Former U.S. veep Mondale accuses Cheney of power grab

July 30, 2007 - 0:0

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Vice President Dick Cheney has presided over an unprecedented power grab during his six years in the White House, former Vice President Walter Mondale wrote in a rare, scathing critique Sunday.

Mondale, the former number two to Democratic President Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s, in an opinion piece appearing Sunday in the Washington Post newspaper, fingered Cheney as the chief transgressor in a White House guilty of ""great excess"" and ""exceeding its authority."" He wrote that since the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, ""Cheney set out to create a largely independent power center in the office of the vice president."" ""His was an unprecedented attempt not only to shape administration policy but, alarmingly, to limit the policy options sent to the president,"" he wrote, calling the George W. Bush administration ""seriously off track"" in the unprecedented amount of power it has ceded to Cheney. ""Through his vast government experience, through the friends he had been able to place in key positions and through his considerable political skills, he (Cheney) has been increasingly able to determine the answers to questions put to the president -- because he has been able to determine the questions,"" Mondale continued