Former Vice President Dick Cheney said he’s “speechless” at some of the names on TIME magazine’s shortlist for the Person of the Year.
Those are Bashar Assad, Jeff Bezos, Ted Cruz, Miley Cyrus, Pope Francis, President Obama, Hassan Rouhani, Kathleen Sebelius, Ed Snowden, and gay-rights activist Edith Windsor, whose lawsuit over the estate tax brought down the Defense of Marriage Act at the Supreme Court.
TIME readers selected Egyptian Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, who battled back against the Muslim Brotherhood and heeded protesters’ demands to remove Mohamed Morsi from office, as Person of the Year in an online poll.
“I think of TIME man of the year as a tremendous honor. When we designate somebody, we — we don’t. We know the editor of TIME magazine does,” Cheney told Fox. “That is a pretty cruddy list.”
Cheney especially took issue with the inclusion of “traitor” Snowden.
“I would like to see him tried for treason,” he said. “…It’s devastating what he’s done to our security interests and what he’s revealed to our enemies.”
Cheney segued into his opinion that it was unfair to lump the NSA scandal with the IRS scandal.
“You had the unfortunate juxtaposition of the NSA stuff with the IRS scandal. Now, the IRS is a real scandal, a real government abuse of power. NSA is doing the nation’s business. And, historically, as far as I know, to the extent I was involved — and I haven’t been since I left the White House — but was doing a superb job on behalf of all Americans,” he said.
“They weren’t violating people’s civil rights or privacy. It was a very sound program carefully monitored. And it is unfortunate that the only person we have to defend it now in a sense is the president, but nobody trusts him. He didn’t know about the IRS. He didn’t know about Benghazi… I find it hard to believe.”