Liz Cheney Fighting 'Radical' White House
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," October 20, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: So in the era of Obama, the voices of opposition reach far and wide but a new group has emerged that is dedicated to showing Americans just how dangerous the president's weak national security policies are. Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He talked tough on Afghanistan.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reality.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: He hasn't reached a conclusion, I suppose because he's spending all his time preparing for "Letterman" and his speeches, the two schooling children, that he hasn't been able to focus on a war in which our soldiers are in the field, getting shot at.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not enough time for decision, but plenty of time for "Letterman," golf, popular sights, more golf, vacation, and a visit to Copenhagen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: And Keep America Safe is headed by Liz Cheney and she joins me now.
• Video: Watch Sean's interview
Liz, welcome back. Thanks for being on.
LIZ CHENEY, FMR. DEPUTY ASST. SEC. OF STATE: Thank you for having me, Sean. Good to be with you.
HANNITY: All right, hard-hitting, but as we started our program tonight, very accurate. It's been — since August, McChrystal has asked for more troops. They still haven't decided. What does that mean for the troops on the ground?
CHENEY: I think it's clearly damaging to the troops on the ground. I think it's damaging to morale. I think it sends a very dangerous message to our allies and to our adversaries out there.
And I think frankly you're also now asking troops to do a job without the resources they need. I think what you saw this weekend with Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, both saying that for some reason we now have to delay until the runoff election is resolved.
You know, it's just — it's more delay. And I think delay is very costly and I think it's inexcusable here.
CHENEY: Now I did watch today. The president said something important when he was speaking to those Vietnam vets today. He said he would not send troops into harm's way without giving them the support and the resources they need.
So you know, I'm still hopeful that he'll do the right thing here and that he's sending a message that, you know, he's going to side with the military over his political advisers. We'll have to watch and see.
HANNITY: All right. By delaying what the general that he appointed on the ground is saying that he needs to win this war, and he says otherwise we risk failure. Is the president and this lack — this indecision of his, is it putting troops' lives in jeopardy?
CHENEY: Yes, I think there is no question. And I think it's important for people to remember that the president already made this decision once. You know he came into office, and then March this year he made the announcement that he was going to put in place a counterinsurgency strategy and send General McChrystal to carry it out.
And then when General McChrystal came in and said, you know, "Yes, sir, and here's what I need to be able to prevail," the president now has waffled. And I think that there's been a concerted effort here to put pictures out of the national security council meetings to show that they're, you know, having meetings and discussing the issue, but they've discussed it long enough.
HANNITY: All right.
CHENEY: It's time to act.
HANNITY: I guess the question is, if you appoint a general, you — he gives a recommendation, why don't you listen to him unless there's some type of political motivation involved? In other words, he's got his hard left, his base, that he's got to constantly appease. So do you think this is a factor in this delay?
CHENEY: You know, I think there is no question. I think, clearly, you know, you really have a split now, it looks like, between the political people who advise the president and who the White House, you know, likes to have talk about national security policy, and you know, the generals and the foreign policy people, and now Secretary Gates, coming out and saying we can't wait any longer.
So I think the president — you know, it's a very hard decision. President Bush used to talk about — I think every president does — that it's the hardest decision they ever have to make to send young American men and women into harm's way. But he's the president and the commander-in-chief and he needs to make the decision.
HANNITY: What else — if you agree as I do, and this group as formed here, is it just about national security? Or is it the other radical views? The other radical appointments? The economy? Is that going to be a part of the agenda of your group?
CHENEY: The economy will be because I think the economy is a national security issue. I mean you look at things like the $1.40 trillion deficit we're going to have now. The extent to which the debt threatens the value of the dollar. When you have a weakened dollar, you begin to worry very much about what's going to happen with those nations that hold most of our debt, the Chinese, for example.
I think the economic health and the robust growth of the American economy is necessary for us to have the resources we need to have a strong national defense to continue to exercise the kind of power and authority we need to exercise around the world.
HANNITY: All right.
CHENEY: And I think that that will clearly be a set of issues we talk about.
HANNITY: All right, so the president is at war with the Fox News Channel, but he's not given his generals on the ground the troops that they need, that they say they need to win this war. Obviously, his priorities are out of whack here.
Now if we stand back and we analyze why is the president making decisions like this, it seems to me that he is a pretty radical ideologue. He's made radical appointments. He's hung out with radical people most of his political — career and his adult life.
You know, do you think this president is more radical than you thought he was when he was running?
CHENEY: Yes. I think, you know, and it's not just me. I think that, you know, most Americans believe that president, you know, when he stood at the convention in 2004 and he said there's — you know, we're not red states and blues states, we're the United States, people thought there was something behind that rhetoric.
But I think, you know, it has been very radical and I would just say on the Fox thing, one of the things that really struck me was watching, again, Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod try to get a secondary boycott going. You know, saying other news organizations ought to be careful.
Really it looks like sending a very clear warning out there. You know it's clear censorship and it's, in my view, abuse of power from the White House so — and I think it's concerning and radical, you know.
HANNITY: I think it's that and it's as I've been saying. I think it's almost like they've got their enemies list. For example, there has been a talk about in Congress, some senators, of legislative retribution against the insurance companies because they are against the health care plan. Similarly, they're against any critic. It seems to me, it's almost like an enemies list. Is that a fair description?
CHENEY: Well, yes. I think that what you've got is a situation where there are a lot of folks around the president who, you know, grew up playing pretty rough politics in Chicago, for example. I think that there's a level of trying to bully people. I think they're also accustomed to — they became accustomed to an environment where they just got a lot of adoration.
And they don't like to be challenged, and Fox News has sure been, you know, at the top of the list of those asking those tough questions.
HANNITY: Right. All right, Liz. Good to see you. Thank you. Appreciate you being here.
CHENEY: You, too, Sean. Thanks a lot.
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