Transcript of Cheney Interview

CHENEY I think, based on the economists I talk with, you have to recognize the source of the information, but we fully expect to recover next year. We had a slowdown of again about a year ago, last September of 2000, that tipped over into a recession in March of this year, now, according to the experts and was dealt a severe blow by the events of Sept. 11. But I think we are on the way to recovery. We're beginning to see signs of that. The unemployment claims and so forth have dropped off, our first week unemployment claims. There's some anecdotal evidence out there that things are beginning to turn around. But I think the stimulus package is essential. What the president has asked for is the kind of relief that will stimulate investment, and growth, and the creation of new jobs, and we think that's vital. We need to take care of those people who have been laid off through unemployment compensation, perhaps extending, adding additional weeks during which they can draw benefits and doing some of those things as well too. But I'm confident the U.S. economy is the strongest in the world. It's a remarkable, resilient entity, and we are going to do very, very well in the future, but we've got to get through these next few months, and the best way to do that is with the stimulus package the president has asked for, and the House has passed. Congress needs to act. There is work under way between the Senate and the House leadership. The president and I had breakfast with some of the members yesterday, and hopefully they can get a process put in place that will give[?] us results[?].

SAWYER Do you want to light a fire under them? Are you frustrated?

CHENEY I am, but I'm also — I've learned over the years that in the midst of delicate negotiations, probably not a good time to strike a match.

SAWYER And are you willing to leave the second, third leadership behind? Are you willing to leave Armey and DeLay behind if they stick to the corporate tax cut that the president wants?

CHENEY They'll be very much a part of the discussions and negotiations. I think the bill that the House passed is a pretty good bill. It's embodied a lot of what we asked for, and I think, in the end, if it's going to fly, it's going to require a coming together of both House and Senate, both parties' leadership on both sides if we're going to get a good bill.

SAWYER I know I have to let you go, but I've got one question that occurred to me. It's such a silly question, but I'm going to ask it anyway. So Mrs. Bush calls him "Bushie." Is she the only one who calls him Bushie? Just checking.

CHENEY She is the only one who would, would use that term. I've never heard it used by anybody else, and I think for good reason. The president responds very favorably when Laura refers to him in those terms, but the rest of us would not use that phrase, I don't believe.

SAWYER And what does Mrs. Cheney call you?

CHENEY I'll never tell.

SAWYER Fair enough. As we head into the Christmas season, just thinking about you and Christmas, is there a song, carol you love the most? Is there something that most means Christmas to you?

CHENEY When I think of Christmas, I think of home, in Wyoming, the mountains, a family practice for years that we go to Jackson Hole where we have a home, and the family comes together. We ski, we spend several days together, and that's — it's the Wyoming Christmas I guess that's always foremost in my mind when I think about that time of year.

SAWYER Dreaming of the horizon way out there.

CHENEY Well, the mountains. We're at the foot of the Tetons, and it's the prettiest valley in the world, and we get to spend Christmas there, so that's always a very special time for the family.

SAWYER Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

CHENEY Thank you, Diane.

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