Former President Bill Clinton delivered a charmingly devastating blow to former Vice President Dick Cheney today as he pushed back hard on Cheney’s criticism of Obama’s Iraq policy.
David Gregory asked Clinton about former VP Dick Cheney’s recent criticism of President Obama over the violence in Iraq. Former President Clinton answered, “Well, I believe, you know, if they hadn’t gone to war in Iraq, none of this would be happening…Well, it might be happening in Syria, but what happened in Syria wouldn’t have happened in Iraq. Iraq would not have been, in effect, altered as it has been, but 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. And 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.”
One of the interesting things about former President Clinton’s take down of Dick Cheney is that it represents what is likely to be Hillary Clinton’s 2016 position on the issue. Former Sec. of State Clinton did vote for authorizing the use of force in Iraq while she was a senator, but it is clear that she and her husband are going have moved toward the Obama position on Iraq.
As far as Dick Cheney is concerned, Clinton was correct. Cheney was one of the primary voices who caused the mess in Iraq, so it is absurdly hypocritical for the former vice president to go on television and criticize the way that President Obama has gone about cleaning it up. Clinton was also right that the current violence in Iraq is lingering effect of the Bush/Cheney decision to invade a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.
As usual, Bill Clinton delivered the blow to Cheney with his usual down-home charm and style. Clinton sent a very clear message. If Republicans want to go there on Iraq, Clinton is ready to remind everybody of just who got the country into this mess in the first place.