A video of former vice president Joe Biden praising former vice president Dick Cheney resurfaced on Thursday after a correspondent for the progressive media outlet Young Turks retweeted the clip dating from 2015.
Biden – who just announced his campaign for president last week and is one of the twenty-one Democrats seeking the party’s nomination – is seen as the frontrunner in the race, despite being a centrist in a party that is increasingly leaning left. His campaign rollout has been dogged with allegations from several women, accusing the former vice president of inappropriate physical contact.
“I actually like Dick Cheney, for real,” Biden said during an event alongside former vice president Walter Mondale at George Washington University. “I get on with him. I think he’s a decent man.”
Biden went on to explain how during the transition from the Bush administration to the Obama administration, Cheney “was extremely helpful and gracious about the office, and the legal parameters of the office.”
Cheney, of course, was an architect of the Iraq War, supported the suspension of habeas corpus for detained prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, and strongly advocated the use of torture – which he often referred to in Orwellian terms as “enhanced interrogation” – even as fellow Republicans, like Senator John McCain, strongly opposed its use as both ineffective and as being contrary to American values.
Progressives on Twitter swiftly condemned Biden’s remarks:
Dick Cheney was the architect of war crimes, but OK. https://t.co/53PRbdNZ26— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) May 2, 2019
Hey Democrats, you nostalgic about the Bush years? You know, perpetual war, civil liberties violations, shooting friends in the face? Yeah? Then you’re in luck! Biden is your guy. https://t.co/tvb63zKLMZ— Markos Moulitsas (@markos) May 2, 2019