- The Washington Times - Monday, February 15, 2010

Former Vice President Dick Cheney ducked answering whether former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is qualified to be president, saying only that he has not decided whom he will back in 2012.

Mr. Cheney also dismissed Mrs. Palin’s warning that President Obama might declare war on Iran for political purposes, saying U.S.-Iran differences will not be resolved by “simple political calculations.”

In an appearance Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Mr. Cheney was asked by host Jonathan Karl, “Is [Mrs. Palin] qualified to be president?”

Mr. Cheney neither answered the question nor mentioned Mrs. Palin specifically, saying only that whoever he backs “is going to have to prove themselves capable of being president of the United States. And those tests will come during the course of campaigns, obviously. I think - well, I think all the prospective candidates out there have got a lot of work to do if, in fact, they’re going to persuade a majority of Americans that they’re ready to take on the world’s toughest job.”

As for Iran, Mr. Cheney said he did not think a president “can make a judgment like that on the basis of politics.”

“The stakes are too high, the consequences too significant to be treating those as simple political calculations,” he said.

Last week, Mrs. Palin told Fox that if Mr. Obama would “toughen up,” the American people might see him differently.

“Say he decided to declare war on Iran or decide to really come out and do whatever he could to support Israel, which I would like him to do … I think people would perhaps shift their thinking a little bit and decide well, maybe he’s tougher than we think,” Mrs. Palin told Fox News.

From combined dispatches

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