- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Former Vice President Dick Cheney says President Obama and Eric Holder are playing the “race card” in suggesting that race is a factor in some of the criticism they receive.

“I think they’re playing the race card, in my view,” Mr. Cheney said in an interview published by Playboy when asked if there’s any truth to the suggestion that racism is a factor in criticism of them. “Certainly we haven’t given up — nor should we give up — the right to criticize an administration and public officials.”

“To say that we criticize, or that I criticize, Barack Obama or Eric Holder because of race, I just think it’s obviously not true,” he said. “My view of it is the criticism is merited because of performance — or lack of performance, because of incompetence. It hasn’t got anything to do with race.”

In a recent interview with Politico, Mr. Holder said he felt some of his struggles with Republicans in Congress could have been driven at least in part by race.

“There have been times when I thought that’s at least a piece of it,” Mr. Holder said, adding that “I think that the primary motivator has probably been political in nature … [but] you can’t let it deflect you from … your eyes on the prize.”

Mr. Obama has likewise tried to downplay race as a factor in criticism of him, though he has acknowledged it could be a factor for some people.

“Are there people out there who don’t like me because of race? I’m sure there are,” Mr. Obama told CNN in 2009, adding: “That’s not the overriding issue here.”

Mr. Cheney also said in the interview that he looks at Mr. Obama and sees “the worst president in my lifetime, without question — and that’s saying something.”

“I used to have significant criticism of Jimmy Carter, but compared to Barack Obama and the damage he is doing to the nation — it’s a tragedy, a real tragedy, and we are going to pay a hell of a price just trying to dig out from under his presidency,” he said.

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