Transcript of Cheney Interview

CHENEY Absolutely. Think about the visa thing now. All of the terrorists who attacked us on Sept. 11 came in on visas. They all entered the country legally. Three of them had overstayed their visas, were in violation at the time of the attack, but we've been a very generous and very open society, and we need to look at our visa system, in terms of seeing whether or not there are things there we can do to tighten up, to make it impossible for terrorists to do to us what they did on Sept. 11. I'm a little bit concerned here that what happens is we get farther and farther away from Sept. 11, people forget the horror of what occurred on that day, forget the thousands of men and women and children who, innocent Americans, who were killed and slaughtered by these individuals who came to this country with one specific purpose in mind, and that was to kill Americans, and we have to guard against that. This is a set of circumstances unlike any we've ever faced. There are historical analogies in terms of the authority the president is wielding here, but it is perfectly consistent with past practices. It has been approved by the Supreme Court. There is every reason in the world why this is an appropriate way to go to deal with the unique circumstances we now find ourselves faced with. These people are not going to be mistreated. They are going to be treated like the unlawful combatants that they are.

SAWYER You have worked with President Bush, father and son. Give me one difference in the two of them in wartime.

CHENEY One difference of the two of them in wartime. Well, they're each … they're very much separate individuals in terms of, I suppose I work with them so closely that I see enormous differences, and just in terms of their, they are very much different kinds of individuals.

SAWYER What's the big difference?

CHENEY Well, President Bush that I work with now is very much … he's very orderly and organized in terms of the way he goes about things. He thinks in terms of tasks and assignments, and I suppose it's partly it's his business school training and background.

SAWYER And the former president?

CHENEY I think of Number 41, as we referred to him, the former president was more oriented toward personalities, for example. He knew all of these people he dealt with around the world, met them when he was ambassador to the United Nations, or when he was representative in China or when he was vice president. So he tended to think of personal relationships and grab the telephone and deal with these individuals. This is just a different style of operation. They both did the other thing. President Bush today is very good and spends a lot of time on the phone with the leaders, other world leaders, a great relationship that he's developed, for example, with President Putin. But he tends to function more as a manager, as an executive, and his father I think was somebody who had these great set of relationships around the world, and they both were very effective in their own way.

SAWYER President Bush has now said that when he said wanted dead or alive, Mrs. Bush not only winced, but basically went up to him and said, "Bushie, are you going to get him?" And backed him off. Did you wince?

CHENEY No, I didn't wince. I think that was appropriate.

SAWYER Has Mrs. Cheney ever came up to you — yes?

CHENEY She has.

SAWYER And what does she say? What did she come up to you —

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