Dick Cheney Criticizes Pence Face-to-Face on Foreign Policy. Trump Jr. Fires Back
13 March, 2019, 16:20 | Author: Carlos George
A chummy discussion between Vice President Pence and former vice president Richard B. Cheney quickly turned into a vigorous back-and-forth over President Trump's foreign policy at a private gathering Saturday, with Cheney comparing the president's instincts to those of his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, according to a transcript obtained by The Washington Post.
During a private retreat Saturday hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, Cheney raised his concerns over Trump's comments against the North Atlantic Trade Organization and the surprise withdrawal of United States troops from Syria, the Post reported.
Cheney reportedly blasted what he described as President Donald Trump's foreign policy blunders that look "a lot more like Barack Obama than Ronald Reagan".
The questions were a departure from the set of subjects that had been agreed upon for the meeting, which was attended by 200 select guests.
Although Mr Pence referred to Mr Cheney as "as one of my favourite hawks" and told ABC, "I hold Dick Cheney in really high regard in his role as Vice President and as an American", his tone was a far cry from his earlier references to him as a role model.
Since leaving office, Cheney has largely avoided the public spotlight.
Attendees say Cheney was polite and gave Pence plenty of opportunity to respond and defend the Trump administration.
Cheney's remarks, which were first reported Monday by The Washington Post, were confirmed by a person in the room. He said later, as the event ended: "Gee, look at the time".
The President's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, jumped at the opportunity to lambast Mr Cheney's own record.
Cheney homed in on two key issues, attendees said: The president's tendency to make policy decisions on Twitter before notifying senior members of his own staff, let alone important allies, and his tendency to make such decisions without properly consulting aides and intelligence reports. "The Vice President reaffirmed the US's unwavering commitment to the alliance and also offered an unapologetic defense for requiring our allies to live up to the commitments they made for our collective security", the spokesperson tells CNN.
"We're going to continue to stand strong for a strong national defence with President Trump in the White House".
Mr Pence defended the administration and stuck by Mr Trump's push to win more financial help from allies and decrease the USA military footprint in Syria, while maintaining a strong posture overseas.
The clash is an example of the ongoing tension in the Republican Party between the more hawkish Bush-era wing that pushed for USA intervention in Iraq in 2003, and Trump's homefront-focused policies that look to withdraw from conflicts overseas so as to deal with domestic national security issues.
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