Dick Cheney (Getty Images)
(USA TODAY) - Dick Cheney's new heart hasn't softened his opinions of President Obama.
"I obviously am not a big fan of President Obama," the former vice president told ABC News. "I think he's been one of our weakest presidents. I just fundamentally disagree with him philosophically. I'd be hard put to find any Democratic president that I've disagreed with more."
Even Jimmy Carter, Cheney was asked? "Yes," he said.
Of course, the feeling is no doubt mutual; Obama and his backer say the policies of Cheney and President George W. Bush in Iraq and elsewhere lowered U.S. standing in the world.
Cheney did give Obama credit for the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011, but said the intelligence that led to that action came from programs developed from the Bush administration.
He also criticized Obama's decisions to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan.
"We should not be running for the exits. We should not be turning our backs on our friends in that part of the world," he said.
Cheney will not be delivering a critique of Obama at next month's Republican convention; ABC reported that he plans to skip the proceedings.
ABC's Good Morning America played more highlights today from the interview in which, as we reported Sunday, he criticized the 2008 vice presidential selection of Sarah Palin as "a mistake."
In his first interview since his heart transplant in March, Cheney also said his recovery is "nothing short of a miracle" and "I haven't felt this good in years."
From ABC News:
Cheney, 71, details how far back he has come. He remembers waking from weeks of heavy sedation after having a pump installed in his heart in 2010, a grueling operation that left him seeing his own mortality in the mirror.
"Two years ago this time I was on a respirator, heavily sedated. Just had a pump ... installed on my heart because my heart had gotten so weak after six heart attacks and 30-some years of heart disease that it was, you know, it was at the end," he said.
"I lost 40 pounds. I was heavily sedated in the intensive care unit for weeks afterwards. I had pneumonia while I was in recovering from the surgery. And by the time I came out from under I looked in a mirror and what I saw was my dad shortly before he died. He was in his 80s," Cheney said. ...
He doesn't know who gave him his new heart because protocol is to maintain anonymity, but the former vice president said there is a program that allows an intermediary to reach out to the donor family to see if they want contact with the recipient.
"At some point I would be, you know, certainly amenable to contact with the family. But we have not at this point exchanged any information," Cheney said.
If contact was made, Cheney said he would "express my gratitude for what's a magnificent gift. I can't think of a more magnificent gift than to be given additional years of life."
Healthy again, Cheney has resumed his love of fishing and his frank evaluations of politicians, including himself.