Former Vice President Dick Cheney walked back on Monday earlier comments calling Sarah Palin's pick as the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate "a mistake," suggesting he was really aiming his criticism at the process leading to her selection.

"It wasn't aimed so much at Gov. Palin as it was against the basic process that [GOP nominee John] McCain used, " Cheney told Fox News's Sean Hannity in an interview airing Monday night. "My point basically dealt with the process in terms of that basic requirement: Is this person prepared to step in to be president of the United States when they're picked? And it was my judgment - I was asked if I thought the McCain process in '08 had been well done or was it a mistake, and I said I thought it was a mistake."

A week earlier, Cheney seemed to scorn Palin's selection for veep, saying, "she'd only been governor for, what, two years? I don't think she passed that test ... of being ready to take over. And I think that was a mistake."

The trigger-happy Palin responded by making a not-so-veiled reference to a famed incident in which Cheney blasted a friend in the face with a shotgun while quail hunting.

"Seeing as how Dick - excuse me, Vice President Cheney - never misfires, then evidently he's quite convinced that what he had evidently read about me by the lamestream media, having been written, what I believe is a false narrative over the last four years," Palin said Tuesday night on Fox News. "Evidently Dick Cheney believed that stuff, and that's a shame."

The former veep's underhanded walk-back seemed a bit half-hearted, twisting himself into a semantic pretzel. Logically speaking, a flawed process would produce a flawed result, which in this case means Palin.

"That's not ... meant so much as a criticism of Gov. Palin as it is that I just thought it was not - the process didn't meet the standards I would like to see our candidate pursue when they pick a - a running mate," Cheney said.