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Powell: Cheney ‘Overshot the Runway,’ Took ‘Cheap Shots’

In an interview on Face the Nation this morning, former Bush secretary of state Colin Powell responded to leaked criticism appearing in former vice president Dick Cheney’s forthcoming memoir.

Powell accused Cheney of taking a “supermarket tabloid” approach to promoting the book, and criticized the vice president for the “cheap shots that he’s taking at me and other members of the administration that served to the best of our ability.”

Powell denied that Cheney played a role in his resignation from the administration. “It was not a smoothly functioning team at that point,” Powell said. “I felt that I had to leave the administration. And frankly, I always intended to just serve one term.”

In response to what he said was Cheney’s claim that Powell brought objections to administration policy outside the White House instead of presenting them to the president, the former general told CBS’s Bob Schieffer that “Mr. Cheney may forget that I’m the one who said to President Bush, ‘If you break it you own it,’” with regard to Iraq. While Powell said he counseled President Bush to prepare for all phases of a potential war in Iraq, not just the initial military operation, “Cheney and many of his colleagues were not prepared for what happened after the fall of Baghdad.”

Powell, who voted for Barack Obama in 2008, said he remains undecided on whether he will support the president for re-election.

Daniel Foster — Daniel Foster is a former news editor of National Review Online.

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