In an interview aired on CNN’s The Situation Room, Vice President Dick Cheney dismissed as “hogwash” the suggestion that blunders may have hurt his credibility on Iraq. Wolf Blitzer told Cheney that conservatives in Congress “are now seriously questioning your credibility, because of the blunders and the failures.” Cheney responded: “Wolf, Wolf, I simply don’t accept the premise of your question. I just think it’s hogwash.” Watch it:
Mr. Vice President, here are some examples of real hogwash:
CHENEY: “If you look at what’s transpired in Iraq, Chris, we’ve made enormous progress.” [1/14/07]
CHENEY: Rumsfeld “is the finest secretary of defense this nation has ever had.” [12/15/06]
CHENEY: “I don’t think anybody anticipated the level of violence that we have encountered.” [6/19/06]
Also in the CNN interview, Cheney claimed the escalation plan “will work,” adding that the administration will “move forward” with the troops buildup in Iraq regardless of what Congress says. Cheney cited an argument made by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) claiming opponents of escalation are not supporting the troops.
BLITZER: Here’s what Jim Webb, senator from Virginia said in the Democratic response last night — he said, “The president took us into this war recklessly. We are now, as a nation, held hostage to the predictable and predicted disarray that has followed.”
And it’s not just Jim Webb; it’s some of your good Republican friends in the Senate and the House are now seriously questioning your credibility, because of the blunders and the failures. Gordon Smith…
CHENEY: Wolf, Wolf, I simply don’t accept the premise of your question. I just think it’s hogwash.
Now, the critics have not suggested a policy. They haven’t put anything in place. All they want to do, all they’ve recommended is to redeploy or to withdraw our forces. The fact is we can complete the task in Iraq. And we’re going to do it. We’ve got Petraeus, General Petraeus taking over. It is a good strategy. It will work. But we have to have the stomach to finish the task.
BLITZER: What if the Senate passes a resolution saying, This is not good idea? Will that stop you?
CHENEY: It won’t stop us. And it would be, I think, detrimental from the standpoint of the troops. As General Petraeus said yesterday — he was asked by Joe Lieberman, among others, in his testimony about this notion that somehow the Senate could vote overwhelmingly for him, send him on his new assignment and then pass a resolution at the same time, say, “But we don’t agree with the mission you’ve been given.”
BLITZER: You’re moving forward, no matter what the Congress does.
CHENEY: We are moving forward. We are moving forward.