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Feb 10, 2013 11:18 AM by Matt Stafford

Cheney criticizes Obama nominees in Wyoming speech

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney says President Barack Obama is jeopardizing U.S. national security by nominating substandard candidates for key cabinet posts and degrading the U.S. military.

Cheney, a Wyoming native, made his comments Saturday night to about 300 members of the state's Republican Party in Cheyenne.

He says Obama's picks for secretary of state, CIA and secretary of defense are "second-rate people."

John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, has been confirmed as secretary of state. CIA designate John Brennan and defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel are still awaiting U.S. Senate confirmation.

Cheney says Hagel was chosen so the president could blame a Republican for possible deep cuts to defense spending. He warned that Obama's decisions will limit the ability of future presidents to respond to foreign crises.

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