Like Karl Rove, Dick Cheney seems to have forgotten how the Iraq War got started. In an exclusive interview with Mike Allen, Jim Vandehei and John Harris of Politico.com, he said he’d have to do a little research to figure out just who was pushing whom to war:
Q Speaking of the history in Iraq, there’s been a debate recently on the buildup to the vote for us to go to war, and you obviously were very intimately involved in that. Karl Rove has talked about, listen, Democrats — and Daschle — they wanted a speedy vote, before the elections, for the war. And Daschle has said, well, it’s nonsense, they’re trying to rewrite history. What is your recollection of what was happening? Were they — were Democrats pushing for a quick vote on the war before the election?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don’t want to get into that. I, frankly, I’ve heard a little bit of the argument and I don’t understand it. (Laughter.)
Q I’m sorry, what do you mean by that?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I mean, I thought we proceeded in an orderly fashion. But I have not gone back and looked at that. I don’t — it’s not clear to me what the issue is that’s being debated there.
Q The issue is whether the White House was pushing, or Democrats were pushing.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I thought we had approached it on a fairly bipartisan basis, and that was reflected in the vote. And we also went through a process with respect to intelligence matters, work at the United Nations seeking resolutions from the U.N. Security Council that applied to the situation. But in terms of, you know, we were pushing, or the Democrats were pushing, that’s not — I’d have to go back and do a lot of research to have an opinion on that.
Q Mr. Vice President, this was so nice of you. Speaking of 2009, is this it for public service for you…?
In the spirit of bipartisanship, ThinkProgress provides this jumpstart to help the Vice President’s research.
Right before the 2002 election, Cheney conceded that there was an option “to wait till January or February” of the next year, but he argued, “we’re to the point where we think time is not on our side.” Here’s Cheney telling Russert that Democrats should vote before the 2002 election:
MR. RUSSERT: So you want a vote in Congress in October?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: Our preference would be to have a vote in Congress before they go home. And when they go home is up to them ordinarily. Now, they’ve scheduled an early October adjournment. I don’t think they’ll ever make that ’cause they’ve got all the appropriation bills to do yet, too, but this is not-I mean, the suggestion that I find reprehensible is the notion that somehow, you know, we saved this and now we’ve sprung it on them for political reasons. The president and I have talked about this for months. And now we’ve asked them to engage on it, not because it’s a campaign year. As I say every other year is a campaign year anyway. We’ve asked them to engage in it because they have a constitutional responsibility to do so. They need to stand up and be counted.
Feel free to help Mr. Cheney with his memory by adding your own reminders in the comments.
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