03/17/2015 03:59 pm ET Updated Mar 17, 2015

Dick Cheney: Obama, Eric Holder Are 'Playing The Race Card'

Mark Wilson via Getty Images

Former Vice President Dick Cheney accused President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder of "playing the race card" by saying attacks against them have been racially motivated.

"I think they're playing the race card, in my view. Certainly we haven't given up -- nor should we give up -- the right to criticize an administration and public officials," Cheney said in an interview featured in the April issue of Playboy, which hits shelves on March 20. "To say that we criticize, or that I criticize, Barack Obama or Eric Holder because of race, I think it's obviously not true. My view of it is the criticism is merited because of performance -- or lack of performance, because of incompetence. It hasn't got anything to do with race."

Cheney also spoke about the events in Ferguson, Missouri, saying the Obama administration's response to protests over the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in August has been "disturbing."

"It's always a tragedy when there is a death involved and so forth," Cheney said. "But it seems to me it's a clear-cut case that the officer did what he had to do to defend himself."

Cheney previously criticized Obama for mentioning the Ferguson protests in a speech about the Islamic State, the terror group also known as ISIS or ISIL, in September 2014.

“In one case, you’ve got a police officer involved in a shooting, there may be questions about it to be sorted out by the legal process, but there’s no comparison to that with what ISIS is doing to thousands of people throughout the Middle East through bloody beheadings of anybody they come in contact with,” Cheney said during an interview with Fox News. “To compare the two as though there’s moral equivalence there, I think, is outrageous.”

H/T Business Insider



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