Exclusive: Dick Cheney speaks out on VP debate

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," October 12, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST OF "HANNITY": We are just 25 days from the election. And "Hannity" starts right here, right now. And tonight, the former vice-president of the United States, Dick Cheney is standing by to give us his exclusive reaction to last night's debate. But first, a recap of the face-off between crazy Uncle Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan. Now, without question, the headline of the night was Biden's downright bizarre, strange, bewildering behavior. Now, for nearly 90 minutes, he was either uncontrollably laughing or rudely interrupting his opponent. And not even subjects like the Benghazi terror attack or Iran's nuclear weapons program were enough to prevent these bizarre outbursts.


REP. PAUL RYAN, REPUBLICAN VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: It's never too early to speak out for our values. They keep misquoting him. But let me tell you about the Mitt Romney I know. Don't raise taxes on small businesses because they're our job creators.

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Am I going to get to say anything here?


BIDEN: It's incredible.

RADDATZ: Look, you both saw Benjamin Netanyahu hold up that picture of a bomb with the red line.

RYAN: Thank heavens we have the sanctions in place. It's in spite of their opposition.

BIDEN: Oh, God!

RYAN: They've given 20 waivers to this sanction. And all I have to point to are the results. They're four years closer toward a nuclear weapon. I think that case speaks for itself-- when we see -- look -- did they come in and inherit a tough situation? Absolutely. But we're going in the wrong direction. Slower than it grew last year and last year was slower than the year before. Job growth in September was slower than it was in August and August was slower than it was in July.


HANNITY: All right. So, that was a review of the vice president's unhinged behavior last night. And disturbing as that was, when it came to substance, the results were even worse. Now, we will have a complete Biden fact check coming up in our next segment. But I would be remiss if I did not include the biggest lie of the night at the top of the program. Now, it involves the administration and what they knew and when they knew it with regard to Benghazi.


RADDATZ: There were no protesters -- why did that go on for weeks --

BIDEN: That's what we were told by the intelligence community. The intelligence community told us that.

RADDATZ: They wanted more security there.

BIDEN: Well, we weren't told they wanted more security. We did not know they wanted more security.


HANNITY: Now, that is blatantly not true. As we now know, this was determined to be the result of a coordinated terror strike. And we knew it; our intelligence knew it in less than 24 hours. And on the subject to security, State Department officials testified under oath this week that additional resources were in fact requested and in fact, denied. In other words, tens of millions of people were misled yet again by this administration last night on national television in the vice-presidential debate. Joining me now on the phone with reaction, we're honored to bring in the former vice president of the United States Dick Cheney. Mr. Vice President, thank you for joining us.

FMR. VICE PRES. DICK CHENEY (R), UNITED STATES: Well, thank you, Sean. It's always good to be on the show.

HANNITY: All right. Listen, I guess we've got to start, I know you have known Joe Biden a long time. We know he's had a tendency if you will to be very gaffe prone. I found this -- I don't even know how to say it -- very, very disturbing, his behavior. It seemed uncontrollable. You know, I would describe it not only as rude but probably the most emotionally unstable debate performance in modern American politics. I don't think he could stop it. Everybody knows there's going to be a split screen here. How do you interpret this?

CHENEY: Well, I was disturbed by it, frankly. I've got a pretty specific federal requirements I am interested in when I look at a prospective president. And that's what the vice president is, and that's the ability to step in a moment's notice and take over. And you want somebody calm, cool, and collected, who asks questions, who seeks good information and makes life-or-death decisions that we pay a president to make for all of us. There have been five Republican presidents since Eisenhower, I have worked for four of them; we're closely with the fifth, in the Reagan administration, as part of the Congressional leadership.

What I saw in Joe Biden last night, I would not want to see in the guy sitting in the Oval Office. A set of characteristics that he used to display when he came down to the White House during the last administration. We've had congressional types come down for meetings on policy or the president to report on some foreign policy issue, and you could always count on Joe. One, to talk longer than anybody else did. Two, to interrupt other people and just sort of butt in like he did last night. It was classic Joe Biden. And you saw him in the flesh there last night.


CHENEY: And as I say, from my perspective, that's not the kind of personality I'd like to see in the Oval Office.

HANNITY: Yes. You know, I guess, and everyone talks about being one heartbeat away from the presidency. And, you know, for a time last night, as I was tweeting in live time, Mr. Vice President, you know, it was funny. And then at one point, I sent out a tweet and I said, this isn't funny anymore. Because it seemed uncontrolled, hyperactive, manic. And then I saw a dramatic -- I don't know if you picked this up, not very many people in the media that seemed to be defending him, picked it up. But then his mood changed, sort of dour. Is this part of a personality trait that you have seen before? You said you had seen some of this on display in the past?

CHENEY: Well, I have seen him in meetings, when we had congressional types down at the White House. He was a volatile personality. People say that's Joe being Joe. But, you know, I couldn't help but think last night, and raise questions, why did Obama pick him to be his vice president? He campaigned against him in the '08 election. Of course, Joe supposedly won every debate then. But he only got one percent of the vote. He's a unique personality. I've worked with him some over the years. I like him. And I say though, there is no question in my mind when I look at Joe Biden and Paul Ryan on the stage there last night, I think Paul Ryan's got what it takes to take over as president. I don't think Joe Biden does.

HANNITY: You know there are certain things that he said that were just factually inaccurate; one of them as I dealt was the issue of Benghazi. There was a request. We did know they asked for security. We did know what it happened, this was in fact a terror attack, we know within 24 hours. We had testimony this week from State Department officials and others, very clear on what had happened here. He seemed to throw the State Department and our intelligence services down the stairs at the same time and not tell the American people the truth. That's pretty disturbing to me as well. I wanted to get your thoughts on that.

CHENEY: Well, its part and parcel with the kind of thing we've seen previously. Now, they like to take credit for having gotten bin Laden. But the guys really deserved a credit and the intel professionals who tracked him down over a ten year period of time and the special ops guys in the military who went to got him. Now, they got a situation where they have got trouble again, they seem to be thrown off -- they don't want to give the intelligence community the credit they deserved for the bin Laden capture, but they are perfectly prepared to place the blame on them when something goes wrong with the Obama policy in the Middle East.

HANNITY: Yes. How do you think -- when you did your two debates, you're very aware that there is going to be a split screen, Mr. Vice President. You're very aware that at any moment, you could be on camera. They sequestered Joe for full six weeks. He hasn't done an interview, I think going back as far as May. Do you think they are trying to hide something as it relates to the vice-president, one? And number two, how does this play -- maybe the hard-core left-wing loony base likes it. How does this play with women in the country, Independents in the country? What do you think the fallout of this bizarre performance will be?

CHENEY: Well, I think it hurt him. And I don't think he gained any of the ground that Obama lost in the first debate. But, you know, if it was intended to demonstrate that you've got a calm, cool head here ready to take over in a moment's notice, it sure as heck didn't do that. And from the standpoint of winning over undecideds, my guess is, it was generally pretty ineffective.

HANNITY: All right. Mr. Vice President, as always, thank you for your time.

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