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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cheney Says Sarah Palin Was Not Ready to Be Vice President


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Former Vice President Dick Cheney said that Sarah Palin was not ready to be his successor and that picking her was “a mistake” that Mitt Romney should seek to avoid with his choice.

Speaking to Jonathan Karl of ABC News in his first interview since undergoing heart transplant surgery in March, Mr. Cheney said that considerations other than an a bility to serve as vice president were clearly present in Senator John McCain's choice of Ms. Palin.

Mr. Karl asked whether a presidential candidate should consider how well a vice presidential nominee might appeal in a particular state or to a demographic group.

“Those are important issues, but they should never be allowed to override that first proposition. That was one of the problems McCain had,” Mr. Cheney said.

“I like Governor Palin. I've met her. I know her,” Mr. Cheney said, calling Ms. Palin an “attractive candidate” in 2008. “But based on her background, she had only been governor for, what, two years? I don't think she passed that test of being ready to take over. And I think that was a mistake.”

Mr. Cheney has been an outspoken critic of President Obama, but was silenced by health troubles in the past year. He received a heart transplant in March and has been recovering at his home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Mr. Karl interviewed him there. The full interview will be shown Monday on ABC news programs.

In the brief excerpt shown on Sunday, Mr. Cheney did not criticize Mr. Obama. But Mr. Karl hinted that the former vice president does not hold back in the rest of the interview.

“No question: Cheney is back. He feels much better,” Mr. Karl said on ABC's “This Week” program. “He says he hasn't felt this good for years. And he is certainly not holding back. You'll hear what he said about Obama - some of his harshest criticism yet tomorrow.”

Follow Michael D. Shear on Twitter at @shearm.