Cheney Calls Mubarak A Friend and Ally of the United States

Posted: Feb 07, 2011 11:08 AM
The former Vice President weighs in on the leadership crisis in Egypt, offering some rare praise for embattled president Hosni Mubarak.  Cheney stops short, however, of delivering an unequivocal vote of confidence for Mubarak, deferring to the will of the Egyptian people:

"The bottom line is, in the end, whatever comes next in Egypt is going to be determined by the people of Egypt," Cheney added.

Cheney, looking markedly thinner than during his days in Washington and sitting throughout his remarks, said Mubarak helped the U.S. get military aircraft into the region in the 1991 Gulf War, and committed troops to fight alongside U.S. forces in the liberation of Kuwait.

"He's been a good man, a good friend and ally to the United States," Cheney said. "We need to remember that."

As huge protests continued Friday, Obama said discussions have begun in Egypt on a turnover of the government, and he called for a "transition period that begins now."

Asked about a possible outcome in Egypt, Cheney said, "I don't know."

"There comes a time for everybody when it's time to hang it up and move on," he said, but added, "That's a decision only the Egyptians can make."