Tales from the Trail

Cheney wanted GM in bankruptcy sooner

May 27, 2009

GUANTANAMO-CHENEY/With General Motors expected to file for bankruptcy next week, former Vice President Dick Cheney said on Wednesday that he wanted the company to take that step months ago when George W. Bush was still president.

“Some of us at the time wanted GM to go bankrupt, go to Chapter 11,” Cheney said in an interview with CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report”. But Cheney apparently was in the minority with that view at the time.

“The decision was made that, in the final analysis, since our administration was almost over and a brand-new team was about to take over that the president wanted, in effect, not to take a step that wasn’t necessarily going to be followed by his successor, but rather to set up a situation which the new guys could address that issue and make a decision about what the long-term policy was going to be,” he said.

Cheney, who has been in a very public fight with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden over national security policies, took on the Obama administration’s economic policies in the interview with CNBC’s Larry Kudlow.

Asked whether he agreed with criticism that Obama was pursuing some kind of socialist agenda, Cheney  said he would not use that label but did not like what he was seeing.

“I agree with the criticism without using the labels. I don’t want to get into trying to label President Obama. He’s our president. At this point, he’s the only one we’ve got. He won the election, and he obviously is entitled to pursue those policies that he wants to pursue,” Cheney said.

“What we’ve been seeing, though, and what’s been advocated by the president and what looks to be in store if he’s successful is that we’re seeing a vast expansion, not only the power of the federal government over the private sector but also in terms of spending,” he said.

The former vice president also tried to take back a rebuke of retired General Colin Powell.  Cheney previously said that the former secretary of state in the Bush administration had left the Republican party.

“Well, we’re happy to have General Powell in the Republican Party,” Cheney said.

For more Reuters political news, click here.

- Photo credit: Josh Roberts (Cheney before giving a speech on national security on May 21.)

Comments
12 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

What mr. ex vp is thinking right now? Probably how to stay out of jail. He was off the hook on nigeria leak. Then tragic Iraq Quest??? How many our precious soldier have sacrifiece on what cost??? Now he just trying to be out of the war crime? probably he will make more money on his former company halliburton which is not in us anymore. I think he will be better of right there on halliburton head quarter with his money making policies with any cost. We prove that American’s are way smarter than he thought.I don’t think by the record he deserve or has any chance to talk about the presidency anymore.He was coward not to run for the presidency last election as sitting “tow” term vp! It is better not to fool around with this great nation.

Posted by Nazim M Uddin | Report as abusive
 

We are seeing Dick Cheney more and more in the press these days. Come on Dick, you guys had your chance and you blew it. Now stop yapping and let the team that won the elections do their job.

And also the President and his people should not let themselves be DISTRACTED by what Mr. Cheney says,much less stoop down to replying, since what Mr. Cheney says or does is of no consequence at all, but paying attention to him can cause the administration to lose sight of their real objectives, first and foremost of which is the ECONOMY.

Posted by usuario | Report as abusive
 

Cheney had his chance to run for president in 2008, but I guess he’d rather sit on the sidelines and take potshots like he sat out the Vietnam war. Such a brave man.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive
 

This is great. The country needs a sharp debate over the policies of the current administration. Cheney is speaking for the majority of Americans who do not like the huge power grab and out of control spending which puts our nation at peril.

The left will criticize the former vice president and come up with all sorts of evils to divert the debate from the truth. However, there is evil in the out of control policies being made right now and, like administrations, will eventually be made public.

Again, it is nice to see some sharp contrasts and criticisms, since no one else (ie media) is taking the lead. Better now than when it is too late for all of us.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive
 

Based on the quotes in this article, Cheney’s calmed down quite a bit from some of his earlier exicted rants.

 

It is not a debate when one side is simply making things up. The majority of Americans just voted overwhelmingly to repudiate Cheney and the policies of his government. The majority of Americans support Obama and that majority is growing. Cheney is less popular than Colin Powell and Rush Limbaugh combined. Cheney was the architecht of the Unitary Executive, the biggest power grab in the history of the US. Cheney once said, “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter”. Unless, of course, those deficits are needed to repair the damage done to the economy by Cheney’s own government. Then they matter.

Posted by Samson | Report as abusive
 

* That’s “Colin Powell is more popular that Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh combined”*

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive
 

All those in favor of discussing something irrelevent like this story…should…
1. Find a job.
2. Help an unemployeed person in their community find a job.
3. Visit their nearest VA hospital.
4. Keep their oppinions to themselves.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive
 

Hold the phone.

An extremely unpopular, former administration that drove the country into a ditch doesn\’t like what the new guys are doing? The ones voted in to clean up the mess?

I’m shocked, shocked to see gambling going on in this establishment!

If God loves me, Cheney will run for president in 2012.

Posted by jvill | Report as abusive
 

TC, during the last administration any debate about policy or dissent was labeled as being unpatriotic or “on the side of the terrorists”. I agree that that debate on policy is good thing, I just wanted to remind you of how those of us opposed to Bush & Co. were treated and labeled.

Posted by Eric H | Report as abusive
 

Eric. I would like to remind you the media never looked the other way during the entire Bush administration like they do with President Obama. My point was that the sharp debate is needed. If it must come from former Vice President Cheney, then so be it.

You were treated well during the Bush years because the media always looked out for those of you who opposed anything republican or to do with Bush. Even if what they reported was not objective reporting. They aren’t being objective now either, but that is because they don’t criticize anything Obama does. And when they do report something, it is with a positive angle on it.

I do find it interesting that for as “failed” as the Bush years were, Obama is continuing many of the policies he railed against and criticized during the campaign. Gitmo is an obvious case in piont.

Particulary, when it comes to the GWOT, Bush is going to be vindicated (and is now because Obama is realizing the reality and correctness of Bush’s policies). Bush once said he was willing to be the most hated president for the next 20 years because keeping the United States and its citizens safe took precedent over anything else. He realized as the test of time and political emotions wane, people will realize what he did was right when it came to the GWOT.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive
 

Not so fast, Dick. Last night on Fox News, Cheney admitted that the Bush administration deliberately decided to pass the buck on GM and let President Obama deal with the problem. Cheney admitted that he thought the “right outcome was going to be bankruptcy,” but that President Bush didn’t want to “be the one who pulled the plug.” Instead, the Bush administration put together a costly auto bailout to stem the tide until President Obama took office:

CHENEY: Well, I thought that, eventually, the right outcome was going to be bankruptcy. … And the president decided that he did not want to be the one who pulled the plug just before he left office.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why?

CHENEY: Well, I think he felt, you know, these are big issues and he wouldn’t be there through the process of managing it, but in effect, would have sort of pulled the plug on GM and that was one of the first crises the new administration would have to deal with. So he put together a package that tided GM over until the new administration had a chance to look at it, decide what they wanted to do.

VAN SUSTEREN: But it’s cost us billions to get — I mean, you know —

CHENEY: It has. … And now the government owns a big chunk of General Motors. That bothers me. I don’t like having government own those kinds of major financial enterprises. I think it’s — it does damage to our long-term economic prospects when we get government involved in making those kinds of decisions.

When announcing his $17.4 billion auto bailout in December 2008, Bush said that “bankruptcy now would lead to a disorderly liquidation of American auto companies.” Cheney is now saying that they were thinking about bankruptcy all along, but instead used billions of dollars of taxpayer money to push their problems onto the Obama administration.

Even former Republican senator Rick Santorum last week went on Greta’s show and chastised the Bush administration, saying that officials “blew it” for punting the problems onto Obama.

Cheney just confirmed what many have suspected all along. They sat back and let the economy slide off a cliff, so they could spend the next eight years trying to pin it on the Obama administration.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/