Former Vice President Dick Cheney is stirring things up again.
He said the Republican party should be grooming a new generation of leaders, and pointed to his daughter Liz as an example of what the GOP needs. She is running for the U.S. Senate from Wyoming, which Dick Cheney represented in the House of Representatives for many years. Liz Cheney has become a controversial figure in the Cowboy State because she is seeking to oust a fellow Republican, Mike Enzi, and because she moved there relatively recently.
But Dick Cheney told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that the drubbing that Republican nominee Mitt Romney took from President Obama in last year's election showed that the GOP needs a new cast of leaders and a better message. "It's not the first time we have had to go down this road," Cheney said, "and it's basically, I think, healthy for the party to be brought up short, say, 'OK, now it's time to go to work.'"
The former vice president predicted that his daughter is "going to win" her GOP primary battle against Enzi. He said media reports are "simply not true" that he and Enzi have been "fishing buddies," and he criticized Enzi for getting a huge majority of his campaign money from outside Wyoming, such as from powerful interests in Washington.
"Washington is not going to elect the next senator from Wyoming," Cheney said. "The people of Wyoming will elect that senator."
As he has done before, Cheney was critical of President Obama on foreign policy and national security, which were Cheney's specialties while serving for eight years as George W. Bush's vice president. He said Obama has handled the Middle East poorly, and argued that the U.S. presence in the region has been "significantly diminished" in recent years. "I think our friends no longer count on us, no longer trust us, and our adversaries don't fear us," he argued.
Asked if military action against Iran was "inevitable" to stop its development of nuclear weapons, Cheney said he had "trouble seeing how we're going to achieve our objective short of that."
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 "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He is the author of the new book "Prisoners of the White House: The Isolation of America's Presidents and the Crisis of Leadership." Ken Walsh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook and Twitter.