Cheney's apparently endless retirement speaking tour culminated Thursday at the American Enterprise Institute, where he savaged Barack Obama and dismissed criticism of torture as "phony moralizing" and "feigned outrage." Republican poll numbers have continued to crater in the weeks since Cheney first took to the talk-show circuit, but GOP senators told the Huffington Post Thursday afternoon that they think the former vice president will rally voters to their cause.
"I'm sure he can help some," said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. "I hope he helps where he can. I like the vice president."
Graham qualified that he doesn't see Cheney, 68, as the future of the Republican Party, leaving that role to "some young governor or somebody out there that will emerge over time."
Sen. John Cornyn, the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, agreed that Cheney was valuable -- but only in certain situations. "I think the vice president is controversial in some quarters, but there is nobody that knows better than he does what the threats are that are facing our nation and why it is necessary to take extraordinary measures that will affect our country," he said. "I think it depends on the circumstance on the race."
One race he's welcome to appear in will be Sen. John Thune's in South Dakota.
"I mean, I think anybody would welcome having a guy of his stature and that kind of respect," Thune said.
Reporting contributed by Ryan Grim.