Dick Cheney: No Decision on Heart Transplant

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The former vice president said he did not think that it will be easy to take a political system that was "designed for political combat … between the parties, between ideas, between principles and set that aside.

"I wouldn't want to do that. That's the heart and soul of our political system. And that's basically a good thing," he said.

Cheney had positive words for Obama's handling of the Tucson shooting. "I'm not an Obama supporter by nature but I thought this was one of his better efforts," he said.

Cheney Defers On Palin's Presidential Qualifications

Cheney would not weigh in on Palin's qualifications to be president but did say he enjoys her reality show about life in Alaska.

"I'm interested in Gov Palin like a lot of people are. I've met her. I thought she's got an interesting political career established," he said. "She's clearly a factor within the Republican Party, has a strong following, also has a lot of critics"

But when asked if Palin was qualified to be president, Cheney demurred.

"I'm not going to get in the business…of saying this one is, this one isn't," he told NBC. "There'll be ample time for that in the months ahead and I'll be happy to participate in that process when the time's right."

Cheney's Memoir and His Relationship With George W. Bush

Asked if he was settling scores in his upcoming memoir, Cheney said that he has a sense that he will get in the last word. The former vice president said he will address his relationship with President George W. Bush in the book that comes out in September. "We had some policy differences and I'll be forthright with my comments on those," he said.

Cheney told NBC that his push to get Bush to pardon his friend and former chief of staff Scooter Libby strained his relationship with the president "a bit," but said that he thinks their relationship now is "pretty good."

Cheney reiterated that he went to Bush three times in the lead up to the 2004 election and offered to drop off the ticket. "The reason I did it was I thought he needed to have the ability to do whatever was necessary -- to make sure he won," he said.

But he said that after the third time, Bush thought about it for several weeks and came back to him and said "No Dick, you're my guy."

Cheney Suffered First Heart Attack at 37

After a lengthy recovery period following the heart surgery last summer, Cheney began to quietly and slowly reemerge in public. He attended several holiday cocktail parties last month and later this week will attend an event marking the 20th anniversary of the Persian Gulf War.

Cheney had a heart pump implanted in his chest. He underwent the procedure in July after it became clear, he said at the time, that he was "entering a new phase of the disease" when he began to "experience increasing congestive heart failure."

The LVAD is implanted next to the heart to help its main pumping chamber, the left ventricle, pump blood through the body. Such devices are used mainly for short periods, to buy potential transplant candidates time as they await a donor organ.

Cardiologists said that in Cheney's case, the pump was likely a bridge that would keep him alive until he could receive a heart transplant. Many cardiac experts said at the time of his surgery that Cheney may be only one step away from a transplant but could find himself on a wait list for "months or years."

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