5274845Former Vice President Dick Cheney delivered some more harsh commentary on President Obama's leadership, just as the president prepares to address the nation regarding his new Afghanistan policy.
"I begin to get nervous when I see the commander in chief making decisions apparently for what I would describe as small 'p' political reasons, where he's trying to balance off different competing groups in society," Cheney said in an interview with Politico. "Every time he delays, defers, debates, changes his position, it begins to raise questions: Is the commander in chief really behind what they've been asked to do?"
After a 92-day review of the war in Afghanistan, Mr. Obama tonight will lay out to the American public, in a nationally broadcast address, his new battle strategy for the war in Afghanistan. The new plan is expected to include sending more than 30,000 additional U.S. forces to Afghanistan, as well as an increased emphasis on training for Afghan forces in order to allow the U.S. to leave down the line.
Although the president is facing criticism for some on the left for increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan, Cheney told Politico that average Afghan citizen "sees talk about exit strategies and how soon we can get out, instead of talk about how we win."
When asked whether the Bush administration's focus on Iraq was responsible for the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, Cheney reportedly said, "I basically don't," without elaborating.
The former vice president once again chastised Mr. Obama for his "weakness" and for bowing to Japan's Emperor Akihito.
"Here's a guy without much experience, who campaigned against much of what we put in place ... and who now travels around the world apologizing," Cheney said. "I think our adversaries — especially when that's preceded by a deep bow ... — see that as a sign of weakness."
Official: Reaction to Japan Bow Left Obama "Speechless"
Cheney said Republicans have a "respectable shot" at winning back the White House in 2012, though he resisted the idea that he would run for the presidency himself.
"Why would I want to do that?" he said. "It's been a hell of a tour. I've loved it. I have no aspirations for further office."
That hasn't stopped Newsweek's Jon Meacham from suggesting that a presidential bid from Cheney "would be good for the Republicans and good for the country."
More Coverage of Obama's Speech:
Official: 30,000 Troops for Afghan Surge
Obama Speech Is First "Address to the Nation"
Marines to Lead Obama's Afghanistan Surge
CBS News' David Martin on Obama's Plans
Afghan Plan Revives Nation-Building Debate
Spokesman Robert Gibbs on Afghanistan: Not Nation-Building
Politics Today: Obama Makes Critical Decisions
CBSNews.com Special Report: Afghanistan
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Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.