Friday, May 22, 2009

Cheney... LOVE HIM

May 22 (Bloomberg) -- Former Vice President Dick Cheney accomplished something yesterday that Republicans have seldom been able to do: directly challenge President Barack Obama in real time on a major policy issue.

In a nationally televised speech delivered just minutes after Obama had spoken on how to protect the U.S. against terrorism, Cheney defended the decisions he and former President George W. Bush made after the Sept. 11 attacks, including using harsh interrogation methods on terror suspects.

While Republican leaders have largely avoided direct attacks on Obama and focused instead on Democratic congressional leaders, Cheney, 68, has taken the opposite tack. Republican lawmakers and strategists said he was able to raise the intensity of the criticism yesterday because, unlike other party members, he isn’t worried about damaging any future political ambitions by taking on a popular president.

Cheney “might not have the highest favorability ratings, but on this issue, I think he’s viewed by people across the country as being very credible and very knowledgeable,” said Senator John Thune, a South Dakota Republican. “What he says carries a lot of weight.”

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