President Barack Obama plans to say in his speech Thursday that the U.S. lost its way in fighting terrorism over the last eight years by failing to trust its institutions and values, according to an administration official.
Obama will also renew his pledge to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, saying he will honor the commitment he made in the first week of his presidency.
In a remarkable split-screen presentation of opposing world views, former Vice President Dick Cheney will speak on the exact same topic moments after Obama finishes. Cheney is appearing at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, where the audience will watch the president on large TV screens.
Cheney will say: “When President Obama makes wise decisions, he deserves our support. And when he mischaracterizes the national security decisions we made in the Bush years, he deserves an answer.”
Cheney will argue that his intent is not to look backward, but will say that a truthful telling of history is necessary to inform our choices going forward. “Though I’m not here to speak for George W. Bush, I am certain that no one wishes the current administration more success in defending the country than we do,” Cheney will say. “What I want to do today is set forth the strategic thinking that drove our policies.”