Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney Trade Barbs Over Iraq

AP

Former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Dick Cheney got into a verbal spat this week over Cheney’s vocal attacks on the Obama administration.

Clinton launched the opening salvo while speaking at a Clinton Global Initiative event Tuesday in Denver. He said Cheney’s criticisms — Cheney had written an op-ed with his daughter Liz that torched what they perceive as Obama’s inaction on the global stage — wouldn’t apply if America hadn’t gone to war in Iraq in the first place.

“Mr. Cheney has been incredibly adroit for the last six years or so attacking the administration for not doing an adequate job of cleaning up the mess that he made,” Clinton told NBC News’ David Gregory. “I think it’s unseemly.”

“And I give President Bush, by the way, a lot of credit for trying to stay out of this debate and letting other people work through it,” he added.

Cheney brushed off Clinton’s criticism Wednesday night during his keynote speech at a trade show in Billings, Montana.

“If there’s somebody who knows something about unseemly, it’s Bill Clinton,” Cheney said, as quoted by the Billings Gazette.

Cheney continued to be sharply critical of Obama this week. He appeared Tuesday on conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt’s show, where he seemed to suggest that the United States faced a deadly attack on its home soil within the next decade. But Cheney declined to invoke the 9/11 attacks when asked about that observation Wednesday on Fox News.

“I think that’s a possibility,” he said when asked if he was foreshadowing something worse than 9/11. “You know, I can’t say, specifically, at this point when something like that might happen. But it would be foolish for us to ignore the extent to which there are people, terror-sponsoring states, who have in fact tried to provide nuclear technology.”

h/t NY Daily News

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Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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