Vice President Dick Cheney and Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday"...
WALLACE: According to the latest Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll — and I know how much you like polls — you now have the lowest approval rating of the last eight years. Twenty-nine percent have a favorable opinion, 61 percent unfavorable.
I know that you say that politicians shouldn't chase polls. But when people see all that you did as vice president and, in a kind of final report card over your eight years, say they still disapprove, does that bother you?
CHENEY: No. We didn't — if — we didn't set out to achieve the highest level of polls that we could during the course of this administration.
We set out to do what we thought was necessary and essential for the country. That clearly was the guiding principle with respect to the aftermath of 9/11. I feel very good about a lot of the things we've done in this administration. I think that they will be viewed in a favorable light when it's time to write the history of this era.
I think the fact that we were able to protect the nation against further attacks from Al Qaida for 7.5 years is a remarkable achievement. To do that, we had to adopt some unpopular policies that have been widely criticized by our critics.
But I think in terms of — is 29 percent good enough for me? Well, we fought a tough reelection battle. We won by an adequate margin in 2004. We've been here for eight years now. Eventually, you wear out your welcome in this business.
But I've — I'm very comfortable with where we are and what we achieved substantively. And frankly, I would not want to be one of those guys who spends all his time reading the polls. I think people like that shouldn't serve in these jobs.
WALLACE: During the vice presidential debate in October, Joe Biden was asked about your interpretation of the powers of your office as vice president, and here's what he said.
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BIDEN: Vice President Cheney's been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history.
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WALLACE: Transition officials say that Biden plans to shrink his office, that he is not going to meet with Senate Democrats the way you did every week with Senate Republicans, that he is not going to have his own, quote, "shadow government" in the White House. Biden has said that he believes you have dangerously expansive views of executive power.
CHENEY: Well, I just fundamentally disagree with him. He also said that the — all the powers and responsibilities of the executive branch are laid out in Article 1 of the Constitution. Well, they're not. Article 1 of the Constitution is the one on the legislative branch.
Joe's been chairman of the Judiciary Committee, a member of the Judiciary Committee in the Senate, for 36 years, teaches constitutional law back in Delaware, and can't keep straight which article of the Constitution provides for the legislature and which provides for the executive.
So I think — I write that off as campaign rhetoric. I don't take it seriously. And if he wants to diminish the office of vice president, that's obviously his call.
I think that President-elect Obama will decide what he wants in a vice president. And apparently, from the way they're talking about it, he does not expect him to have as consequential a role as I've had during my time.
WALLACE: Would you have some advice for your successor?
CHENEY: Well, he hasn't asked for any, and so I won't go beyond where I've — where I've — where I've been.
WALLACE: What do you think are the powers of the president relative to Congress and the courts during the war?
CHENEY: I think they're very significant, and I think they have to be. And I think there's ample precedent for that. I mean, the fact of the matter is that, especially given the kind of conflict we're faced with today, we find ourselves in a situation where I believe you need strong executive leadership.
What we did in this administration is to exert that kind of authority. We did it in a manner that I believe and the lawyers that we looked to for advice believed was fully consistent with the Constitution and with the laws of the land. And there's, I say, ample precedent for it.
If you think about what Abraham Lincoln did during the Civil War, what FDR did during World War II, they went far beyond anything we've done in the global war on terror.
But we have exercised, I think, the legitimate authority of the president under Article 2 of the Constitution as commander in chief in order to put in place policies and programs that have successfully defended the nation.