President George W. Bush considered running for reelection in 2004 without Vice President Dick Cheney, according to his yet-to-be-released memoir.
In excerpts obtained by The New York Times, Bush said he thought the move could show voters "I was in charge."
The report comes during the final hours of voting in some states for Tuesday's midterm elections. The memoir, titled "Decision Points," is set to be released Nov. 9, a week after the election.
Cheney proposed the move in the middle of 2003, according to Bush, and the 43rd president said he considered replacing him with former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.)
“While Dick helped with important parts of our base, he had become a lightning rod for criticism from the media and the left,” Mr. Bush writes. “He was seen as dark and heartless — the Darth Vader of the administration," Bush writes, according to the Times. "Accepting Dick’s offer would be one way to demonstrate that I was in charge."
Bush said he opted against the move because he trusted Cheney and said he helped him govern the country.