President Barack Obama’s official spokesman had a sarcastic response to former Vice President Dick Cheney’s op-ed eviscerating the current administration’s approach to the increasingly volatile situation in Iraq.
“Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many,” Cheney wrote in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal.
After a reporter quoted that exact line to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, he pretended to be uncertain about whether Cheney was addressing Obama or President George W. Bush, under whom Cheney served.
“Which president was he talking about?” the outgoing Carney deadpanned during his final White House briefing Wednesday afternoon — drawing laughter from the press corps.
“Look, it’s obviously always good to hear from former Vice President Cheney,” Carney added sarcastically. “It’s pretty clear that President Obama and our team here have distinctly different views on Iraq from the team that led the United States to invade Iraq back in 2003.”
Carney went on to say Cheney is “entitled to his opinion.”
Pressed on Cheney’s specific accusation that Obama has been “wilfully blind to the impact of his policies” in the Middle East, Carney said the former vice president was simply wrong in his assessment.
“I think it’s pretty clear that the president has been paying close attention to this and has been engaging regularly with his national security team. It’s also clear … his belief is that we should always be very deliberate in that kind of decision-making process and we should very carefully weigh the consequences, both desired and undesired, that can come from the use of U.S. military force,” said Carney.
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