Dick Cheney: 'Isolationism Is Crazy'

Monday, 14 Jul 2014 05:19 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Former Vice President Dick Cheney thinks "isolationism is crazy," believes Obamacare is just one example of presidential overreach, says budget cuts to the military are "outrageous" – and doesn't consider it so bad when "Congress doesn't do anything."

Cheney, an ardent critic of both the president's domestic and foreign policy, also reiterated his unqualified defense of the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq in 2003, saying it was "absolutely the right thing to do."

"I believed in it then, I look back on it now, it was absolutely the right thing to do," Cheney said at a Politico-sponsored lunch that also featured his wife, Lynne, and daughter Liz.

The current administration's foreign policy, however, had the Wyoming Republican fuming.

President Barack Obama "loves to run around … telling us al-Qaida’s dead," despite problems in the Middle East – and helped create the current crisis by his desire for a full withdrawal in Iraq, Cheney charged.

"I don’t think Obama ever had any intention of leaving anybody behind," he said.

The Politico Playbook event was delayed twice by protesters who calling him a "war criminal," Politico reported.

Though the former vice president refused to dip into GOP presidential politics – Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul have been trading barbs over isolationist foreign policy — he leaned into Republicans who don't endorse a robust foreign policy.

"One of my great concerns is that we’ve gotten to the point where, within our own party, we have sort of an isolationist strain developing," he said."I think isolationism is crazy."

He also blasted Obama for a "dramatically reduced the military" and called budget cuts at the Pentagon "outrageous."

"That ought to be our top priority for spending, not food stamps," he said.

And he said in other areas – particularly Obamacare – the president has exceeded "his constitutional authority," saying the healthcare reform bill " was so bad that I thought it should have been repealed."

But the president's missteps will be a boon for the GOP, he predicted.

"After the performance of the Democratic Party, which I think has been dismal … they’ve got a hell of a record to defend," he said.

Cheney also said he doesn't mind a little Capitol Hill gridlock.

"I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad year when Congress doesn’t do anything," he said.

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