Cheney Explains That He Meant to Criticize McCain’s Palin ‘Mistake,’ Not Palin Herself

Former US Vice President Dick Cheney participates in a discussion on the 9/11 attacks at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC, on September 9, 2011. Cheney spoke about his experience working in the White House, as well as the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 as the 10th anniversary approaches. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo: SAUL LOEB/2011 AFP

Dick Cheney is stepping back from some week-old observations he made about John McCain’s ill-fated choice of Sarah Palin as his 2008 running mate, which the former vice-president called “not well-handled” and “a mistake.” The comments were widely (and, it seems, mostly correctly) interpreted as a criticism of Palin, forcing Cheney to offer up a clarification — or something like that — during an interview with Sean Hannity taped earlier tonight.

I was asked if I thought the McCain process in ‘08 had been well done or was it a mistake and I said I thought it was a mistake. That’s not … meant so much as a criticism of Governor Palin as it is that I just thought it was not — the process didn’t meet the standards I would like to see our candidate pursue when they pick a — a running mate.”

So, basically, Cheney repeated what he’d said before — though it’s possible that his Palinesque delivery might be enough to confuse some people into thinking he meant something else.

Cheney Meant to Criticize McCain, Not Palin