Cheney: George H.W. Bush 'masterfully handled' end of the Cold War

Cheney: George H.W. Bush 'masterfully handled' end of the Cold War
© Getty Images

Former Vice President Dick Cheney (R) on Sunday recalled former President George H.W. Bush as a "remarkable man" who "masterfully" handled of the end of the Cold War.

Cheney, who served as Defense secretary under the 41st president, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that the administration had to find a balance between being too aggressive to provoke the end of the Soviet Union and allowing it to progress naturally.  

"On the one hand, there was great temptation to move aggressively to make sure we controlled and maintained the enormous success of the collapse of the old Soviet empire," Cheney said.

ADVERTISEMENT

"On the other hand — and the president led the charge obviously, it was his call — but he did it in such a way and insisted that we do it in such a way that we were not unsympathetic to the political problems of ... Mr. Gorbachev," Cheney continued, referring to the former Soviet leader. "And we could operate in such a way that would make it easier for him to do what we wanted him to do.

"It was masterfully handled," Cheney added.

Bush died on Friday at his home in Houston. He was 94. The former president also served as vice president, CIA director, and in the military during World War II.

Cheney, who went on to serve as vice president for former President George W. Bush, called his time working with the father and son "the highlight of my career."

He joked that he could be more forthcoming with George W. Bush because as vice president "they couldn't fire me." 

George H.W. Bush will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda from late Monday through Wednesday morning. President TrumpDonald John TrumpProsecutors investigating Trump inaugural fund, pro-Trump super PAC for possible illegal foreign donations: NY Times George Conway: Why take Trump's word over prosecutors' if he 'lies about virtually everything' Federal judge says lawsuit over Trump travel ban waivers will proceed MORE declared a national day of mourning for Wednesday, when a service will be held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.