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Dick Cheney on Gingrich: 'I Wouldn't Underestimate Him

Dick Cheney on Gingrich: 'I Wouldn't Underestimate Him

"...he was persistent and he was tenacious."

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has a message for America: don't underestimate Newt Gingrich. In an interview with CNN's Erin Burnett, Cheney praised the Republican presidential contender's persistence and tenaciousness, though he declined endorsing him (or any of the other candidates, for that matter).

"I have not endorsed anybody. I've stayed religiously out of the fray on our side this year," Cheney told Burnett. "I've been trying to sell books and that's where my efforts have been focused."

But when Burnett began asking about the GOP field, Cheney did offer his honest assessment of Gingrich's record. After telling the CNN host that both he and Gingrich arrived at Congress during the same year -- 1978 -- the vice president went on to discuss the presidential hopeful's quest for a Republican majority in the House of Representatives.

"When Newt showed up he said, 'We can become the majority. We can take back the House of Representatives.' We hadn't had the House since the 1940s," Cheney explained. "Initially none of us believed him, but he was persistent and he was tenacious. He kept it up...and finally by '94, he's the newly elected speaker of the House of Representatives with a Republican majority."

Cheney concluded these remarks by telling Burnett, "I wouldn't underestimate him." The vice president was also sure to note, for a second time, that he isn't yet endorsing any candidates.

Watch Cheney's comments about Gingrich, below:

During another part of their discussion, Burnett asked Cheney of President Barack Obama should consider changing vice presidents in 2012.

“Any advice I’d give Barack Obama today would be, take a look at it,” Cheney responded. “Because there are a lot of good people out there. And it's not personal. You go out and find the best candidate you can to run. And maybe, if he goes through that process, he'd end up with Joe Biden. On the other hand, there are people like Hillary Clinton, for example, your first woman vice president, that might have a certain appeal.”

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