Transcript of Cheney Interview

CHENEY We still have sufficient concerns about the threat to the United States that it's very important that we continue to be cautious and exercise due regard for the succession of the presidency. The Ramadan, for example, is a period that we're in the midst of right now, that has special significance in the Muslim world.

SAWYER Do you envision it for the rest of the presidency?

CHENEY I can't predict that. I didn't envision Sept. 11. We do know that Osama bin Laden and his organization have sought to acquire nuclear weapons, that they were trying to acquire biological and chemical weapons. We know that they have already launched very serious attacks against the United States and may well do so again. It's entirely possible, assuming we're successful at getting bin Laden, that the al Qaeda network, an organization would still be in place. They're in some 50 or 60 countries around the world. And it may be some considerable period of time here before we can relax and say that there's no longer a threat to the United States.

SAWYER Well, I'm going to sit this down in just a minute, but I've got to ask, do you watch Saturday Night Live?

CHENEY I do.

SAWYER Do you really?

CHENEY I &L#051; but actually what happens is I usually fall asleep before it comes on, because I tend up early and go to bed early, but —

SAWYER Do you have a favorite?

CHENEY I loved the one where I was in the cave in Kandahar, Afghanistan. I thought that was superb. I enjoyed the show very much, and he's got it down. He's doing pretty well. He's not there yet, but he's doing well in terms of his impersonations.

SAWYER You mean the bionic heart, the whole thing?

CHENEY The bionic heart, the coffee maker and where he was in effect a one-man Afghani wrecking crew, as I recall. I thought it was pretty good.

SAWYER And speaking of hearts, how are you feeling?

CHENEY Good.

SAWYER And do people — does your staff bring you the Cheney jokes of the day?

CHENEY And if they don't, my daughters do.

SAWYER Do they really?

CHENEY Sure.

SAWYER Do you have a personal favorite?

CHENEY Well, the tape of the Saturday Night Live.

SAWYER Is there another just joke that you —

CHENEY That's the main one that comes to mind. I think there's a bunch.

SAWYER Saddam. As we know, the president just said basically that there will be consequences if he does not let the United Nations, the UNSCOM group in to inspect. His answer is we will not permit it. Going on, an Iraqi spokesman said anyone who thinks Iraq can accept an, an arrogant and unilateral will of this party or that is mistaken. So the lines have been drawn, and the Germans, at the very least, have said wait a minute, don't go there, and the exact quote I believe for the foreign minister is: "All European nations would view a widening of the conflict with greater skepticism and that's putting it diplomatically." My question is will the United States go in and blast Saddam Hussein if he does not let inspection groups in, and will we do it alone, and so what is the rest of the allies say no?

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