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War Criminal': CPAC Audience Divided in Heckling/Honoring Cheney & Rumsfeld

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WASHINGTON (AP/The Blaze) — Former Vice President Dick Cheney joked Thursday that former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld may have more influence on President Barack Obama's national security policies than the president's current aides.

Cheney made a surprise appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Thursday to present the former two-time defense secretary with a Defender of the Constitution award. The vice president joked that Rumsfeld twice served as defense secretary and added that "maybe if we give him a third term, he might get it right."

The award ceremony was not without the "usual spirited exercise" of protest at CPAC as a number of libertarian detractors decried Cheney as a "war criminal":

Townhall's Greg Hengler managed to capture video of the outspoken protesters who were quickly escorted from the hotel conference room:

A steady stream of Texas Rep. Ron Paul's supporters also stood and walked out of the tribute for Rumsfeld, a protest planned in advance in part by the Campaign for Liberty, Fox News reports.

The former defense secretary was also booed when took to the stage. There seemed to be a back-and-forth between Paul supporters and other CPAC attendees trying to drown each other out while Rumsfeld watched.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney then took the stage, but the heckling did not stop in what was an amazing display of friction. Someone in the crowd yelled to Cheney above the din "draft dodger." Nonetheless, the crowd is overwhelmingly warm to Rumsfeld, who eventually took his place in the presentation.
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