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Cheney says Obama prefers food stamps to military spending

Former Vice Pres. Dick Cheney slammed Obama over proposed military spending cuts Monday, accusing the president of preferring welfare to military spending.
2013 Federal Law Enforcement Foundation Luncheon
Dick Cheney attends 2013 Federal Law Enforcement Foundation Luncheon at The Waldorf-Astoria on Nov. 22, 2013 in New York City.

Former Vice Pres. Dick Cheney slammed the Obama administration Monday over proposed military spending cuts, insisting that budget cuts would be "absolutely devastating" to the U.S. military and accusing Pres. Barack Obama of preferring welfare to military spending. 

Cheney said the president "would much rather spend the money on food stamps than he would on a strong military or support for our troops" during an appearance Monday evening on Fox News's Hannity.

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“I have not been a strong supporter of Barack Obama. But this really is over the top. It does enormous long-term damage to our military,” Cheney said. 

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel unveiled the new budget Monday, which includes cuts that shrink the army to its smallest since World War II, calling it the first to "fully reflect the transition" from the Bush-Cheney era War in Afghanistan. 

In his remarks, Hagel urged Congress to reverse the effects of sequestration, which he said "requires cuts so deep, so abrupt, so quickly, that we cannot shrink the size of our military fast enough."

Cheney is far from the first Republican to criticize Obama over rising food stamp spending, but his own administration oversaw significant growth in enrollment in the food stamp program as well. The number of Americans on food stamps grew by 14.1 million during first five years of Obama's presidency (2009-2013). When Bush was in office, the number grew by 16.2 million (2001-2009).

Obama signed a bipartisan bill last month that cuts food stamps by $8.7 billion