Cheney and Giuliani's willfully ignorant responses to Obama's comments on terrorism

Blog ››› ››› ERIC SCHROECK

As Media Matters noted yesterday, right-wing media figures responded to President Obama's reported comments that the United States can "absorb a terrorist attack" and that the country "absorbed [9-11] and we are stronger" with predictably unhinged and absurd criticism.

Since then, serial misinformers Liz Cheney and Rudy Giuliani have chimed in, and each displayed stunningly willful ignorance to what Obama actually said in responding to his comments.

Here's Cheney's statement (emphasis added):

"Americans expect our President to do everything possible to defend the nation from attack. We expect him to use every tool at his disposal to find, defeat, capture and kill terrorists. We expect him to deter attacks by making clear to our adversaries that an attack on the United States will carry devastating consequences. Instead, President Obama is reported to have said, 'We can absorb a terrorist attack.' This comment suggests an alarming fatalism on the part of President Obama and his administration. Once again the President seems either unwilling or unable to do what it takes to keep this nation safe. The President owes the American people an explanation."

And here's Giuliani's response, according to The Hill (emphasis added):

"Well, I don't know that I would have said that. The country has to be prepared for any terrorist attack," Giuliani said on a conference call with reporters. "I would prefer that the president put his effort in preventing another Sept 11."

"You're never prepared for an attack that kills 2,000 or 2,300 people ... We just do the best that we can, we don't get overly assertive about it," Giuliani later added. "I would say you're never prepared for it, you just to the best that you can."

Both Cheney and Giuliani seem to be upset that Obama is not working to "prevent another Sept. 11" and "keep this nation safe."

But here's what Obama reportedly said (emphasis added):

"We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever ... we absorbed it and we are stronger."

Obama specifically said that he's doing "everything we can to prevent" an attack - directly contradicting Cheney and Giuliani's criticism. And as Media Matters noted, numerous conservatives have previously made similar comments -- including former President Bush.

So either Cheney and Giuliani didn't read Obama's comments carefully, or they're displaying willful ignorance to take dishonest, cheap shots at Obama.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy
Liz Cheney
Rudy Giuliani, Attacks on Barack Obama
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