Vice President Dick Cheney landed a major zinger on a CNN reporter this weekend. He was at an event with Obama’s former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. They were talking with CNN reporter Barbara Starr about national security and foreign policy.
From the discussion on Saturday:
DICK CHENEY: One of the most important things [President-elect Trump] can do is exactly the opposite of what his predecessor did. With respect to Iran and nuclear weapons, and don’t make the mistakes that the situation he is inheriting from the Obama administration represented. With respect to our status in the world, the capabilities of our forces, the belief on the part of I believe many of our friends and allies that they can no longer trust the United States or count on our guarantees. I think we need to do major progress and reverse the Obama policies and not that’s not a place for President Trump to start.
BARBARA STARR, CNN: But Secretary Cheney, Mr. Vice President, you are someone who has a long history of being very precise in your words, in your thinking and your analysis. I’m not aware of anytime you ever said anything very casually.
CHENEY: Oh, now, Barbara.
STARR: At least that I can’t recall. I heard that Air Force general that you fired. Um, that’s another story we’ll get to later.
So, c’mon, let’s hear it. What are you — what is your, you know, you hear this casual language. And when I say that don’t go out tweeting that I am anti-this or anti-that. The language of tweets is not necessarily as nuanced and contextual as U.S. foreign policy is. I think that is something that we can all agree on. So when you see this, seriously, what concerns does it cause you? If you were sitting with him and could give him some advice about all of this — about language, about meaning of words — what would you say? What would your advice be?
CHENEY: Well, I, first of all, am not sitting with him.
STARR: Would you if asked?
CHENEY: Would if I asked?
STARR: Would you?
CHENEY: Certainly, if the President of the United States asks for advice. I would have been happy to advise Barack Obama but he never asked me.
STARR: So, again, language and words.
STARR: You see, the man never says anything casual.
CHENEY: I think he needs to be careful but he’ll learn as he goes along. I think he is putting some brains and good people with him. I am a big fan of Mike Pence. I know Mike well from his 12 years in the House and I think he’s a great choice as Vice President. He’s going to play a major role. I think Mr. Trump is taking very, very seriously the job that he has gotten now. Staffing up the administration.
I think one of the reasons people get so concerned about the tweets is it is sort of a way around the press. He doesn’t have to rely upon, uh, rely upon — this is the modern era, modern technology. He’s at the point where we don’t need you guys anymore.
CHENEY: I apologize.
This video is cued to start at the exact right moment, so just push play: