Former VP Cheney blasts Obama’s ‘second-rate’ national security picks

Cheney National Security
Former Vice President Dick Cheney speaks during the Republican Committee Fundraising Dinner on Saturday at the Little America Hotel in Cheyenne.
Photo credit Wyoming Tribune Eagle
Former Vice President Dick Cheney let loose with both barrels at President Barack Obama’s nominees to head America’s national security on Saturday.

“The performance now of Barack Obama as he staffs up the national security team for the second term is dismal,” Cheney said to about 300 attendees at a Wyoming Republican Committee fundraising dinner in Cheyenne, according to The Associated Press.

Cheney, a Wyoming native, emphasized how choosing “good folks” to take the helm of the CIA and state and defense departments is key to maintaining national security. Obama’s nominations fell considerably short of the mark, he said.

“Frankly, what he has appointed are second-rate people,” he said.

The AP report said:

John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, has been confirmed as secretary of state. CIA designate John Brennan and defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel are still awaiting U.S. Senate confirmation.

Wyoming’s two U.S. senators, Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, voted for Kerry’s confirmation. Both Enzi and Barrasso gave introductory speeches for Cheney Saturday night.

The president plans to allow what Cheney called severe cuts to military spending, limiting not only the Obama administration’s ability to react, but hamstringing future presidents, too, he said.

“He is today … establishing what limitations will be on future presidents,” Cheney said, adding that Obama appointed former Sen. Chuck Hagel because he “wants to have a Republican that he can use to take the heat for what he plans to do to the Department of Defense.”

The president’s foreign policy decisions have also hampered security in the Middle East and North Africa, sowing the seeds of mistrust among U.S. allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia, Cheney said.

“That part of the world is as dangerous now as it has ever been,” he said.

Read more at The Washington Post.

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