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Cheney: Congressional Resolutions Won’t Stop Iraq Plan January 24, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Politics, US News, White House.
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WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)–Congressional opposition won’t stop the White House from implementing its new Iraq strategy, Vice President Dick Cheney said Wednesday.

“We are moving forward,” Cheney said in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “The Congress has control over the purse strings. They have the right, obviously, if they want, to cut off funding. But in terms of this effort, the President has made his decision.”

The White House released a transcript of the interview, which will air later Wednesday.

A day after President George W. Bush defended in The State of the Union his decision to send more than 20,000 additional troops into Iraq, Cheney criticized lawmakers who are considering resolutions opposing the strategy. He said they haven’t come up with alternative plans.

“The critics have not suggested a policy. They haven’t put anything in place,” Cheney said. “All they want to do, all they’ve recommended is to redeploy or to withdraw our forces. The fact is, we can complete the task in Iraq. We’re going to do it.”

A potential Senate resolution “won’t stop us,” Cheney said, adding that it would be detrimental to U.S. forces.

The 22-minute interview, which touched on topics from Iran to Osama bin Laden to Cheney’s daughter’s pregnancy, was frequently testy.

Asked if he thought Hillary Clinton would make a good president, Cheney said, “No, I don’t.”

Why?

“Because she’s a Democrat. I don’t agree with her philosophically and from a policy standpoint.”

Do you think she will be President, Blitzer asked.

“I don’t,” Cheney replied. He wouldn’t speculate on who he thinks will succeed Bush in the White House, but said it wouldn’t be him.

Cheney took issue with Blitzer’s questions regarding his daughter Mary’s pregnancy.

“I’m delighted I’m about to have a sixth grandchild, Wolf, and obviously think the world of both of my daughters and all of my grandchildren,” Cheney said. “And I think, frankly, you’re out of line with that question.”

Blitzer had asked the vice president to reply to a statement by the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family that Mary Cheney’s pregnancy raises questions about what’s best for children because she is a lesbian.

“I think you’re out of – I think you’re out of line with that question,” Cheney said.

On Iran, Cheney wouldn’t speculate on the actions the U.S. would take to stop Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

“Wolf, we’ve got a policy in place that’s, I think, producing results,” he said. “We want to solve the problem diplomatically. We’ll do everything we can to achieve that. But we’ve also made it clear that all options are on the table. Now, no administration in their right mind is going to answer the question you just asked.”

On Osama bin Laden, Cheney acknowledged that the al-Qaida leader is still alive but denied that the U.S. has softened in its search for him by focusing on Iraq.

“The fact of the matter is we can do more than one thing at a time, and we have,” Cheney said. “And we’ve been very successful with going after al-Qaida. They’re still out there, they’re still a formidable force, but they’re not nearly as formidable as they once were in terms of numbers and so forth. We have successfully defended the country for over five years against any further attacks.”

By Henry J. Pulizzi, Dow Jones Newswires

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