ABC News’ Rick Klein Reports: Former vice president Dick Cheney’s nice quiet retirement hasn’t started quite yet.
Just two weeks after leaving office, Cheney has granted his first in-depth interview — and he’s sounding themes are strikingly political, given his former post, and the recent tradition of the outgoing administration giving the new folks some running room.
Cheney tells Politico that there’s a “high probability” that terrorists will attempt a catastrophic attack in the coming years, and said he fears President Obama’s policies will make it more likely the attempt will succeed.
“When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then I worry,” Cheney said, adding that Obama is following “campaign rhetoric” in making good on his promise to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay.
Part of what’s interesting about the interview is that is strongly suggests that Cheney — more than George W. Bush — will be the public voice in defense of the Bush administration’s policies.
Cheney may not be the ideal voice to lead the Republican Party back from the wilderness. But he sure knows how to make headlines.
On the stimulus bill: “It looks to me like there’s a lot of stuff in there that has nothing to do with stimulus — it’s a sort of a wish list of a lot of my congressional Democratic friends,” Cheney said.
And on the tax problems facing a series of Obama nominees: “I look at that, and I see [campaign] issues building for Republicans the next time around. . . . I’d start to worry about it if I were a Democrat. There’s nothing more dangerous, politically, than hypocrisy. At some point, here, we’re going to get critical mass.”