Former Vice President Dick Cheney ripped into President Obama on Sunday, saying Obama had lost credibility with the American public thanks to his handling of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, and the targeting of conservatives by the Internal Revenue Service.
“I don’t pay a lot of attention, frankly, to what Barack Obama says,” the Republican vice president insisted on “Fox News Sunday.” “I find a lot of it’s, in other areas, for example, IRS, Benghazi — not credible. I’m obviously not a fan of the incumbent president.”
Pressed further, Cheney said Obama’s handling of those matters undermined his ability to convince the public that the National Security Agency’s phone and Internet surveillance programs were essential counterterrorism tools.
“The guy has failed to be forthright and honest and credible on things like Benghazi and the IRS,” Cheney said. “So he’s got no credibility.”
With revelations about the federal government secretly collecting phone and Internet records, critics have slammed Obama for expanding the very George W. Bush-era policies he railed against as a presidential candidate. Still, the White House has been eager to frame Obama’s foreign-policy blueprint as a break from Bush’s — an assertion that drew the ire of Cheney on Sunday.
Cheney took issue in particular with Obama’s recent claim that traditional terrorist cells were disappearing.
“First of all, he’s wrong — it’s not winding down,” Cheney said of the so-called war on terror. “It now runs all across North Africa. The threat’s bigger than ever.”