Dick Cheney speaks to a crowd at Colorado Christian University, where he promoted his new book and blasted President Barack Obama’s foreign policy.
LAKEWOOD, CO — Slumped deep in an arm chair on the stage at Colorado Christian University, Dick Cheney showed a crowd here he still knows how to drop some bombs. This time they came in the form of rhetorical bunker busters repeatedly leveled at President Barack Obama.
Cheney is promoting a new book he co-wrote with his daughter Lynne. And in doing so he addressed a sold-out crowd as part of a speaking series by the Christian college and The Centennial Institute, repeatedly ripping Obama on foreign policy every chance he got.
“The thing I worry about now is that there isn’t anybody down the road who’s going to look back at the Obama administration and expect a call — or make a call — thanking Obama and his associates for what they did to the military,” he said at one point. “It’s devastating.”
When it comes to Vladimir Putin and his exploits around the globe, Cheney said the Russian president is “feeling his oats” under Obama.
“He thinks Obama’s weak,” Cheney said.
Asked by conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt if Cheney thought the United States is vulnerable to an attack similar to 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, Cheney immediately replied in the affirmative.
“I think the threat level today is greater than it was after 9/11,” he said. “I think you’ve got not only the the proliferation of Islamic radicalism and extremists, they are launching attacks into Europe, attacks in the United States.”
There’s no geographical limitation, he said.
“Anybody who sits around now and thinks, ‘Gee, we’re safe behind our oceans and we can turn our back … forget that. Just ask the folks in San Bernardino,” Cheney said.
And in case you were wondering, it didn’t take him long to get around to an old standby: weapons of mass destruction in the Mideast.
“Now, you can say, ‘Well, it was just folks armed with rifles and pistols, and they only killed 14 of us.’ Well, if you start to think about the combination of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction that’s going on now in the mideast and the proliferation of terrorist organizations, it doesn’t take much to get a device on a ship and sail it into the middle of New York Harbor, or put it in a semi and drive it around the Beltway outside of Washington. And then all you need is somebody who knows how to set it off and is willing to die for Allah. And that’s increasingly possible. So for us to think somehow we’re safer than we were at the time of 9/11 — I think the world is a much more dangerous place.”
What happened on 9/11 and Paris were not one-off events, Cheney warned.
During his hourlong talk in a state sure to play an outsized role in the next presidential election, Cheney didn’t say who he felt would make the next best commander in chief. But in a casual poll of 20 attendees who came to hear the controversial neoconservative war hawk, six said they were undecided in the GOP contest so far, followed by five who support retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, and three each for Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and his Florida colleague Marco Rubio. Two people said they liked Donald Trump.
One student, political science major James Lutack, warned, however, of a possibly skewed preference for Carson at the college. The candidate had recently packed the house at this small religious campus following an October Republican presidential debate in Boulder, and many students here might know he’s a Christian but not much more about him beyond that.
“There are a lot of Carson zombies here,” he said.