Terrorists are building better weapons and want to use them on the United States, so Republicans need to make sure to elect someone who will make it a priority to stop them, former Vice President Dick Cheney said Tuesday.
Cheney said at a Politico forum
on Monday that he fears the GOP has developed an "isolationist strain." On Tuesday, CNN's Jake Tapper asked Cheney if that means he would be opposed to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, the current GOP frontrunner, getting the party's nomination in 2016.
Cheney was noncommittal, saying only, "I will support my ticket," when asked by Tapper who would be better on foreign policy, Paul or current Democratic favorite Hillary Clinton.
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Cheney said he believes there will be another mass casualty event in the United States worse than 9/11, and the United States must be prepared. Part of that preparation, he said, is to remain involved in the Middle East.
Paul has been involved in a back-and-forth
with Texas Gov. Rick Perry in recent days over their respective foreign policy views. Perry views Paul as an isolationist, while Paul counters that Perry is misrepresenting his views.
Cheney on Tuesday told Tapper he may "at some point" endorse a candidate. Technically, no one in the crowded GOP field has announced a formal run.
On other subjects:
Cheney said Israel will never be able to negotiate a settlement with Hamas.
"I think they [Hamas] are absolutely sworn to fight to the death for the destruction of Israel," he said. "There may not be a negotiated solution. You may be in a position where Israel has to defend itself against terrorist attacks."
As long as they are part of the governing coalition, "it is just not in their fundamental belief system" to settle.
Cheney denied information in a tweet by Leah McGrath Goodman of Newsweek, which said Cheney once told members of Goldman Sachs' top brass he had wanted to invade Iraq and Iran simultaneously.
He admitted, however, he believed when he was vice president and still believes now that military force should be used to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons capability.
When he was in office, though, "We never got to that point," he said.
He said he isn't prepared to call for the impeachment of President Barack Obama, although he sees Obama as "the worst president of my lifetime."
He said he is glad House Republicans are challenging him legally, but believes impeachment causes a distraction.
He said the George W. Bush administration "made good decisions" after 9/11, including invading Iraq. The country was left in good condition when he left office, he said, and the current problems are primarily the fault of Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki, not the Bush White House.
"And I think that's what the history books will show," Cheney said.
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