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Hannity

Cheney: President Obama has walked away from the debt crisis

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 17, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: You did say about Governor Romney that you felt he was somebody that could lead through an unanticipated crisis like 9/11.

DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: Uh-huh.

HANNITY: You know, oftentimes, we focus on one issue in the campaign, this campaign is obviously very focused on the economy, rightly so. But the next president, you never know -- his biggest challenge may be a national security issue. That's what happened in your administration.

CHENEY: It's almost a law that every administration or nearly every administration sooner or later will face a crisis they never anticipated, where they will have to deal with a situation that has developed sometimes, they got themselves into that fix. But I can remember the Ford years, we were there trying to deal with the aftermath of Watergate, one of the worst -- probably the worst constitutional crisis since the civil war. Gerald Ford never expected that -- hell, he never expected to be president.

So, every administration, sooner or later is faced with a major challenge like that. And of course, in our case, it was 9/11 and the aftermath. And I think, you look at what Barack Obama's done. And he has basically walked away from it, refused to deal with things, like, for example, the debt crisis. It's right there for everybody to see, to look at.

I never hear him talk effectively about what's going to happen if we don't address that issue. And I never see any evidence at all that he's serious about addressing that issue.

HANNITY: Yes. You said that you know, he's trying to pretend that we are not at war. That's pretty serious charge. I mean --

CHENEY: But it's important though because before 9/11, we looked at terrorists attacks against United States as a law enforcement problem. What we learned on 9/11 was 3,000 dead Americans, that's not a law enforcement problem, it's an act of war. And once you move in to recognizing that it is an act of war, then you can bring to bear on it, the resources of the United States that wouldn't otherwise be applied, it was just a law enforcement problem.

You deal with it as a war, you bring the military to bear on it, and your intelligence capabilities and so forth. That's why it's important to have a firm understanding of whether we're at war or whether we just have a law enforcement problem. And clearly, I think with respect to the 9/11-type potential attacks, we are at war.

HANNITY: Yes. Let me ask you about what I view as the rise of radical Islamists. And you see this now happening. They got it totally wrong on Egypt. And the new President Morsi there -- you know, here's a guy, Muslim Brotherhood, the Muslim Brotherhood delegation go to the White House. In July, we had another militant group leader invited to the White House, Janet Napolitano said, others will follow. The Muslim Brotherhood organization -- is it a terrorist organization?

CHENEY: It certainly has spawned a lot of terrorism. I mean, if you look at people --

HANNITY: Al Qaeda?

CHENEY: Like al-Zawahiri, he's the number two man of bin Laden, probably number one in, you know, Al Qaeda, originally came out of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. So, it's certainly been a spawning ground for that kind of radical view of Islam that has been the intellectual foundation if you will for groups like Al Qaeda.

So, I think it's a very serious proposition. A lot of people talk about the Arab Spring. On the other hand, I don't think we're going to be that happy with the Arab Spring if what emerges him all that is the whole series of nations across the Middle East that you are now governed by the Muslim Brothers. I think that would be --

HANNITY: It's already happened.

CHENEY: -- certainly damaging thing to our interest. Well, you look at what is happening on those various nations and look what's happening in Egypt. I think --

HANNITY: President Morsi said, the Israelis are vampires, the Israelis are killers, the Muslim Brotherhood in parliament said, prepare for war with Israel.

CHENEY: Yes.

HANNITY: Morsi said, the Koran is our constitution, Sharia is our guide. He said of the Bush administration, the world's terrorists' leader. He goes on to say, we will never forget in the future had to hate America.

We're giving $1.5 billion tax payer to the Muslim Brotherhood that now leads Egypt. Is that a mistake?

CHENEY: Well, I would want to qualify your statement about the $1.5 billion. An awful lot goes to the Egyptian military. And I think the -- I know Field Marshal Tantawi, I've known him for years, we were defense secretaries at the same time. I worked with him closely in the Gulf War in Desert Storm. And to the extent there has been significant U.S. assistance over the years, an awful lot of it has been to and through the Egyptian military.

So, I would keep that in mind. I think the Egyptian military is the one force, politically, capable of operating in Egypt today and counter-balance, if you will, what the Muslim Brotherhood might otherwise try to do. So, I would not automatically pull the plug on that assistance.

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