Dick Cheney: “I think she’s probably the most competent person”


 

Cheney talks up a 2012 Hillary Clinton campaign

Hillary Rodham Clinton gained a very unlikely supporter yesterday.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney in an interview with ABC News’ Jonathan Karl Wednesday offered glowing praise for the Secretary of State and 2008 presidential candidate, calling her a “pretty formidable individual” and suggested Clinton should challenge Barack Obama in 2012.

“I think she’s probably the most competent person they’ve got … in their cabinet. And frankly, I thought she was gonna win the nomination last time around,” Cheney said. “Maybe if the Obama record is bad enough–and these days it’s not very good, given the shape of the economy–maybe there will be enough ferment in the Democratic Party so that there will be a primary on their side.”

But before you go questioning Cheney’s political leanings, know that his praise wasn’t totally disinterested.

The former vice president conceded that a Clinton-Obama primary would potentially benefit his own party. “I think it might even help the Republicans.”

Cheney also offered some critical appraisals of the Republican presidential field. Asked to comment on Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Perry’s charge that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is “treasonous” for printing more money, Cheney expressed his displeasure, calling the comment invalid and “over the top.”

Cheney also responded that he doesn’t agree with Perry’s characterization of Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme.”

But Cheney suggested he’s reserving judgment about Perry–since he’s just beginning his campaign–as well as the other candidates.

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

 

Dick Cheney: Hillary Clinton should challenge Barack Obama

Dick Cheney thinks Hillary Clinton should take on Barack Obama in 2012.| Reuters

By TIM MAK | 9/8/11 6:01 AM EDT

Go for it, Hillary!

That was former Vice President Dick Cheney’s advice to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – take on Barack Obama in 2012.

“I think it would be good for the country [for Clinton to run for president], I think that it would be good for the Democratic Party – it might even help the Republicans a little bit,” the former Vice President said with a smirk, in an interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl on Wednesday to promote his new memoir, “In My Time.”

The former vice president said that Clinton might have an opening due to the stagnant economy.

“Maybe if– the Obama record is bad enough– and these days it’s not very good, given the shape of the economy maybe there will be enough ferment in the Democratic Party so that there will be a primary on their side,” said Cheney.

“So far she hasn’t said she would [run], but I think it’s not a bad idea,” said Cheney.

Cheney said he was surprised Clinton didn’t beat Obama in the 2008 presidential primaries.”Frankly, I thought she was gonna win the nomination last time around,” Cheney said.

Clinton has said in interviews that she intends to stay on as secretary of state through Obama’s first term, but then intends to return to private life.

Cheney was complimentary toward Clinton during the interview, saying “I think she’s probably the most competent person they’ve got in their cabinet.”

His comments come as a new poll shows that, among those who voted for Obama, only 70 percent now support his handling of the economy – that’s down from 79 percent in October 2010.

The same poll showed that only 32 percent of Democrats currently believe that the country is headed in the right direction.

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