MSNBC "Hardball with Chris Matthews" - Transcript: Dick Cheney on the President's Islamic State Strategy


Date: Sept. 25, 2014
Issues: Defense


MATTHEWS: And what explains Cheney`s severe criticism of the president personally?

Joining me is U.S. Congressman Jim Moran of Virginia and Republican strategist John Feehery. Congressman Moran, what do you make of this guy? He pops up like a Jack-in-the-box the very night the president spoke to the world through the U.N., trying to reach the world, the Arab world, the young people of the world, and right in the middle of that, he goes in there and tries to screw up the message and create a partisan fight. And of all people, he`s a man who`s been wrong consistently on Iraq. Your thoughts.

REP. JIM MORAN (D), VIRGINIA: Well, it`s shameless, and it sends exactly the wrong message to the world. He`s deliberately trying to undermine the credibility of our president outside our borders. It`s one thing to get involved in domestic politics, but to try to discredit our president, particularly at a time like this, is just so wrong.

You know, Chris, there`s another thing, too, we ought to bear in mind. I`ll never forget being in Baghdad, trying to get into the Green Zone with a number of members of Congress who had to fund that Iraq war and have the -- waiting to be searched, and so on. We waited for a long time. But a number of scraggly Americans would walk right up to the front of the line and walk in unhindered.

So I asked the soldier, who are those guys? And he says, Oh, that`s Halliburton. Halliburton owns this place. Well, Cheney was one of the owners of Halliburton, thousands of shares of stock. He was the CEO before he became vice president.

I can`t imagine the millions of dollars he made, frankly, off that war. And then to have the chutzpah to continue to denigrate our president, particularly at the worst possible times, in the eyes of the world, it really is shameless.


MATTHEWS: Congressman Moran, Ted Kennedy before he died said the most important decision of his life in the Congress of the United States as a senator for all those decades was to vote against the Iraq war. I think it`s on Cheney`s side that he has to do the confessing.

MORAN: Well, yes.

And we wouldn`t be dealing with ISIS right now if we had not gone into Iraq. You know, we broke it. And I`m not sure how we`re going to be able to put it back together again. But Cheney and his ilk clearly were responsible for one of the worst decisions that has been made in our lifetime, probably the worst.

And, of course, it`s never been paid for. And I can`t imagine what he says to those 4,500 Americans who lost their lives in such an ill- conceived, ill-advised war, and not to mention the trillions of dollars we paid, and the other, the additional trillion we will pay trying to heal them in body and mind, those brave veterans who have returned from a war that they never should have had to fight in the first place.

MATTHEWS: The scary thing is, he got away with this. He got us in. He said it would short, cheap, and necessary. None of that was true.Thank you, U.S. Congressman Jim Moran and John Feehery.