"It doesn't hurt us, it helps us,” House Minority Leader John Boehner said on CNN’s “State of the Union," calling Cheney a “big member in our party.”
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele meanwhile dismissed a report from the Washington Post’s Dan Balz claiming Republicans “wince” at Cheney’s newfound desire for the limelight.
“There was no wincing here, the vice president expressed his view,” Steele said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
But, Steele pointed out, “Cheney is no longer vice president of the United States,” adding that "what matters is what this administration is going to do with detainees."
Though Steele defended Cheney, he himself wouldn’t say if interrogation techniques used on suspected terrorists amounted to torture, a claim the former vice president has vehemently denied.
“I have a personal opinion,” the RNC chairman said. “That's not appropriate to share here.”
While Cheney, who's been a regular on the Sunday shows since leaving office, did not appear this week, his daughter Liz, herself a former State Department official, told the panel on ABC’s “This Week” that much of what's now coming out about the interrogation programs amounts to “fantasies,” that are being spread by former rivals in the Bush administration.
"It's important to look at the source" of media reports, Cheney said, pointing to Lawrence Wilkerson, the chief of staff to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Wilkerson, Cheney said, “has made a cottage industry of fantasies about the vice president.”
“Nobody talking about this in the press has any real knowledge," she continued. "It's important for us to have all the facts out.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) did not offer a direct defense of Cheney during his appearance on Fox News Sunday, but did suggest that the former vice president has had an impact in swaying the debate.
“We know [Obama] changed his mind in Iraq and decided to follow the advice of the military generals, and we also know that he's now ordered a surge in Afghanistan just like the one that was successful in Iraq,” McConnell said.
“So I think the administration has responded to the critique of the vice president” that the country is moving in the “wrong direction on national security issues,” he said.