Dick Cheney: Clinton Is Responsible for Benghazi

Sunday, 18 May 2014 10:31 AM

By Greg Richter

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In their first joint interview since Dick Cheney left the office of vice president in 2009, he and wife, Lynne, gave their opinions on Benghazi, the Ukraine crises and Monica Lewinsky and James Madison.

Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Dick Cheney responded to the recent dustup created when Republican operative Karl Rove suggested that former Secretary of State and expected Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton might have suffered brain damage when she fell and hit her head in December 2012.

Any presidential candidate, "or vice presidential candidate," will have to answer questions about health, Cheney said, noting that he was open about his own heart problems when he was tapped as the running mate to then-GOP nominee George W. Bush in 2000.

Urgent: Do You Think There is a Cover-up on Benghazi? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

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Still, he said, "I wouldn't want to prejudge Mrs. Clinton's health."

Something else that will be a part of any potential Clinton campaign, he said, is Benghazi.

Republicans have hammered her over her role in the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility that left Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead. Criticism has focused on whether Clinton's own State Department ignored warnings that more security was needed that could have prevented the attack.

Clinton is also a focus of the aftermath, in which she and others in the Obama administration blamed a YouTube video for spurring the attack – a fact that was later shown to be false. A House select committee is scheduled to look into whether the administration purposely misled the public to aid President Barack Obama's re-election.

"I think she clearly bears responsibility for whatever the State Department did or didn't do," Cheney said. "I don't think we've heard the last of it yet."

Lynne Cheney, currently on a tour promoting her new biography, "James Madison: A Life Reconsidered," has made her own news talking about the Clintons. In a previous interview with Fox News Channel, Mrs. Cheney said she wouldn't be surprised if Bill and Hillary Clinton hadn't pushed Monica Lewinsky into doing a "Vanity Fair" piece recently to get the issue out of the way before 2016.

Mrs. Cheney said Sunday she was paying the Clintons a "large compliment" when she made the remark, which has since come under fire. "I was saying how clever they are politically," she said.

Turning to Ukraine, Dick Cheney sounded a familiar line of attack against Obama that his projected weakness in the presidency is encouraging people such as Russian President Vladimir Putin to take actions against U.S. interests. Putin has taken over Crimea from Ukraine and is pushing to grab other eastern provinces that border Russia.

Host Chris Wallace noted that Putin invaded the Republic of Georgia during the Bush presidency, taking over two of that country's northern provinces.

Cheney countered that the Bush administration gave a more "robust response," noting that Georgian fighters, who were helping the United States in Afghanistan, were sent back to their home country, and American ships were stationed in the Black Sea to help get supplies to the Georgians.

Cheney also responded to recent criticism from Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, seen as a potential GOP presidential candidate in 2016, who said Cheney had a conflict of interest during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq because he had worked for defense contractor Halliburton before assuming office.

Cheney told Wallace he had severed all ties to Halliburton before taking office "at considerable financial cost," and he kept them "at arm's length" during his time as vice president.

He said Paul is "obviously not familiar with the facts."

Cheney said he likes former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and current New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, both also seen as potential 2016 GOP candidates for the White House. But neither he nor his wife would give a clue whom they favor.

"I have not committed to anybody and don't plan to for some time," Cheney said.

"Ditto," Mrs. Cheney echoed.

Urgent: Do You Think There is a Cover-up on Benghazi? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

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