Former Vice President Dick Cheney said in an interview published Tuesday that President Obama and Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderUber donates M to supporting minorities in tech Overnight Tech: Senate moving to kill FCC's internet privacy rules | Bill Gates pushes for foreign aid | Verizon, AT&T pull Google ads | Q&A with IBM's VP for cyber threat intel Uber leadership sticking by CEO MORE are guilty of “playing the race card” against their critics.
“I think they’re playing the race card, in my view,” Cheney said in an interview for Playboy with Fox News reporter James Rosen.
“Certainly we haven’t given up — nor should we give up — the right to criticize an administration and public officials. To say that we criticize, or that I criticize, Barack ObamaBarack ObamaPoll: Most Republicans believe Trump's wiretap claim Key conservative rep on healthcare plan: 'Let’s get out those regulations’ Trump climate move risks unraveling Paris commitments MORE or Eric Holder because of race, I just think it’s obviously not true.
Cheney, one of Obama's harshest critics, took issue with the administration’s handling of the events this summer in Ferguson, Mo., where white police officer Darren Wilson shot an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown.
The shooting set off protests in Ferguson and around the country, though Wilson was not ultimately charged by a state grand jury or by the Justice Department.
The Justice Department later issued a report that found that police in Ferguson regularly violated the constitutional rights of black residents.
“And [I think] that we should not sort of throw it all over on the burden of race, or racial inequality or racial discrimination, as being responsible for this particular event,” Cheney said.
“I think that would be wrong, and it bothers me that that kind of an incident has generated that kind of response. I don’t think it is about race. I think it is about an individual who conducted himself in a manner that was almost guaranteed to provoke an officer trying to do his duty.”
Unlike former President George W. Bush, Cheney has been vocal in speaking out about the actions of the Obama administration.
In September, he said he was “stunned” by the president’s decision to mention the events in Ferguson in a speech before the United Nations. He has also frequently blasted Obama on national security issues, which was his focus when he served as vice president.