Former Vice President Dick Cheney is a fan of Barack Obama’s decision to use drones for the targeted killing of American citizens, but says that the president “wants” to do “serious, serious damage to our military” by nominating former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) to be secretary of defense.
“I think it’s a good program and I don’t disagree with the basic policy that the Obama administration is pursuing now in those regards,” he told CBS host Charlie Rose in an interview that aired on Tuesday.
But Rose wondered if there should be some “checks and balances” by another branch of government on the president’s ability to “take out” American citizens overseas.
“When we hire the president of the United States he gets to live in a big house, makes all that money, he’s getting paid to make difficult, difficult decisions,” the former vice president explained.
The CBS host also asked Cheney to defend his accusation that Obama was appointing a “second-rate people” like Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry to his cabinet.
“I’m very, very concerned, Charlie, about what I see happening in the national security arena, I think the administration’s policies are very flawed,” Cheney declared. “I think the president’s performance by my standards in the international arena, in the middle East and so forth is worse than many of my friends and colleagues deem his domestic policies.”
“If you look at what the president’s motives are for picking Chuck Hagel, I think he wants a Republican to go be the foil, if you will, for what he wants to do to the Defense Department, which is I think to do serious, serious damage to our military capabilities.”
Watch this video from CBS News, broadcast Feb. 12, 2013.
(h/t: The Hill)