Cheney Encourages Hillary Clinton to Challenge Obama

Fresh from the debut of his new memoir, former Vice President Dick Cheney seems eager to give career advice to Hillary Clinton. Cheney has been making the media rounds in order to promote his new book In My Time. In an interview with ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, Cheney was asked if Hillary Clinton would have made a better president than Obama. Cheney seems to think so.

The former vice president indicated she hasn't expressed any interest and called her a "pretty formidable individual.” He went on to say that he thinks she’s probably the most competent person in Obama’s cabinet and that he initially thought she was going to win the Democratic nomination in 2008.

According to Cheney, Clinton may have been easier for the Republicans to work with than the present Commander-in-Chief.

“I think it'd be good for the country. It'd be good for the Democratic Party,” said Cheney. “And it might even help the Republicans.”

Karyln Bowman, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, seems to think this is a long shot.

“It is very unlikely. Obama’s shown a lot of weakness; but despite his low poll numbers, and even though they are diminishing, the Democratic Party will still overwhelming back this president,” Bowman told The Christian Post. “Frankly, this late in the game, I just don’t think Hillary will jump in.”

Recently, Cheney told Fox News’ Chris Wallace that although he thinks highly of Clinton, he would not be supporting her anytime soon.

“I don’t want to be in a position where I’m endorsing Hillary Clinton,” Cheney said. “That might be the kiss of death for her. I certainly wouldn’t want to discourage a good primary contest on their side (in 2012). I think it would be good for the two-party system.”

Clinton has not made it apparent that she is interested in running for president after losing the 2008 Democratic nomination to Obama.

Cheney also doesn’t plan to endorse anyone in the GOP presidential primary right now.

“I don’t plan to endorse anybody till we get a lot farther down the road,” he said.

During the interview with Karl, Cheney spoke more critically of his fellow GOP leaders. He criticized several of the Republican presidential candidates, including front-runner Rick Perry, whose comments about Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, were described by Cheney as “over-the-top” and “inappropriate.”

Cheney also took issue with Perry’s past comments that Social Security is akin to a Ponzi scheme. “Let’s see what Rick Perry does as he develops through this process. I certainly don’t believe it’s a Ponzi scheme,” Cheney said of Social Security. “It’s a program that a great many people depend upon.”

He added, “I think it’s a very important program, we do in fact want to preserve it for future generations but we have a lot of work to do on Social Security and other entitlement programs like Medicare.”

Cheney’s criticism of Perry is not a new trend. He endorsed his rival, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, in the 2010 gubernatorial primary in Texas.

The other GOP candidates did not escape criticism either. He stated that Michele Bachmann was guilty of overpromising on the campaign trail; particularly her statement that she would ensure gas would stay under $2 at the pump if elected.

“The free market’s gonna work on gasoline prices,” he said. “We need to do everything we can to produce, especially from domestic sources, all of the conventional power we can. But yeah, to make a hard and fast prediction and say, ‘gasoline’s never gonna cost more than $2 a barrel,’ I’d be a little careful of that. I don’t believe it.”

Cheney also believes Jon Huntsman’s views on Afghanistan are too closely aligned with President Obama’s.

“President Obama has announced he’s going to take out the surge forces before the end of the next fighting season. That’d be a big mistake. There’s no military reason to do that. I think it’s driven primarily by politics – that he wants to get the forces out before the election in 2012 because he made those kinds of commitments and promises,” Cheney said.

“I have a sense that that’s what Jon Huntsman is advocating. It’s a mistake. I think we cannot take the chance of walking away from the importance of staying on top of the situation and helping the Afghans acquire the capacity to control their own sovereign territory.”