Bush considered ditching 'Darth Vader' Cheney

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The Independent US

President George W Bush considered dropping Vice President Dick Cheney from his 2004 presidential campaign to "demonstrate I was in charge," the former president says in a new memoir.

Ironically, and perhaps predictably, it was in fact Mr Cheney's idea. The vice president offered to drop out of the race in mid-2003.

"I did consider the offer," Bush writes in Decision Points, to be published next week. He says he spent several weeks exploring the possibility of replacing Cheney with Senator Bill Frist, then the Senate majority leader.

"While Dick helped with important parts of our base, he had become a lightning rod for criticism from the media and the left," Bush writes. "He was seen as dark and heartless – the Darth Vader of the administration."

He also discloses that the lowest moment of his presidency came in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, when Kanye West, a rapper, said: "George Bush doesn't care about black people."

Mr Bush writes that he was "disgusted" by the accusation, later telling his wife it was the lowest point of his eight years in charge. He does however admit mistakes during the crisis, saying he "should have intervened faster".