Dick Cheney: I offered to resign three times

Former Vice President Dick Cheney offered to resign three times in 2004.

That, and many other revelations about the 46th vice president of the United States, are detailed in Cheney’s book, “In My Time,” a tell-all memoir that hits stores today.

“If President Bush felt he had a better chance to win with someone else as his running mate, I wanted to make sure he felt free to make the change,” Cheney wrote.

In a taped interview that aired Monday night on NBC’s Dateline, Cheney described the book as his “one chance to write your version of events, your history, your story.” He said he did not set out to embarrass former President George W. Bush, though early reviews of the book suggest Cheney contradicts Bush’s view of crucial events that occurred during the eight-year administration.


Cheney said he makes “no apologies” for controversial policies – maintaining secret prisons, wiretapping and the use of waterboarding as an interrogation tool – that he championed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“It worked,” he told NBC’s Jamie Gangel. “It produced results.”

Cheney, who had four heart attacks before he became vice president – the first at age 37 – reveals in the book that he had a secret resignation letter on hand because he thought he’d found a flaw in the Constitution.

“There’s no provision made for a situation in which the vice president becomes incapacitated,” he said.

He also offered to resign three times. Bush dismissed the first two immediately, Cheney said. But the third time Cheney offered, Bush took some time to think it over.

“I really pushed hard and said, Mr. President, you really need to sit down and think about this,” Cheney said. “And that time, he did. And then he came back and he said, ‘No, I’ll leave it the way it is, Dick.’ ”