Dick Cheney: Palin VP Pick Was 'A Mistake'

The former vice president's advice on Mitt Romney's VP search.
4:22 | 07/29/12

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Transcript for Dick Cheney: Palin VP Pick Was 'A Mistake'
And we're joined now by Jonathan Powell who has a preview of an ABC news exclusive -- good morning John good morning Matthew like just got back from Jackson Hole right sat down with former Vice President Dick Cheney. For his first interview since he underwent heart transplant surgery in March. And take a look right here that's Cheney before the surgery on the left and during our interview on the right. You can see what a difference a new heart has made for the former vice president's health. In our interview Cheney opened up about the surgery. It's about life after politics but his comments about selecting a vice president and John McCain giving the -- to -- -- in four years ago were particularly enlightening. -- how important is. For him do this in ways different ways to McCain and his. Pretty important. That -- I don't think was well handled. And I sort of think of it as. There are there to list. There's the big list that's got a lot of folks -- actually when I was doing it. Four. -- it did it for four and 76 and again. George W. Bush in 2000. I had a couple calls from prominent politicians say you know it really helped him -- speckled. So quit. Here on the list. -- but he could only the fact that they were on the list but. That was that list was easy to get on the list the tough part is that small list of one it's really -- consideration. And the -- to -- -- -- smallest chastity. Is this person capable of the interest the United States and that's usually very very short -- What are the other considerations -- neighboring states. You know can you. You reach to specific demographic woman's. Those are important issues but they should never be allowed to override that first. Proposition. And I think that that that was one of the problems McCain had. I like. Governor Palin. -- -- or. Should attractive candidate but based on her background should -- -- governor two years. I don't think she passed that test and being ready -- -- and ready to take over. And done I think that was a mistake. War with -- president Cheney -- to GMA world news and Nightline tomorrow. John fascinating interview he's -- -- take some heat for the Sarah Palin comment. Rather frank throughout to -- this what we can expect -- -- going forward no question Cheney is back he feels much better he says he hasn't felt this good for years. And he is certainly not holding back you'll hear -- about Obama. Some of his harshest criticism yet tomorrow. We're down to the wire now for Mitt -- selection are needed selection of vice presidential running mate where we stand and we learned anything new. Well -- it's hard to say exactly where we are -- here's my top here and I think this is likely wary -- the pick from. -- from -- Rob Portman of Ohio of course Tim Pawlenty. Of Minnesota but take a look at my third person in that list Paul Ryan. I believe that most people looking at this have been underestimating the chance that Paul Ryan could be the pick. You know the Ryan budget will be attacked immediately by Democrats of course but the attitude up in Boston I'm told within Romney's inner circle. Is they believe that they're getting an attack that anyway and it Paul Ryan is the person who can best. Fight against those attacks Romney really likes Ryan I think there's a good chance -- they've kept their cards exceedingly close to the past with a few weeks or no leaks that -- What do we think the timing is going to be there were some sense it was going to be before the Olympics obviously now we move forward the time. Well I can tell you this Matthews -- some of the people on the list so when people under consideration. Have been told to be ready as soon as. A Romney comes back from this international trip doesn't mean -- -- the -- come immediately when he comes back but they -- in standby -- I think this is gonna come. A considerably -- so we've seen this before the -- question do you think they've already sort of got staff in place so that whenever that picks made. It's going to be -- hit the ground running they had they they certainly have staff in place and they are ready to go. And I can tell you that those that. Think that they have a chance of of being. On you know picks are are ready to go as well and you -- look we we we could have somewhat of a surprise -- Marco Rubio still out there Kelly chaotic still out there. But whoever it is they a --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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