Former Bush administration Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Liz Cheney characterized as "surprising" President Barack Obama's heavily publicized visit to Delaware's Dover Air Force Base to pay tribute to a fallen soldier.
Cheney told a talk-radio audience that former President George W. Bush also attended events to honor soldiers who died in the war on terror, but kept the media out of it.
"I don't know why [Obama] went to Dover," Cheney told radio host John Gibson on Thursday. "I mean, I think that clearly it is very important for our commander-in-chief whenever he can, in whatever way possible to pay tribute to our fallen soldiers, our fallen military folks."
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She continued that "what President Bush used to do is to do it without the cameras. And I don’t understand sort of showing up with the White House press pool with photographers and asking family members if you can take pictures.
"I just... that’s really hard for me to get my head around. I think it's an honorable and important thing for us to pay tribute. There’s no greater sacrifice people make to the nation. But...it was a surprising way for the president to choose to do it."
Cheney urged the president to give Gen. Stanley McChrystal the additional troops he has requested, a request that has been under review for over a month. Cheney told Gibson the administration's glacial review of the military's troop request has been "very damaging."
The left has used Obama's Dover appearance to imply that the Bush administration held less reverence for the extraordinary sacrifices made by U.S. troops, a view many observers dispute.
On Friday, a New York Times editorial stated: "Mr. Obama's visit was entirely appropriate as he faces the decision of what comes next in Afghanistan. The pity is President Bush never dared as much."
The newspaper also hammered Bush for what it called his "shameful attempts to hide the pain of war from Americans and to shield himself from paying public tribute to the thousands who died in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, told Gibson: "I would also point out the best way to pay tribute to those who sacrifice is to win the war."
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