Harry Whittington

What was the accusation?

In February 2006, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney “accidentally shot and wounded” Texas lawyer and Bush campaign contributor Harry Whittington during a quail hunt in southern Texas. The birdshot wounds Whittington sustained were treated at Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital in Corpus Christi (Texas), with doctors giving the patient a favorable health prognosis. Upon his release from the hospital, Whittington offered a statement to reporters absolving the Vice President of any wrongdoing and apologizing for any inconvenience visited upon Cheney and his family as a result of the incident.

Key Apologia Strategies:

Minimization, Accident



Good Afternoon. All of you in the media have been very patient in waiting for me to make my appearance here.  I hope you understand.  I’m sorry I delayed you, but I know your role is to get the news out to the public. I compliment you on what you’ve done.  I’ve read and seen many of your reports and I know your job isn’t easy.  I regret that I couldn’t have been here earlier so you could see what a lucky person I am.

For many years my family has been friends with the Armstrongs down in Kenedy County.  We have visited with them for over 25 years and have had some wonderful trips and visits, pleasant memories that we cherish forever.  However, this past weekend encompassed all of us in a cloud of misfortune and sadness that is not easy to explain, especially to those who are not familiar with the great sport of quail hunting.

We all assume certain risks in whatever we do, whatever activities we pursue.  And regardless of how experienced, careful and dedicated we are, accidents do and will happen, and that’s what happened last Friday.

I am very grateful and want to thank all the people that remembered me in their prayers and the kindness you have extend to my family that’s been here this week.

My family and I are deeply sorry for all that vice president Cheney has had to go through this past week. We send our love and respect to them as they deal with situations that are much more serious than what we’ve had this week.  And we hope that he will continue to come to Texas and seek the relaxation that he deserves.

I also thank all of you for understanding the best you can that medical attention was very important to someone my age.  And you haven’t failed to give my age.

Finally, I want to say there’re simply not adequate words to express my gratitude and appreciation to the very talented physicians, medical staff, nurses, of this great Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital system, here in Corpus Christi and in Kingsville.  They’ve given me exceptional treatment, care and compassion for which I’m very grateful. They are truly remarkable servants of God and I’m extremely blessed for all they’ve done.

Thank you.


Borger, J. (2006, February 17). Cheney shooting victim says sorry – to Cheney. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/feb/18/usa.dickcheney

Bush, D. (2006, February 13). Cheney accidentally shoots fellow hunter. CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/02/12/cheney/

Harry Whittington’s hospital statement. (n.d.). NBC News. Retrieved from http://www.nbcnews.com/id/11409731/ns/politics/t/harry-whittingtons-hospital-statement/#.WXGv0oTyvIU