Bush Considered Dumping Cheney in '04

President 'wanted to show who was in charge,' he writes in 'Decision Points'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2010 3:33 AM CDT
Bush Memoir: Dick Cheney Nearly Got the Boot Before '04 Election
President Bush walks with Vice President Dick Cheney to the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington in 2007.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – George Bush seriously considered ditching Dick Cheney for the 2004 election, he writes in his memoir, Decision Points. Cheney offered to step aside and Bush—seeking "to demonstrate I was in charge"—explored the possibility of replacing him with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist before deciding to ask Cheney to stay, he writes in a copy of the memoir obtained by the New York Times.

Other revelations from the memoir, which focuses on 14 major decisions that shaped his life and presidency:

  • Bush defends his decision to invade Iraq, but admits he was shocked when no weapons of mass destruction were found. "No one was more shocked and angry than I was when we didn't find the weapons," he writes. "I had a sickening feeling every time I thought about it. I still do."
  • Bush clashed with Cheney over the firing of Donald Rumsfeld and his decision not to pardon "Scooter" Libby, who was convicted of lying in the CIA leak case. "I can’t believe you’re going to leave a soldier on the battlefield," Cheney snapped at him.
  • Bush says his father advised him that he would have no choice but to invade Iraq if Saddam Hussein didn't comply with United Nations disarmament resolutions. Bush notes that he advised his father to dump Dan Quayle from the ticket in 1992 in favor of Cheney. The 41st president declined, but "I never completely gave up on my idea of a Bush-Cheney ticket," Bush writes.
(Read more Dick Cheney stories.)

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