Cheney to Biden: Thank George Bush

Former Vice President Dick Cheney laughed off Joe Biden's claim Sunday that Iraq will be one of the Obama administration's biggest successes, suggesting he instead ought to thank George W. Bush.

"I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by my friend Joe Biden,” Cheney told ABC's "This Week."

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"If they are going to take credit for [Iraq], fair enough, for what they’ve done while they are there. But it ought to go with a healthy dose of ‘thank you George Bush’ up front," he said.

Biden responded by claiming the Obama administration has helped secure a political solution in Iraq that was uncertain when Bush left office.

"What we did and we did responsibly from the day we took office was put that in motion," Biden told CBS's "Face the Nation." "I don't care who gets credit. My generic point is we have handled this very well thus far."

Cheney slammed Biden once again for arguing that another 9/11-type attack was unlikely.

"If the mindset is 'it's not likely,' then it's difficult to mobilize the resources and get people to give it the kind of priority it deserves," Cheney said.

Biden responded that an attack was unlikely because the Obama administration has been so proactive.

"The reason it's unlikely is because we have been relentless," Biden said.

Cheney also continued his broadside attack against the Obama administration's handling of terrorist detainees, notably the failed Christmas Day bomber, whom Cheney said should be charged in a military tribunal.


Asked to reconcile that view with the Bush administration's decision to charge more than 300 suspected terrorists in civilian court, Cheney said he was a dissenter from that policy.

"We didn't all agree with that," he said. "We had a major shootout over how that was going to be handled ... I do get very nervous or very upset when that's the main approach, as it sometimes was in the Bush administration."

The former vice president did give President Barack Obama plaudits for his decision to send more troops to Afghanistan. He even hinted that he supports repealing "Don't ask, don't tell," now that military leadership is on board with a change.

"Twenty years ago the military were strong advocates of 'Don't ask, don't tell.' I think things have change significantly since then," Cheney said.

"I think that society has moved on. It's partly a generational question," he continued. "When the [Joint] Chiefs come forward and say 'we think we can do it,' is strikes me that it's time to reconsider the policy."