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Cheney, Rumsfeld Make Surprise CPAC Appearance Cheney, Rumsfeld Make Surprise CPAC Appearance

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Cheney, Rumsfeld Make Surprise CPAC Appearance


Former vice president Dick Cheney, left, and former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld leave the stage after speaking at the 2011 CPAC conference in Washington DC on Thursday, February 10, 2011.(Chet Susslin)

In a surprise appearance at CPAC, former Vice President Dick Cheney and former two-time defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld brought out an unexpected point of contention from conservatives within the room: After Cheney took the stage to a standing ovation, he presented a tribute award to Rumsfeld, who was booed for nearly a minute. Supporters of Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, even left the room.

Still, the friendly banter between the two former Bush advisers eventually won over the crowd--Cheney joked that "maybe if we give him a third term, he might get it right"--and they all coalesced on their common ground: disdain for the current president.

"You know, I look at many of the current administration's reversals of their announced policies on national security issues, Guantanamo Bay, military commissions... the CIA, drone strikes; it makes me wonder if Dick Cheney hay had more influence on President Obama than the people who got elected," Rumsfeld said to roars from the audience.

Rumsfeld also joked with Cheney about a presidential run: "Dick, in case you were wondering, I think there's probably still time for you to file some paperwork for Iowa and New Hampshire."

But it wasn't all warm and fuzzy for the former vice president. Opponents in the crowd shouted, "war criminal" and "draft dodger" while he was speaking.

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