Condoleeza Rice unhappy with Cheney’s attacks

Condoleezza Rice (L) and Dick Cheney stand by as George W. Bush (not pictured) speaks during a signing ceremony for the United States-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Non-proliferation Enhancement Act in the East Room of the White House in Washington October 8, 2008. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday she resented what she viewed as an attack on her integrity by former Vice President Dick Cheney in his just-published memoir.

Speaking in an interview with Reuters, Rice rejected Cheney’s contention that she misled President George W. Bush about nuclear diplomacy with North Korea.

“I kept the president fully and completely informed about every in and out of the negotiations with the North Koreans,” Rice said in her first public comments on the matter. “You can talk about policy differences without suggesting that your colleague somehow misled the president. You know, I don’t appreciate the attack on my integrity that that implies.”

Rice, in a telephone interview, also disputed a passage in Cheney’s memoir, “In My Time,” in which he says the secretary of state “tearfully admitted” that the Bush administration should not have apologized for a claim in Bush’s 2003 State of the Union address on Iraq’s supposed search for uranium for nuclear arms.

Cheney, who opposed a public apology for the unfounded claim, wrote that Rice “came into my office, sat down in the chair next to my desk, and tearfully admitted I had been right.”

“It certainly doesn’t sound like me, now, does it?” Rice said in the interview. “I would never — I don’t remember coming to the vice president tearfully about anything in the entire eight years that I knew him.”

“I did say to him that he had been right about the press reaction” to the administration’s acknowledgment that the remarks about Iraq seeking uranium in Africa should not have been in Bush’s speech, Rice said.

“And so I did say to the vice president, ‘you know, you were right about the press reaction.’ But I am quite certain that I didn’t do it tearfully,” she said.

Rice is the latest former senior Bush aide to fire back at Cheney’s memoir and its characterization of the vice president’s bureaucratic rivals.

Rice’s predecessor, former secretary of state Colin Powell, on Sunday said Cheney’s book levels “cheap shots” at colleagues and mischaracterizes events.

Rice said she believes her last contact with Cheney was at the groundbreaking ceremony for Bush’s presidential library.

Asked if Cheney were trying to settle scores, Rice said, “I am not going to question the vice president’s motives, because he is somebody with whom I had a good relationship and for whom I had, and still have, a great deal of respect.”

“But I have to say that some of the things that he said about his colleagues are not in keeping with the high respect that I have always had for him,” she added. “I think they do fall into the category of cheap shots.”

Rice played down speculation that she might be asked to serve as a Republican vice presidential candidate in 2012. “I am not cut out for such things,” she said.

When a reporter pointed out that this was not an absolute, Shermanesque denial, she laughed and replied: “No, no no. I am a happy university professor… We’ll all find great candidates. I won’t be one of them.”

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6 Responses to "Condoleeza Rice unhappy with Cheney’s attacks"

  1. Eddie Caplan  September 2, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Condi Rice — agree, disagree — always a class act.

  2. Carl Nemo **==  September 2, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    There’s a cell in hell waiting for her too, along with G.W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz et al. that “engineered” this nation into seemingly endless conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere. Fie on them all…! : |

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Jeffrey King  September 2, 2011 at 9:54 pm

      Just another one indeed. The movie version should adapt a line from Jaws when they need a bigger bonfire instead of a bigger boat.

      Carl, can I join your Grumpy old man club?

      I doubt I’m getting any smarter but the political press releases are surely getting dumber.

      • Carl Nemo **==  September 3, 2011 at 3:28 am

        Yep Jeff, you are surely welcome to join the club. Lately, every day concerning the “order of the day” is just another ‘sore-arched’ one for me psychologically. Even my wife says I’m not much fun to be around; her thoughts, that I simply think too much. Take heart, there is salvation, in the end we are all dead…no? : )

        Carl Nemo **==

        • Jeffrey King  September 4, 2011 at 12:49 pm

          Gee thanks Carl. Yes, death will be pleasant relief. Sadly, we are in a battle with too many pinheads with no concept of reality or sense of time or individual importance.

          This country is an infant and our greatest national hero figures are more myth than fact. Let’s agree I’m wrong and they are still pimples on a gnat’s ass. GW is a great example when he spoke of his own legacy. 50 years from now is a pixel on a nano dot of time. A paragraph in an American history book or 100 volumes of specualation by historians does not increase or improve anything.

          Condi played her role and why shouldn’t she be happy back in the bosom of tenured professor, filling her time in comfort, pretending to do something useful, until she dies?

          Relax, the next great adventure is unknown. My choice is something other than popular human imagination is selling or predicting.

  3. b mcclellan  September 2, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    We could use her to flush out Gaddafi Carl, then lock them up together..

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