On Monday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez painted Ann Coulter and CPAC as "hardline." Sanchez also implied that the CPAC attendees were hypocritically cheering Dick Cheney: "I invited Ann Coulter, who exemplifies the hardline spirit of CPAC...and asked her why anti-spend conservatives meeting there...would give a standing ovation to a former vice president whose administration ran up the deficit" [audio clip available here].
The CNN anchor revisited his Friday interview of Coulter 13 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour (Noel Sheppard exposed Sanchez's slanted interview of Coulter): "Do you remember last week when former Vice President Dick Cheney got the loudest ovation at CPAC? So I invited Ann Coulter, who exemplifies the hardline spirit of CPAC, I believe, and I asked her why anti-spend conservatives meeting there at CPAC would give a standing ovation to a former vice president whose administration ran up the deficit to $1.2 trillion, even though they were handed a surplus. I thought it was a fair question."
After playing a clip from the interview, where the conservative author defended Cheney's stance on national security, Sanchez noted how two former colleagues of the last vice president voiced their disagreement with him:
SANCHEZ: But interestingly enough, this weekend, two top experts on our national security disagreed with Mr. Cheney on some of these key issues. General David Petraeus is the head of CENTCOM, and he was commander in Iraq during the troop increase when Vice President Dick Cheney was in office. Petraeus on 'Meet The Press' this weekend disagreed with his former vice president on the record. He told the host that he still favors closing Guantanamo, and he says the use of extreme interrogation tactics favored by Vice President Dick Cheney just do not work.
GENERAL DAVID PETRAEUS (from February 21, 2010 NBC's Meet the Press): Whenever we have, perhaps, taken expedient measures, they have turned around and bitten us in the backside.
SANCHEZ: Meanwhile, here's another one. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when Dick Cheney was the Defense Secretary, says that Cheney is flat wrong when he says that America is less safe with President Barack Obama sitting in the White House.
COLIN POWELL (from February 21, 2010 CBS's Face the Nation): My bottom-line answer is the nation is still at risk. Terrorists are out there. They are trying to get through. But to suggest that, somehow, we have become much less safer because of the actions of the administration, I don't think are borne out by the facts.
SANCHEZ: By the way, Powell didn't stop without criticizing the Obama administration. Mr. Powell was critical of President Obama's handling of the Christmas Day bomber. Mr. Powell said that there was a lack of coordination among some of the federal agencies that were involved.
Speaking of "extreme interrogation tactics favored by Vice President Cheney," Sanchez omitted one recent development concerning that controversial issue. The Washington Post reported on Saturday that the Eric Holder-led Justice Department cleared the Bush administration lawyers who wrote legal memos which defending the use of such tactics of any wrongdoing: "[Associate Deputy Attorney General David] Margolis concluded that despite significant flaws in the documents, the memo authors did not intentionally violate ethics rules. Instead, he said, they were struggling to prevent another terrorist strike on U.S. soil."