Dick Cheney Considering Heart Transplant

Former Vice President Dick Cheney's three decades of heart trouble and five heart attacks have left him and his doctors with a very serious decision to make; is his externally-powered, state-of-the-art heart pump sufficient to keep his ticker ticking, or should the soon-to-be 70-year-old get a transplant.

In an interview with NBC News set to be aired Tuesday, Cheney says he hasn't "made a decision yet."

He touts the battery-powered pump currently used to boost blood flow around his body as a "wondrous device. It's really a miracle of modern technology."

The Left Ventricular Assist Device is usually implanted as a stopgap measure to keep patients healthy until a heart transplant can be preformed.

"What's happened over time is the technology's gotten better and better and we've gotten more and more experience with people living with this technology. So I'll have to make a decision at some point whether or not I want to go for a transplant. But we haven't addressed that yet," Cheney says in the interview.

His ongoing health problems have done little to soften the political mind of a Republican power-player.

Asked whether he still believed President Obama would fail to secure a second term in office, Cheney replied immediately, "I do."

"I think he embarked upon a course of action when he became president that did not have as much support as he thought it did," says Cheney, pointing to the bitter debate over Mr. Obama's health care reform law -- which House Republicans have vowed to try and repeal.

Republicans Target Health Care Repeal

President George W. Bush's right-hand man acknowledges marginal recent gains by Mr. Obama in national popularity polls, saying the current leader likely "learned a lesson or two" from his midterm election "shellacking," but "I think he'll be a one term president."

  • Tucker Reals

    Tucker Reals is the CBSNews.com foreign editor, based at the CBS News London bureau.