Vice President Joe Biden gets the first jab this morning on NBC's Meet the Press, when he says of his predecessor that Dick Cheney is "factually, substantively wrong" when Cheney accuses the Obama adminstration of being soft on terrorists.
Cheney, Biden adds, is either "misinformed or he is misinforming."
In making his case, Biden says of al-Qaida that since the Obama administration took over:
"We've eliminated 12 of their top 20 people. We have taken out 100 of their associates. ... They are in fact not able to do anything remotely like they were in the past. They are on the run. I don't know where Dick Cheney has been. Look, it's one thing, again, to criticize. It's another thing to sort of rewrite history. What is he talking about?"
As you probably remember, Cheney has been saying almost from the day that he and then president George W. Bush left office that their Democratic successors were taking the nation in the wrong direction when it comes to battling terrorists. The Republican former vice president will get a chance to say that again later this morning on ABC's This Week.
Biden will get the last say — for at least a little bit — when he goes on CBS-TV's Face the Nation.
As the Associated Press puts it, this is an "extraordinary and public back-and-forth between current and former administrations."
Update at 11:15 a.m. ET. On This Week, the AP writes:
The former vice president fired back gently at his successor, saying, "I guess I shouldn't be surprised by my friend Joe Biden." Cheney also said that he disagreed with decisions by Bush officials to place shoe bomber Richard Reid on trial in civilian court and to release terrorism suspects from the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
ABC News' The Note blog, though, says Cheney "lashed out at Vice President Biden's assertion that another 9/11-style attack is unlikely. ... He called Biden's view 'dead wrong.' "
"I think, in fact, the situation with respect to al-Qaida, to say, you know, that was big attack we had on 9/11 but it's not likely again — I just think that's just dead wrong," Cheney said.