Cheney served as defense secretary during George H.W. Bush’s 1989-1993 presidency and was vice president under his son, President George W. Bush.
“The reaction [to Sept. 11], what to do about the Middle East. Just iron-ass. His seeming knuckling under to the real hard-charging guys who want to fight about everything, use force to get our way in the Middle East,” Bush told author Jon Meacham in “Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey Of George Herbert Walker Bush,” according to Fox News.
Bush Snr reportedly added: “I don’t know, he just became very hard-line and very different from the Dick Cheney I knew and worked with.”
Cheney, the 46th US vice president, proved to be easy to please, however, and reportedly said he takes the “iron-ass” remark as a compliment.
“I took it as a mark of pride,” he told Fox News. “The attack on 9/11 was worse than Pearl Harbor, in terms of the number people killed, and the amount of damage done. I think a lot of people believed then, and still believe to this day that I was aggressive in defending, in carrying out what I thought were the right policies.”