Axelrod: Some things Cheney says 'irresponsible'
David Edwards and Joe Byrne
Published: Sunday February 15, 2009

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The Obama administration is making it clear that Cheney and Rove are not in a place to criticize.

President Barack Obama's senior advisor, David Axelrod, was on NBC's Meet the Press earlier today, speaking both about the president's new stimulus package and responding to criticism from Dick Cheney.

Cheney has criticized the new administration's plans to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. "When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to an Al-Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then I worry," Cheney told Politico in an interview near the beginning of the month. "The United States needs to be not so much loved as it needs to be respected. Sometimes, that requires us to take actions that generate controversy." Cheney's full interview can be found here.

Axelrod hit back at Cheney this morning on NBC's Meet the Press. When moderator David Gregory first mentioned criticism from the former administration, an audible sigh came from Axelrod.

"If respect in the world is what we're after, I'm not sure that cause was advanced by some of the things that the [ex] vice president has said and done over the last 8 years. What he said here is really irresponsible," said Axelrod. This is not the first time the former campaign manager David Axelrod has had to respond to comments by the former administration. In an interview with the Washington Post on Friday, he said he was "disappointed in the vice president," adding that his criticisms were "tasteless". He also responded to Karl Rove's comments on fiscal ethics. "You know, the last thing that I think we're looking for at this juncture is advice on fiscal integrity or ethics from Karl Rove. I mean, anyone who's read the newspapers for the last eight years would laugh at that."

This morning, Axelrod explained that Obama "has announced a very methodical system for evaluating how we're going to close Guantanamo, how we're going to deal with those detainees...we can protect the American people and be consistent with the values that have animated this country."

Axelrod finished his discussion about Cheney by giving President Bush credit for being supportive on his way out of office, and repeating the remark used in the Washington Post interview about a memo for generosity not getting to Cheney.

This video is from NBC's Meet the Press, broadcast Feb. 15, 2009.

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