Democrats and Republicans may have found an area of agreement: Dick Cheney should keep on campaigning for the GOP cause.
Cheney's apparently endless retirement speaking tour culminated Thursday at the American Enterprise Institute, where he savaged Barack Obama and dismissed criticism of torture as "phony moralizing" and "feigned outrage." Republican poll numbers have continued to crater in the weeks since Cheney first took to the talk-show circuit, but GOP senators told the Huffington Post Thursday afternoon that they think the former vice president will rally voters to their cause.
"I'm sure he can help some," said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. "I hope he helps where he can. I like the vice president."
Graham qualified that he doesn't see Cheney, 68, as the future of the Republican Party, leaving that role to "some young governor or somebody out there that will emerge over time." He noted that he and Cheney have not always agreed on policy, a caveat that John Thune was also quick to include amid his praise.
"He is at heart a Republican, and I think that like a lot of Republicans, he doesn't agree with everything sometimes that our candidates may stand for or perhaps the party's platform necessarily," Thune said. "But he's someone who has had a tremendous leadership role for our country and in the Republican Party."
And Thune went further than Graham in voicing a desire for Cheney's support, asserting that he would love Cheney to stump with him across South Dakota next year.
"I mean, I think anybody would welcome having a guy of his stature and that kind of respect," Thune said.
Reporting contributed by Ryan Grim.