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“I believe firmly that Scooter was unjustly accused and prosecuted and deserved a pardon, and the president disagreed with that,” he said. “I was clearly not happy that we, in effect, left Scooter sort of hanging in the wind, which I didn’t think was appropriate.”

Asked about conservative talk-radio icon Rush Limbaugh, Mr. Cheney downplayed the host’s recent dust-up with Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele.

“Rush is a good friend. I love him. I think he does great work,” he said, adding that “I’d pay to see” the commentator debate Mr. Obama.

Earlier this month, Mr. Limbaugh invited Mr. Obama “to come on this program - without staffers, without a teleprompter, without note cards - to debate me on the issues. Let’s talk about free markets versus government control. Let’s talk about nationalizing health care and raising taxes on small business.”