(CBS News) A little more than a week after calling John McCain's 2008 vice presidential pick a "mistake," Dick Cheney is clarifying his comments, suggesting that he meant to criticize McCain's VP selection process, not the candidate, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
"It wasn't aimed so much at Governor Palin as it was against the basic process that (John) McCain used," Cheney told Fox News's Sean Hannity in an interview airing Monday night, according to the Washington Post. "My point basically dealt with the process in terms of that basic requirement: Is this person prepared to step in to be President of the United States when they're picked? And it was my judgment -- 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."
What Cheney said last weekend, in an interview on ABC's "This Week," was not actually much different from his comments Monday night: He argued that "The test to get on that small list has to be, 'Is this person capable of being president of the United States?" and that Palin did not meet it.
"I like Governor Palin. I've met her. I know her," he said at the time. "But based on her background, she'd only been governor for, what, two years. I don't think she passed that test ... of being ready to take over. And I think that was a mistake."
In the wake of some criticism -- the former vice president is reiterating that he did not mean the comments as a personal attack on Palin.
"[The comments were 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," he told Hannity.
Palin responded to Cheney's initial comments last week, serving the former VP something of a backhanded compliment, and contending that he must have bought into a "false narrative" propagated by the "lamestream media."
"Seeing as how Dick -- excuse me, Vice President Cheney -- never misfires, then evidently he's quite convinced that what he had evidently read about me by the lamestream media, having been written, what I believe is a false narrative over the last four years," she said Tuesday night on Fox News. "Evidently Dick Cheney believed that stuff, and that's a shame."