Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Cheney: "One of the worst days of my life..."

Fox's Brit Hume Interview with Dick Cheney: (Click here for video)
Cheney was soft-spoken and somber during the interview.

"The image of him falling is something I'll never ever be able to get out of my mind," Cheney said. "I fired, and there's Harry falling. It was, I'd have to say, one of the worst days of my life at that moment."

"You can talk about all of the other conditions that exist at the time but that's the bottom line and — it was not Harry's fault," he said. "You can't blame anybody else. I'm the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend."

"I ran over to him," Cheney said. "He was laying there on his back, obviously, bleeding. You could see where the shot struck him."

He said he has no idea if he hit a bird because he was focused on Whittington.

"I said, `Harry, I had no idea you were there.' He didn't respond," Cheney said.

Cheney has been roundly criticized for failing to tell the public about the accident until the next day. He said he thought it made sense to let the owner of the ranch where it happened reveal the accident on the local newspaper's Web site Sunday morning.

"I thought that was the right call," Cheney said. "I still do."

Cheney said he agreed that ranch owner Katharine Armstrong should make the story public, because she was an eyewitness, because she grew up on the ranch and because she is "an acknowledged expert in all of this" as a past head of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. He also agreed with her decision to choose the local newspaper as the way to get the news out.

"I thought that made good sense because you can get as accurate a story as possible from somebody who knew and understood hunting and then it would immediately go up to the wires and be posted on the Web site, which is the way it went out and I thought that was the right call," Cheney said.

"What do you think now?" he was asked.

"I still do," Cheney responded. "The accuracy was enormously important. I had no press person with me."

Armstrong told reporters that Whittington made a mistake by not announcing himself as he returned to the hunting line after breaking off to retrieve a downed bird. But Cheney, an avid and longtime hunter, said Whittington was not to blame.

There's no shortage of coverage on's everywhere. I get the feeling that some reporters and politicians are hoping for Harry Whittington to die. It's a frenzy.

It's hard not to feel awful for both Whittington and Cheney. This accident deserves sympathy, and I don't hear much of that anywhere except from fellow hunters.

Is it just me, or is it mostly Republicans and Conservatives who aren't innocent until proven guilty? It's like the words "impeachment" and "resignation"...and even "unintentional manslaughter" are spurting through cracks in the decency levee - ready to indict him at the first opportunity.

You just can't tell me that it would have been the same response from the media and opponents if Cheney was a Democrat in the Warner administration. (I'm on record now predicting Warner as the Democratic nominee in '08)

Alexandra at All Things Beautiful has a nice roundup though.

BLY at Where Have You Gone Ronald Reagan is there with humor, as always.

Couldn't resist this bumper sticker! (hat tip Expose the Left)

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