- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 18, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Vice President Dick Cheney says he believes he’ll have to make a decision on whether to have a heart transplant given his medical history.

Mr. Cheney told NBC television in an interview that he’s getting by now on a battery-powered heart pump, which makes it “awkward to walk around.” He also says he hasn’t made a decision yet on a transplant, but adds that “the technology is getting better and better.”

Mr. Cheney, who was vice president under President George W. Bush, told the network in an interview, “I’ll have to make a decision at some point whether I want to go for a transplant.”

On another matter, Cheney complimented President Obama on his handling of the Tucson shooting rampage. “I’m not an Obama supporter by nature, but I thought it was one of his better efforts,” he said.

Mr. Cheney, 69, suffered a heart attack last year, his fifth since the age of 37. He had bypass surgery in 1988, as well as two subsequent angioplasties to clear narrowed coronary arteries.

In 2001, he had a special pacemaker implanted in his chest. In addition, doctors in 2008 restored a normal rhythm to his heart with an electric shock. That was the second time in less than a year that he had experienced and been treated for an atrial fibrillation, an abnormal rhythm involving the upper chambers of the heart.