- Former Vice President Joe Biden praised former Vice President Dick Cheney in 2015, and he’s facing criticism for it now in his 2020 campaign.
- “I actually like Dick Cheney, for real,” Biden said at the time. “I get on with him. I think he’s a decent man.”
- Biden is the frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic nomination, and his long record in public life is under increasing scrutiny as the race picks up steam.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s past praise for his immediate predecessor is garnering a fair amount of negative attention just one week into his 2020 campaign.
During an event at George Washington University in October 2015,Biden said he thought former Vice President Dick Cheney is a “decent man.”
“I actually like Dick Cheney, for real,” Biden said at the time. “I get on with him. I think he’s a decent man.”
The former vice president also said Cheney was “extremely helpful” in teaching him about the requirements of the office after the 2008 election as he transitioned into the role.
“He was extremely helpful and gracious about the office, and the legal parameters of the office,” Biden said of Cheney.
This was not the only time Biden has praised Cheney. When Cheney’s bust was unveiled at the US Capitol in December 2015,Biden quipped, “As I look around this room and up on the platform, I want to say thank you for letting me crash your family reunion. I’m afraid I’ve blown his cover. I actually like Dick Cheney.”
Biden’s affinity for Cheney is apparently quite mutual. In August 2015, for example, Cheney said he hoped Biden would run for president in 2016.
“I’d love to see Joe get in the race,” Cheney said at the time.
Biden didn’t ultimately run that year, but as his 2020 campaign picks up steam five years later, the former vice president is getting slammed for praising his immediate predecessor.
A clip of Biden’s flattering remarks about Cheney resurfaced on Twitter on Thursday and went viral, causing “Cheney” to rise to the top five trends in the country by the early evening.
A number of media figures went after Biden for expressing warm feelings toward someone they regard as a “war criminal” and expressed dismay that he’s the 2020 Democratic frontrunner at present.
Cheney is widely regarded as the architect of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the catalyst for a number of controversial policies the Bush administration implemented following the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 – including enhanced interrogation techniques.
Dick Cheney was the architect of war crimes, but OK. https://t.co/53PRbdNZ26
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) May 2, 2019
That this man is leading the Democratic field tells you so much about the Democrats, tbh.
Dick Cheney is ‘decent’ and some sort of vice-presidential role model? FFS. https://t.co/WHQZO65zCb
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) May 2, 2019
Hey Democrats, you nostalgic about the Bush years? You know, perpetual war, civil liberties violations, shooting friends in the face? Yeah? Then you're in luck! Biden is your guy. https://t.co/tvb63zKLMZ
— Markos Moulitsas (@markos) May 2, 2019
With his campaign off to a flying start, Biden is poised to see increasing scrutiny moving forward and the criticism he’s received over his relationship with Cheney could be a sign of what’s to come.
Biden has been in public life for decades and has a long political record. Even before he officially announced for 2020 last Thursday, the former vice president faced criticism on various moments from his political career – particularly his role in drafting the 1994 crime bill and the Anita Hill hearings.
Biden’s 2020 campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from INSIDER.
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