Former Vice President Dick Cheney said in an interview with radio host John Catsimatidis on Sunday that he does not understand President Obama.
“I’ve tried for a long time, John, to try to understand what makes him tick, and frankly I don’t know,” the Republican said. Cheney commented specifically on Obama’s handling of ISIS, saying that he was confused by the president’s counterterrorism strategy in the region where the extremist group operates.
“Obama has placed pretty severe limits on what our air guys can do," he said. "I think he doesn’t really want to be there — I think he’s there very reluctantly in terms of having fielded a limited force, because he felt after ISIS moved in in a big way and is obviously such a major threat, he felt that he had to do something politically, but it’s half a loaf, it’s pin pricks.
“In order to be really effective with air power, you’ve got to be able to actively and aggressively go hit those targets, and that means targeting … that means flying enough missions to be able to do the job, and clearly they’re not allowed to do that at this point," Cheney added.
Cheney also criticized potential 2016 Democratic candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the interview, arguing that she had faced too much scandal to be taken seriously in the Oval Office.
“I must say I am surprised there isn’t more opposition to her within the Democratic Party,” he said. “I think there’s serious problems there that need to be investigated. If I was a Democratic voter, I would be looking for new talent.”
The former Vice President also took aim at those within his own party, namely 2016 GOP candidate and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. Cheney criticized Paul’s opposition to the National Security Agency, and specifically, the NSA's phone data collection program. The program expired on June 1, and many blame Paul for advocating for the expiration.
“I disagree with Rand Paul on that,” he said. “Nobody yet has been able to point out a single instance where the NSA has abused that power and that authority.
“Nobody’s rights have been violated,” Cheney added. “It just hasn’t happened.”
He referred to the controversial USA Freedom Act -- which overhauled the NSA's phone data collection program and aims to house the NSA’s bulk data within phone companies as opposed to the agency -- as an “unwise compromise.”
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