Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney listens during an event on May 12, 2014 in Washington, D.C.
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Dick Cheney calls Trump a ‘liberal Democrat’ over Iraq War criticism

Updated

Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Donald Trump “sounds like a liberal Democrat” following the billionaire’s recent claims that the George W. Bush administration lied to start the Iraq War and failed to prevent the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“He sounds like a liberal Democrat to me, Bret, he’s wrong,” Cheney said in an interview Monday on Fox New’s “Special Report with Bret Baier.” ”He’s, I think, deliberately promoting those views in order to advance his political interests.” 

Cheney is also not the first Republican to recently criticize Trump for his supposedly less-than-conservative thinking. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said during the Saturday debate that Trump will appoint liberals to the Supreme Court if elected. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush added to the fire in a speech Monday night in South Carolina when he said Trump sounded like liberal filmmaker Michael Moore during the Republican debate. Cruz and Bush have also recently put out five separate attack ads against Trump in South Carolina before the state’s upcoming Republican primary Saturday.

RELATED: NBC Poll: Trump maintains national lead heading into SC Primary

Cheney added that there was no specific intelligence available at the time that former President Bush could have used to prevent the 9/11 attacks. There was only information about a general threat, he said. Trump’s charge that the Bush administration lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was also thoroughly investigated by the Silberman-Robb commission, Cheney said, and the commission found no evidence to support the claim.

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“For Mr. Trump to suggest that, in my mind, is way off base. He clearly doesn’t understand or has not spent any time learning about the facts of that period,” Cheney said.

Trump’s recent attacks against the Bush administration, Cheney said, has also made it “hard to tell sometimes” that Trump is the leading Republican presidential candidate. Cheney also said that Trump is not telling the whole story, including that Cheney said Iraq was in “good shape” by the end of his time in office and that ISIS grew as a threat once President Obama took office.

“It’s a disappointment, frankly, that he’s acting that way. I haven’t endorsed anybody. I don’t have an ax to grind in terms of that,” Cheney said. “I think it’s misleading for him to campaign on that basis.”

No matter which candidate wins, Cheney said he will support the Republican nominee, even if it’s Trump. But he said he thinks if Trump continues “to operate the way he’s operating sounding like a liberal Democrat, I don’t think he’ll get the nomination.”

Dick Cheney, Donald Trump, Iraq and South Carolina

Dick Cheney calls Trump a 'liberal Democrat' over Iraq War criticism

Updated