Former Vice President Dick Cheney Wednesday shrugged off any suggestion from critics that he and President George W. Bush made a mistake getting the United States into a war in Iraq.
Fox News Channel's Megyn Kelly introduced Cheney on her show as "the man who helped lead us into Iraq in the first place." She then cited examples of critics who said it was he, not President Barack Obama, who is to blame for the current escalation of fighting in Iraq by the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
"The suggestion, then, is that you caused all this mess, Mr. Vice President," Kelly said.
Cheney and his daughter, Liz, wrote an op-ed earlier Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal
saying of Obama, "Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many."
Cheney told Kelly that when he and President George W. Bush left office in January 2009 the situation in Iraq was "positive."
Kelly, however, noted that, "time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong as well in Iraq, sir."
She listed several statements made by Cheney in the past, including when he said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and that the U.S. military would be greeted as liberators.
"That's not quite accurate," Cheney countered. He said that although Bush signed an agreement to remove troops by 2011, the deal included leaving some forces behind.
The military, under Obama, recommended leaving 14,000-18,000, he said, but Obama disagreed. They took it down to 10,000, and he still disagreed. The U.S. finally settled on 3,000 troops, but Cheney said Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki likely refused to sign a status-of-forces agreement with such a small American force because he assumed Obama had no real intention of staying at all.
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