Clinton, Cheney banter about a Hillary WH run

Dick Cheney defends his memoir's criticism
Bob Schieffer spoke with former Vice President Dick Cheney on the reception of his memoir "In My Time."

Former President Bill Clinton is glad former Vice President Dick Cheney approves of his wife's performance as President Obama's top diplomat, but he thinks the glowing grade may be more about politics than a wish for her to replace her boss.

"You know, I'm very proud of her, and so I'm always gratified whenever anyone says anything nice about her," Mr. Clinton said when asked about Cheney's recent comment that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the most competent member of the Obama administration and would make a stronger candidate for the Democrats than Mr. Obama in 2012.

"But I also have a high regard for the Vice President Cheney's political skills," Mr. Clinton told host Bob Schieffer, "and I think he, by saying something nice about her in the way that he did it, knew that it might cause a little trouble."

Mr. Clinton did not take the bait.

"I don't want to help him succeed in his political strategy, but I admire that he's still out there hitting the ball," Mr. Clinton said.

Asked to respond moments later, Cheney told Schieffer in a separate interview that he is glad to see that Mr. Clinton sees "some merit" to his suggestion.

And the former vice president insisted politics was never behind his suggestion.

"No, I just thought Bob, that the Democrats ought to have as much fun on their side as we are having on our side figuring out who is going to run," Cheney said.

  • Corbett Daly On Twitter» Deputy Politics Editor Corbett B. Daly is based in Washington. He has worked at Reuters, Thomson Financial News and CBS MarketWatch.