is the former CEO of Data Broadcasting Corporation as well as a venture capitalist. Cheney’s daughter Liz will also attend, as will Bob Grady, a venture capitalist and investment banker based in Jackson Hole.

Other notable attendees are Lynn Friess and Steve Friess, wife and son of former mutual fund manager Foster Friess, who bankrolled Rick Santorum’s superPAC during the primary, The Red, White, and Blue Fund. Despite being a Jackson Hole resident, the Friesses are not hosting the event and Foster cannot attend because he’s traveling to the East Coast, according to his spokesperson Matthew Taylor.

This should not be interpreted as not supporting the presumptive GOP nominee, though.  Taylor said the Friesses have maxed out the federal election contribution amount to the joint Romney-RNC Victory Fund, $75,000 each. That’s not all: Taylor also told ABC News Friess made a six-figure contribution to the pro-Romney superPAC Restore our Future last month. Taylor would not narrow down the amount from six figures. The Federal Election Committee filing will reveal the full amount later this month.

The Romney campaign beat the Obama campaign in fundraising for the second month in a row last month, besting them by $35 million. Romney raised $106 million in June to Obama’s $71 million; Obama has had a schedule filled with fundraisers as well as the countdown to November continues.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Dick Cheney to Host Romney at Wyoming Fundraiser

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Mitt Romney is heading to Jackson Hole, Wyo., on Thursday for another high-dollar fundraiser.  But this isn’t just with Wall Street executives or those vying to be his running mate.

Instead, the fundraiser will be hosted by former Vice President Dick Cheney, and those coughing up $30,000 each to dine with Cheney and his wife, Lynn, at their Jackson Hole residence, according to the invitation.

The event is also hosted by Cheney's friends Dick and Maggie Scarlett, and Allan and Frances Tessler.  Dick Scarlett is chairman and CEO of United Bancorporation of Wyoming.  Allan Tessler is the former CEO of Data Broadcasting Corporation as well as a venture capitalist.  Cheney’s daughter Liz will also attend.

Sources familiar with the planning of the event said they originally expected 50 couples, but now have about 230 couples attending.  Although the fundraiser is completely different from Romney’s Utah confab earlier this month, this event is also attracting donors from all over the country who want to make a trip out of it.  The Grand Teton Music Festival, a classical music festival, is also going on in Jackson Hole.

Like most Romney and Republican National Committee joint fundraisers, there are different levels for donors and therefore access to the presumptive GOP nominee, as well as Cheney.  The main event is at the Teton Pines Country Club.  The minimum donation for the general reception is $2,500 per person.

For those who donate $50,000 or $100,000 per couple, they will not only get to have dinner with Cheney and Romney but will also be invited to the host committee reception and will become a Founding Member of Romney Victory.  For $5,000 each, an attendee is invited to a photo reception with the two.

Romney has not appeared in public with Cheney during the campaign nor with President George W. Bush.  He did meet with President H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush in Houston in March, and Mrs. Bush even recorded robo-calls for Romney during the primary.

Another notable attendee is Lynn Friess, wife of former mutual fund manager Foster Friess, who bankrolled Rick Santorum’s superPAC during the primary, The Red, White, and Blue Fund.  Despite being a Jackson Hole resident, the Friesses are not hosting the event and Foster cannot attend because he’s traveling to the East Coast, according to his spokesperson.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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