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September 6th, 2011
04:36 PM ET

BLITZER’S BLOG: Cheney refuses to admit any mistakes as vice president

By CNN's Wolf Blitzer

Los Angeles (CNN) – Former Vice President Dick Cheney refuses to say he made any mistakes at all during his eight years in the Bush administration. He tells me he has no regrets whatsoever.

During our interview, in short, he was vintage Cheney.

He strongly defended his record on every single controversial issue I raised with him: the nearly $1 trillion TARP economic bailout package that the Bush administration pushed through Congress during its final weeks; the decision to invade Iraq even though Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11; the failure to kill Osama bin Laden when he was cornered in Tora Bora shortly after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan; and the failure to take any steps in the summer of 2001 when he and President George W. Bush were warned that al Qaeda was planning to attack Americans in the United States.

I pointed out to the former vice president that everyone makes mistakes, and there’s nothing wrong with admitting mistakes. We are, after all, only human. No one is perfect.

But he refused to budge. “I'm proud of the policies we put in place. I think they did the job we intended for them to do. And I'm not inclined to make any mea culpas,” Cheney said. Just as in his new best-seller “In My Time,” Cheney defended every controversial decision he made.

He acknowledged that the intelligence suggesting that Saddam Hussein had stockpiles filled with weapons of mass destruction was wrong. Still, he defended the decision to invade Iraq and remove Saddam from power. His basic argument: the world is better off without Saddam. When I asked him if he had any regrets in Iraq, he said, “I think we made exactly the right decisions.”

On the economy, I pointed out that the Bush administration inherited a strong economy from the Clinton administration. There were robust budget surpluses for as far as the eye could see. But during the eight years of the Bush administration, those surpluses became deficits. The national debt doubled – going from $5 trillion to $10 trillion. Moreover, the country went into a horrible economic recession in the final months of the Bush administration, teetering on the brink of a depression. Yet Cheney refused to accept any personal responsibility.

The huge budget deficits were largely the result of no significant spending cuts to pay for two wars, two rounds of tax cuts and a new, unfunded Medicare mandate – prescription drug benefits for seniors.

Check out the interview in "The Situation Room" today from 5 to 7 p.m. ET.

RELATED STORY: Cheney: No regrets

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Filed under: Dick Cheney • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (1,095 Responses)
  1. junglejim

    Pathetic , irresponsible and a most unwelcome exception to the usual run of impediments one encounters in life.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:02 am |
  2. Samuel Bogale

    It is simply impossible for for any human not to make mistakes!

    November 21, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
    • cleareye1

      Cheney is the most overrated politician since Dan Quayle, except Quayle was more honest. He would do the country a favor by shutting up for the rest of his life! Sometimes I even feel sorry for Bush for having to deal with the creep for 8 years, sneaking around, pretending he was actually in charge.

      November 22, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  3. Perk

    George Noory Radio show, just last night was in discussion of 911 and Cheney. The author of the book ? Name of the book ? Something Carnage but interesting discussion. Actually, kinda politically spookie list3ening to the author of this book. Says he's got the evidence and documents to back up what he's writing.

    September 22, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  4. Mitchell

    Dick Cheney is a worthless piece of garbage, and belongs on trial for crimes against humanity, not on a book tour hawking a book where he basically says "Yeah, I raped our Constitution by conducting illegal wiretaps on our own citizens, and illegally invaded a country then tortured and killed hundreds of thousands of its innocent men, women and children based upon lies I knowingly told to the American people and the world... SO WHAT?"

    Every day that this miserable excuse for a human being remains free from incarceration is one more day that we as Americans should hide our heads in shame. Much is being made about the hunt for Gaddafi; how about going after war criminals here at home? At least WE KNOW WHERE THEY ARE!!!!!

    September 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  5. Heinz M

    Can't say I am surprised, vintage Cheney. He has a mind like concrete, completely mixed up and permanently set. Wouldn't buy his book if there was NOTHING else to read in the world (and I love to read!).
    What a moron.

    September 7, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  6. Justin

    Im from Iraq and im a cherstian iraqi and if saddam was still in power it wouldiv been better in fact all the stuff he did was good for the country untill now us as chaldean iraqi were dealing with killings terrisom and stuff like that everyday and when he was ruling he kept that down and he supported the cherstian iraqis also so i say i like saddam and i hate how the U.S. just goes there and destroys the country saddam was better for iraq everything people say are wrong about him.

    September 7, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • Cleareye

      Interesting post. Refreshing. However, Saddam was not good for Iraq. Only someone who has been beaten down to almost nothing, and then is given a small reprieve, would think so.

      September 7, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • Joel

      You've been brainwashed

      September 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  7. boyamidumb

    Here is a simple solution.

    Restore the draft and the wars will end quickly.

    September 7, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  8. truth hurts

    I cant wait to hear the news of that SOB' passing. I will get a white tux, white top hat, white shoes and white cane and I will dance on his grave..who with me??

    September 7, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • LJTurner

      Our minister at church last Sunday had a great sermon about how he'd only known of 2 people in his life with a cold heart . . . one was a fictional character, Scrooch, who ultimately redeemed himself. The other was a certain former VP. Cheney still had some work to do. NO, I would not dance at his funeral anymore than I would dance at his daughters funeral (although she's not any better then him . . . pretty much his clone, as a matter of fact, and damn proud of it). The people I feel sorry for are the American Republicans who believe that cruelty is humanitites natural state and life is about kill or be killed. Yes, that's true of barbarians and yes, the Tea Party believes in barbarians more than human dignitiy and respect. We call ourselves "evolved" yet from my perspective we haven't evolved as a species as much as monkies have. Socially, we're much more stupid. Just look at the conservative Supreme Court. Kinda makes you wanna throw up, doesn't it?

      September 7, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
  9. Frank

    Obama's first mistake as president was not having Bush, Cheney, and the mulititude of other Repubs investigated and brought to justice for violating about every law known to man. As a result, they're still out there running their mouths with their nonsense and obstructing progress to keep lining their own pockets.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  10. Mack

    "Oh dear, we've cornered bin Landen? Ooops. Stand down, guys! We still need the bogeyman at large so we have a pretext to continue throwing money at our good buddies in the destruction and construction industries. Don't worry, national bankruptcy is still a long way off".

    September 7, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Marta

      Father forgive them they know not what they do. This relaly relaly relaly applies to our leaders now so can you please hold off on the floods and famines and plagues for a bit till we can do something about these peoplePLLEASE Were sorry we let the enemy in our house in the first place but you know how hard it is to get unwanted guests out. So just give us a bit longer to get your country back. Thank You.AMEN

      July 31, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
  11. Aaron

    A sociopath expressing remorse would make psychiatric history, so Cheney's stance is right in line with accepted norms on sociopathic behavior.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  12. Chris

    "Cheney refuses to admit any mistakes as vice president"
    So he did mean to shoot that guy?

    September 7, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  13. Kansas Cowboy

    Of course he doesn't admit any mistakes. That would require self-reflection, humility and a shred of humanity. Mr. Cheney is not burdened with any of those nuisances.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  14. JanetMermaid

    Of course he's not going to apologize for anything. The man has no ethics, no compassion, no scruples.... no soul.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  15. mdn

    He is right! He doesn't admit mistakes because he meant to do everything he did and he is happy about the outcomes because they are as he intended them to be. He wanted TWO wars. He wanted to KILL the economy. He wanted America to be hated. He wanted to start a religious war. He wanted to weaken Israel. What shuold he be apologizing for? He got what he set out to get.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  16. deaconknowgood

    It never cease to amaze me that Prick Cheney pushes the limits of his defibrillator.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  17. SirG

    Gaddafi, Mubarak, Marcos, Cheney...just a few dictators no longer in power that never felt sorry for what they did.....Cheney tried all he could to have this country ran like a dictatorship, taking unprecedented liberties and actin like he was above the law....Only fools will read, talk less of buy a book by such an evil soul

    September 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  18. codekrash

    Cheney is delusional just like his old boss..

    September 7, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  19. Alison

    Cheney not taking personal responsibility? Well color me shocked.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  20. truth2power

    Cheney is one seriously damaged individual!

    September 7, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  21. Mark

    hmmmm why would he have regrets? His office was convicted of falsifying information (alumninum tubes for Saddams supposed nuclear program) so that the US could justify a war... which eventually was proven to be ultimately based on complete lies (Saddam had WMD programs in use). I KNEW Cheney and Bush were evil when THEY forced out UN inspectors so they could begin their shock and awe campaign. America's reputation literally ripped to shreads and history will always show America started the Iraq war based on false premises and lies. Regrets for the thousands of US soliders that died to rid a country of WMD's that never had them in the first place? Not Cheney!

    September 7, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  22. Bob Dole

    There's no sociopath like a Halliburton sociopath.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  23. Bill Kelly

    I am looking forward to Wolf's interview with Obama when he asks him what kind of ice cream cone he was eating while on vacation in Martha's Vineyard.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • wayne

      hahahaha. do you really believe that the president in this age get's a break? the vacations ended with GW. hahahahahaha. is this Rush?? hahahaha.

      September 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Andrew

      I know, right?

      It's like if you don't start a bunch of wars, wiretap and torture US citizens, run the economy into the ground and then tell everyone to "Go f___ themselves" Wolf just asks you about the good things you've done. It's so unfair.

      Hey Bill, thanks for putting this guy in office. He's a real gem, and you seem like a rocket scientist yourself. Hope that keeps working out for you.

      September 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
      • Thrasybulus

        Where did you hear that US citizens were tortured? Any evidence of this? Of course not. You're ignorant, hateful and misinformed. As for the NSA surveillance program, Patriot Act, Guantanamo Bay, drone strikes and scores of other national security measures, Obama has continued to implement most of them. Guess Bush and Cheney have been vindicated, hah?

        September 7, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • Bob

      Omg good one! Your one of those people that voted for bush twice in row aren't you? Your little minority would vote Bush/Cheney ever election if they could.

      September 7, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Aimer

      I would be really proud of myself for that scintillating bit of commentary.

      Not.

      September 7, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Lean6

      History Channel had a special on the Bin Laden hit. Pretty riveting as a glimpse to see the work that President Obama has been doing for this country. Perhaps you should watch it instead of fairy tales and being a pawn.

      September 7, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • justin

      what kind of ice cream were you eating on your vacation?

      September 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Thrasybulus

      Haha, well put. The double standard is glaring and frankly, deplorable.

      September 7, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  24. Rob

    This is not surprising, so much as it serves to remove any lingering doubts that this man is genuinely evil.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  25. SW

    When our solders are water boarded they can thank Cheney.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • cleareye1

      CIA agent outed too!
      He should have faced a firing squad.

      November 22, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  26. philtration

    What is there to regret?
    All it cost us was thousands of lives, billions of dollars and our credibility around the world.
    Dick and his pals made a ton of money off of the invasion and occupation of Iraq so pop the bubbly and pat yourself on the back.
    Cha-ching!

    It will take years to undo the damage that Bush and Cheney did to this country and others and some of it can never be repaired.
    Thank goodness Bush and Cheney’s kids did not get their legs blown off. Just a few of the lowly peasants suffered and I am sure that they were well taken care of in one of our fine Veterans Hospitals.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Vinod

      So true, our soldiers are dying in Iraq and this guy is enjoying himself here, look at how smug & remorseless he is

      September 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Sandy

      Thank you, philtration!! I agree with everything you said. I'm a Air Force veteran and I manage to get pretty good care from the VA here in San Antonio, Tx, but I have heard of others receiving bad or no care at all. If you tells lies long enough, you too begin to believe them as fact. 8 yrs of LIES!! If just one of them started telling the truth, the walls would start crumbling down and then everyone everywhere would know the truth about the Bush administration. I pray America has learned it's lesson...say NO to Perry!!!!

      September 7, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • pat carr

      So true. And it's just so disgusting that people on here are saying this man "rocks" or he's a "real leader"? One even said he wouldn't mind being his "partner". all this is easy to say if you didn't have to fight in those wars and have 2 arms, 2 legs and your life

      September 7, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Thrasybulus

      Without addressing most of the false propaganda you disseminate, I'll focus on one particularly amusing lie. You claim Cheney made money of the invasion of Iraq. Really? How much money and from whom? If Cheney was in it for the money, why did he agree to run for VP in the first place? Why didn't he just remain the CEO of the great American company Halliburton? Must suck to be called out for ignorance, hah?

      September 7, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  27. How bout now

    Sorry for incorrect spelling here..I cannot afford to go to the eye doctor for new glasses..thanks GOP

    September 7, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  28. MikeInCarolina

    Cheyney is the best example yet of a typical Republican. His life in politics reminds me of that of Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC). No matter how low he stooped, no one in the GOP leadership denounced or distanced themselves from his words or actions. Why not? Because they approved both of their disgraceful acts and positions.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  29. KenX

    If he didn't already feel guilty himself, he would not be writing books and doing interviews to defend himself now.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  30. TheThinker

    "Bush inherited a healthy economy from Clinton? Really? So the fact that the dotcoms burst while Clinton was in office, and a trillion dollars or so of fraud was revealled to have occurred, making pretty much all of the healthy economy a scam that attracted victims to invest in stocks. Add to that the war that was thrust onto Bush and the economy issue is a wash. It makes me LOL that those who complained bitterly about "Bush year deficits" don't say one word about present day deficits.
    Anyone who is blinded by either the right or left is a lemming, pure and simple.

    September 7, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • KenX

      Bush inherited an economic mess after the dotcom crash, but he also inherited a govt budget near solvency. There was light at the end of the tunnel that we could pay off our debt. Bush took us back into the abiss with a massive increase in the size and expense of govt. Obama took that and ran us deep into debt. I dont think the President and Congress need to worry about jobs as much they need to clean up thier own backyard and get spending under control.

      September 7, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Andrew

      Not sure I get your point. You say you're not supporting Dems or Reps but you bring up the dotcoms? That fiasco is long dead and paid for. The Bush/Cheney fiasco – yes, 2 wars unpaid for, a huge expansion of government for medicare, and pointless tax cuts – are still affecting us.

      The dotcoms busted...se fin. But Bush/Cheney's wars still rage. Their tax cuts are still in place. The medicare plan continues to suck money out of your pockets and mine.

      Any other history that you'd like to bring up? Maybe you'd like to complain about FDR's failure to prevent Pearl Harbor? Tell me about how much it cost and all the destroyed lives. It would make a nice story, but it would have no effect on today's policies.

      I'm sorry, I can't absolve you for voting for Bush/Cheney. What you COULD do is start making smart decisions and stop trying to justify your past. Maybe do some "thinking" about the future.

      September 7, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Marc L from NY

      I am also inclined to believe that the Clinton presidency was also an era of major corporations cooking the books and that trickled down from the top, meaning our government did the same, hence a balanced budget with surpluses. Add to the smoke and mirrors that while people say there were no wars during Clinton's presidency, the U.S. was attacked by Al Quaeda three times- first World Trade Center bombing, twin African embassy bombings, and the USS Cole. So I question the relative peace during his presidency at what cost?

      September 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • cleareye1

      No war was "thrust on" Bush. He invited it, actually welcomed it thinking that what he was told was true. He was very easily fooled by just about everybody. We paid the price in lives and trillions of dollars.
      Had Gore been appointed president instead of Bush we would not have today's problems at all.

      November 22, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  31. Jason

    "BLITZER’S BLOG: Cheney refuses to admit any mistakes as vice president"

    Hmmmmmm....going by this "headline" it suggests that Dick Cheney has something to apologize for. What's the deal, Wolf?

    September 7, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Kevin

      Well obviously he should apologize for mistaken decisions that cost American lives. Just one example: he pushed for an invasion of Iraq because of WMD's which did not exist and for which evidence at the time was scanty. But the bigger point is that everyone makes mistakes. It takes a human to err. But it takes a man to admit to it. Why is this point difficult to understand? If a doctor urges for a surgery for which there is inconclusive evidence and the patient later dies. Andthen it later comes out that the surgery wasn't even needed, wouldn't you be upset? Wouldn't you want an apology? Real people died in Iraq. There weren't just names on the web – they had sisters and brothers and children and mothers and fathers ...

      September 7, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
      • Andrew

        Amen Kevin!

        September 7, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
      • pat carr

        well said but probably way too sharp for cheney's "Supporters" here

        September 7, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Aimer

      Unable to read? Unable to process normal thought? Just wondering.

      September 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  32. PaulMc1981

    Cheney's a war-criminal, and needs to be indicted, along with Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Bush, and Rove.

    September 7, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Jason

      Sure...just name the offenses. You seem to be familiar with the laws – just list what war crimes they committed

      September 7, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • 99Eternal

      You said it.

      "He acknowledged that the intelligence suggesting that Saddam Hussein had stockpiles filled with weapons of mass destruction was wrong. Still, he defended the decision to invade Iraq and remove Saddam from power. His basic argument: the world is better off without Saddam. When I asked him if he had any regrets in Iraq, he said, “I think we made exactly the right decisions.”

      1 million murdered INNOCENTS. Women, children. "No regrets"

      This man, along with the other Luciferian members of their New World Order, shouldn't have been put in power in the first place, let alone placed on national news to brag about the war crimes he had a hand in. These war crimes continue today, just under a different puppet, under the name of humanitarian aid, while 40 million americans sit on food stamps, and the ecomomy crumbles (again, thanks Cheney for the bailouts..).

      September 7, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  33. Kevin

    No regrets whatsoever, huh? Tell that to the mothers whose kids carried out Cheney's torture policies and came back home destroyed individuals, and even killed themselves. I just read about it in the book NONE OF US WERE LIKE THIS BEFORE, and was horrified and disgusted. The fact that Cheney is totally dismissive and unrepentant only amplifies that feeling.

    September 7, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Aimer

      "Dismissive" is key here, Keven. Not only is he totally unrepetenant, but his attitude is just as sickening as it ever was – as in his response, while still in office, to his thoughts with regard to the then majority of Americans who were against the Iraq War. He said, "So?" It is this sick, arrogant, let-them-eat-cake mindset that makes this man most despicable and downright evil. That anyone could possibly defend him is just beyond belief.

      September 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
      • Kevin

        I totally agree with you, of course. What's amazing is that there are defenders of Cheney - not just his policies, but his bluster. He might think that taking such an intransigent position is great for preserving his "legacy" (the extent to which there is on), but it is toxic and destructive for future policies. Take torture. Now it's a banner issue for those wanting to the proud conservatives. But it's such a bad, self-destructive practice on so many levels. I could go on and on...

        September 8, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • cleareye1

      All of the Republican candidates should be asked if they support Cheney's views on the war. This time I'd like to know who the criminals are to start with. Cheney was always a slime ball, but Bush started out kind of innocent but fell into the Cheney trap easily, and willingly.

      November 22, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  34. Benjamin Barber

    Afghanistan invasion was just as horrendous as Iraq. The Taliban never attacked us and tried to hand over bin-laden before the attacks. Why all the focus on Iraq?

    September 7, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • graeme

      Oil. Nothing more and nothing less than that.

      September 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
      • cleareye1

        Even that didn't work. At least the ones who lost their lives in this boondoggle were playing a game they chose to be involved with. We owe our kids a better education than what told them they were going to defend America. What a fraud!

        November 22, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • rosestool

      Afganistan invasion was justified and approved by UN Security Counsel as a result of Taliban refusal to surrender Bin Laden and other heads of AlQueda who at the time were proven responsible for 9/11 attack. At the time Taliban had a strong military opposition (formed by mostly Uzbek and Tadjik nationals from the northern afganistan), which with NATO support was able to push Taliban down to Pakistan border and form new government relatively quick. Whether the new governemnt is sufficient or not is a whole different question.
      None of above was true in Iraq compain. Bush & Co met a strong opposition not only in UN but as well from NATO members; France and Germany, yet they decided to go ahead with this war having only a handfull of allies.

      September 7, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
      • cleareye1

        Going after Bin Laden was expected and all agreed on. Unfortunately, Bush let him slip away and redirected the effort against Hussein. MAybe the nation's biggest political blunder in history. We will pay for it for generations.

        November 22, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
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