He’s Baaack! Cheney Stirs the Pot on North Korea

Former veep says U.S. is in ‘deep doo doo’ over nuclear threats.

By + More
In this photo from July 17, 2012, former Vice President Dick Cheney returns to the Capitol in Washington to meet with Senate Republican leaders at a political strategy luncheon.
In this photo from July 17, 2012, former Vice President Dick Cheney returns to the Capitol in Washington to meet with Senate Republican leaders at a political strategy luncheon.

He's at it again. Former Vice President Dick Cheney is once more stirring the pot on national security issues, this time on North Korea.

"We're in deep doo doo," Cheney told House Republicans in analyzing the current confrontation with the Pyongyang regime, according to CNN.

[READ: North Korean War Rhetoric Approaches Breaking Point]

Using that phrase in a private meeting Tuesday was a strange moment for Cheney, who is usually more careful in his choice of words. President George H.W. Bush, for whom Cheney served as secretary of defense, was in the habit of using that phrase as a euphemism for political trouble, and he was derided for his inartful language.

Cheney apparently was suggesting that the North Korean regime is unpredictable and dangerous, and that the U.S. could easily miscalculate.

The former vice president recently told the Republican Party of Wyoming (a state he served as a GOP congressman) that President Obama was weakening national security by trying to cut the military budget and by making "dismal" and "second-rate" choices for his national security team. Cheney was apparently referring to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry.

[READ: Defense Secretary to Inflict Furloughs on Himself

But Democrats were quick to defend Obama.

Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg told me that Americans think Obama is handling the North Korea situation well, balancing tough talk with measured responses. What Americans want most from their commander in chief in the current situation, in which North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un is threatening a nuclear war, is toughness, good judgment and a refusal to overreact, and so far that's what President Obama has been delivering, Greenberg says.

During his eight years as vice president under President George W. Bush, Cheney was an extremely influential adviser and one of the most hawkish officials in government.

More News:

  • Pentagon Sends Missile Defense to Guam Amid N. Korea Threats
  • U.S. Deploys More Stealth Planes to Korean Peninsula
  • Department of Defense Suspends Civilian Furloughs for Two Weeks
  • Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog "Ken Walsh's Washington" for usnews.com, and is the author of "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He can be reached at kwalsh@usnews.com, and followed on Facebook and Twitter.