Last night on Fox News, Dick Cheney defended his statements regarding President Obama’s performance to date by claiming that he had never “personally attacked” Obama. Rather, Cheney insisted that all of his criticisms were focused on Obama’s policies. This morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, former White House chief of staff Andy Card echoed Cheney’s claim saying that the former vice president was right to speak out against Obama’s policies. However, Card said, Cheney should not be “criticizing the president” personally:
CARD: Dick Cheney has very strong opinion on protecting the country and I think its appropriate for him to be out there talking about that. I don’t think its appropriate for him to be criticizing the president.
SCARBOROUGH: He has been criticizing the president though.
CARD: Well, he was criticizing the policy not the president.
Card elaborated by saying that “[t]aking personal shots” at Obama would be out of line. Co-host Mika Brzezinski asked Card for an example of such personal shots:
BRZEZINSKI: Like what? … His choice of dress?
CARD: I’m not going to [give an example] because I don’t want to criticize the president. Barack Obama is my president too.
As ThinkProgress noted earlier today, it is a bit of a stretch for Card to claim that Cheney has not engaged in personal attacks on Obama. More interesting, however, is Card’s insistence that he himself has not and would not take “personal shots” at Obama. In fact, what Brzezinski apparently meant as a hypothetical example of a “personal shot” at Obama — criticizing his “choice of dress” — is exactly what Card did in January.
Indeed, on Michel Medved’s right-wing radio talk show, Card accused Obama of promoting a “locker room” atmosphere in the Oval Office because he and his staff do not not wear suit coats at all times. “I’m disappointed to see the casual, laissez faire, short sleeves, no shirt and tie, no jacket, kind of locker room experience that seems to be taking place in this White House and the Oval Office,” Card said. Card claimed that his former boss, President Bush, would never work without a suit coat on. Card repeated the attack on Obama’s choice of attire again in February. (In reality, Bush did at times work in the Oval Office without a suit coat.)