Asked about two thirds of Americans' opposition to war, Cheney says, 'So?'
John Byrne
Published: Wednesday March 19, 2008

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Vice President fishing on Oman sultan's yacht Wednesday

On the fifth anniversary of President George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, President Bush said he has no doubts about waging the unpopular war despite the "high cost in lives and treasure."

Vice President Dick Cheney had a different message. Informed during a Good Morning America interview broadcast Wednesday that two-thirds of Americans now think the war was not worth fighting, Cheney said: "So?"

"So you don't care what the American people think?" ABC's Martha Raddatz asked.

He added: "I think we cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations of the public opinion polls. There has in fact been fundamental change and transformation and improvement for the better. That's a huge accomplishment."

Cheney added that the economy was going through a "rough patch, there's no question about it."

The White House later released a transcript which shows that Cheney's first response wasn't "so" as ABC presented on its broadcast.

When first informed by Raddatz that "two-thirds of Americans say [the Iraq war] was not worth fighting," the vice president responded, "They ought to go spend time, like you and I have, Martha. You know what's been happening in Iraq. You've been there as much as anybody. There has, in fact, been fundamental change and transformation, and improvement for the better. I think even you would admit that."

The Vice President is in Oman. Today, he went fishing in the waters between Oman and Iran, borrowing the Sultan of Oman's 60-foot royal yacht.

A Cheney spokeswoman told the Associated Press that the vice president, his wife Lynne, and daughter, Liz, a former State Department official who is traveling with her father as a private citizen, headed out under sunny skies into the Gulf of Oman on "Kingfish I," owned by Sultan Qaboos bin Said.

Cheney has had a personal relationship with the sultan going back to the time when the vice president was defense secretary, but the sultan did not go along on the fishing trip.

Oman allows the United States to use four air bases -- including one just 50 miles from Iran -- for refueling, logistics and storage of pre-positioned military supplies.

This video is from ABC's Good Morning America, broadcast March 19, 2008.

With AP.