Former Vice President Dick Cheney went “out of bounds” when he attacked President Barack Obama for “dithering” on Afghanistan, Sen. Carl Levin told Fox News Sunday.
Cheney had accused Obama of “dithering” on making a decision to send more troops to Afghanistan during a speech in Washington on Wednesday. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs rejected that criticism Thursday.
“What Vice President Cheney calls dithering, President Obama calls his solemn responsibility to the men and women in uniform and the American public,” Gibbs said. “I think we’ve all seen what happens when somebody doesn’t take that responsibility seriously.”
“I thought the comments of the former vice president were totally out of bounds,” Levin (D-MI) told Fox’s Chris Wallace. “I don’t think he has any credibility left with the American people in any event, but I think it’s really wrong for the former vice president of the United States [to talk] about the president dithering because the president needs to reach the right decision.”
Levin went on to dispute claims that the president is taking too long to make a decision on a troop surge for Afghanistan. As Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ) noted, it has been two months since Gen. Stanley McChrystal, head of US forces in Afghanistan, requested a troop surge.
“President Bush took three months in considering whether or not to surge troops in Iraq,” Levin said. “When he made a decision to surge troops, he overruled the recommendation of his commander on the ground, Gen. [George] Casey, who was opposed to sending more troops. I think history will show President Bush reached the right decision. … No one pressured President Bush at that time to reach a decision more quickly than he felt he could.”
This video is from Fox’s Fox News Sunday, broadcast Oct. 25, 2009.