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Biden v. Cheney

Vice President Biden never looks better than when he's being compared to his predecessor, and I think he knows it.

So rather than duck CNN's questions yesterday about former vice president Dick Cheney's recent provocations, Biden -- like President Obama a few weeks ago -- engaged in a spirited rebuttal.

The Associated Press reports: "Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday his predecessor, Dick Cheney, is 'dead wrong' when he says President Barack Obama's national security policies are making the United States less safe. Biden said the exact opposite is true and added that President George W. Bush's vice president was part of a dysfunctional decision-making system."

Video and transcript after the jump.

From the transcript:

Gloria Borger: "Let's talk about your predecessor for a moment, if I might. Former Vice President Cheney took a big swipe at your foreign policies, this administration's foreign policies. And he told John King of CNN recently that President Obama's actions, all over the world, have made us less safe. Was Dick Cheney out of line?"

Biden: "I don't know if he's out of line, but he was dead wrong. This administration -- the last administration left us in a weaker posture than we have been any time since World War II, less regarded in the world, stretched more thinly than we ever had been in the past, two wars under way, virtually no respect in entire parts of the world.

"And so we have been about the business of repairing and strengthening us. I guarantee you, we are safer today, our interests are more secure today, than they were any time during the eight years -- "

Borger: "So, we're more safe?"

Biden: "We are more safe. We're more secure. Our interests are more secure, not just at home, but around the world. We are rebuilding America's ability to lead.

"I remember President Bush saying to me one time in the Oval Office -- and he was a great guy. I enjoyed being with him. And he said to me, he said, 'Well, Joe,' he said, 'I'm a leader.' And I said, 'Mr. President, turn around and look behind you. No one's following.'

"People are beginning to follow the United States again as a consequence of our administration."

Wolf Blitzer: "What are you doing differently as vice president as compared to Dick Cheney?"

Biden: "Well, I think the biggest thing we're doing is, I'm operating in concert with the president."

"There are not -- there are -- look, everybody talks about how powerful Cheney was. His power weakened America, in my view. Here's what I mean by that. What I mean by that was, there was a divided government. There was Cheney as his own sort of separate national security agency, and then there was the National Security Agency.

"There was [former secretary of state Colin] Powell, who didn't agree with Cheney, and Cheney off with [former defense secretary Donald] Rumsfeld. I mean, there was a divided government, a divided administration. The strength of this administration is that the president and I work in concert."

By Dan Froomkin  |  April 8, 2009; 11:54 AM ET
Categories:  Looking Backward  
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Next: Under New Management


"I remember President Bush saying to me one time in the Oval Office -- and he was a great guy. I enjoyed being with him. And he said to me, he said, 'Well, Joe,' he said, 'I'm a leader.'"


"I'm a leader."

You know, I don't think Bush ever really got over his surprise at being president. So much of what he said, over and over again, during those 8 years, amounted to repeating, over and over again, to himself and whoever he was talking to, that yes, he actually was the president; trying to convince himself and his audience that he was equal to the job; and reminding himself and his audience that he had the power to make decisions.

"I'm a war president." "I'm the decider." "I understand ... [fill in the blank]."

Thank GOD we are done with him.

"And I said, 'Mr. President, turn around and look behind you. No one's following.'"

And bwahahahaha to Joe for saying that to W's face!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: herzliebster | April 8, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I wish that VP Biden had taken (or had been given) the opportunity to explain why former VP Cheney is "dead wrong". So many of Cheney's assertions during the previous two Bush terms were left unchallenged by anyone who could be considered a prominent, influential political or media figure.

The burden of calling Cheney's bluff was left to a handful of persistent journalists who were essentially crying out in the wilderness of public consciousness.

(I am willing to admit that I am old enough to remember Walter Cronkite's commentary in 1968 that Vietnam was a not the optimistic, success-is-around-the corner effort that the public had been led to believe by the Johnson administration, which led Johnson to privately acknowledge that, if he had lost Cronkite, he had lost the nation. Cronkite's opinion convinced Johnson to abandon running for re-election. Where was that courage during the Bush years?).

Posted by: MillPond2 | April 8, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Questions Media Should Ask Joe Biden

Given that Obama has selected Joe Biden to oversee the Stimulus plans implementation and will be charged with calling others integrity as well as judgment into question, here are some that would be meaningful for the press to ask and the electorate to know.
Why, during his 1987 presidential run, did he lie about his grades in law school, recalling inaccurately that he graduated in the in the "top half" of his class when he actually graduated 76th from a class of 85?

Why, in the past has Joe Biden also falsely stated, that he had received a full scholarship, and had earned three degrees when he in fact received two majors and a single BA degree and got a half scholarship based on financial need not academic achievement?

When he was a law student at Syracuse Law School, he had plagiarized a law review article passing it off as part of his course work? How exactly did he convince the then-dean of the law school, as well as Biden's former professor, to not kick him out of school? His excuse was that his act of plagiarism was unintentional due to his not knowing the proper rules of citation, but of course how could that be after 4 years of college prior to going to law school.

Why has Israel's Army radio reported that Senator Joe Biden told Israeli officials that they need to accept the idea Iran will acquire nuclear weapons?

Why does Joe Biden, a past supporter of Israel, now support direct negotiations with Iran despite UN violations as to their nuclear program?

These are very valid questions and they go to the heart of Joe Biden's intelligence, integrity, character as well as his intentions. By the way, here's hoping he makes sure none of the Stimulus gets into the hands of his registered political lobbyist son, Hunter Biden.

Posted by: smokedsalmoned | April 9, 2009 6:29 AM | Report abuse

Since Israel is in violation of a number of UN resolutions and had violated numerous international laws, how come we haven't bombed and invaded them? Since Israel has nuclear weapons and has never signed the nuclear non-poliferation treaty, why are we sending them US arms? Since Biden wet his pants as a baby, why is he even vice-president? BTW, did Biden ever get a DUI or trade Sammy Sosa?

Posted by: dickdata | April 9, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

And what did you expect? Joe Biden is a politican as I'm sure Obama is also. But what I like is both a president and a vice president who is understandable, reasonable and not threatening. And why hasn't Cheney's claims been questioned? The first attack on our soil occurred under the Bush/Cheney Regime. Why hasn't this fact been pointed out? Oh, MSM, never mind.

Posted by: sailorflat | April 9, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Problem with this is Joe NEVER said it except in his dreams. That guy has the biggest imagination. But, I guess you love him for it.

Posted by: tbastian | April 9, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

The Biden nitpicking goes ever on and on.

Look in the mirror smokedsalmoned and tell us you have never got the facts wrong for things that happened many moons ago. Nothing you point out has any significant consequence. It sure is easy to pick a few (hundred) errors out of a few (hundred) thousand statements and call a politician a liar. I am not nearly as old as the Veep and I forget my own history all the time. Sometimes in my forgetting, I have convinced myself that the wrong story was the truth. Am I a pathological liar because of this? R, D, G or I, I am not going to judge a politician because his record shows a 0.1% error rate in reminiscences.

Tell me tbastian, why would you believe the Bush administration's denials that this event ever happened? Their lies, false denials and whitewashes are legion and it seems wise not to trust anything said by a former Bushee. I think they eventually reached the point that it became easier to lie, dissemble, and misdirect than to tell the truth. That is approaching a pathology.

That said, I just don't trust any of America's politicians to be 100% truthful. But the absolute worst are the one's that approach 0%. I don't think Biden falls in the 0% truthful category; but he does shoot his mouth off a little to fast sometimes. Of course, we knew that going into this election and that was not going to change. So sit right back, relax and wait for the next great Bidenism. It'll be a fun ride!

Posted by: mraymond10 | April 9, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

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