[Mb-civic]      Edwards Calls Cheney Remark 'Un-American'

Michael Butler michael at michaelbutler.com
Thu Sep 9 16:59:11 PDT 2004

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    Edwards Calls Cheney Remark 'Un-American'
    By Vicki Smith 
    The Associated Press

     Wednesday 08 September 2004

     Clarksburg W.Va. - Sen. John Edwards accused Vice President Dick Cheney
of "un-American" campaign rhetoric on Wednesday, answering the Republican's
day-old charge that a vote for the Democratic ticket this fall could open
the United States to another terrorist attack.

     "This statement by the vice president of the United States was intended
to divide us," said Edwards, vice presidential running mate to Democratic
presidential candidate John Kerry. "It was calculated to divide us on an
issue of safety and security for the American people. It's wrong and it's

     The Democrat called on President Bush to renounce Cheney's comments.

     Edwards made his comments to supporters while campaigning in West
Virginia, a day after Cheney said at a town hall meeting in Iowa, "It's
absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the
right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that
we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from
the standpoint of the United States."

     Bush declined to comment on Cheney's statement when asked about it
Wednesday at the White House. Spokesman Scott McClellan said, "There are
differences in how the two candidates approach the war on terror. That's
what the vice president was talking about in his remarks."

     Edwards accused Cheney of going well beyond that, and he reminded his
audience that Bush had promised in 2000 to unite the country and restore
honor and dignity to the White House.

     "This statement by his vice president was not only intended to divide
us. In addition to that, it was dishonorable and undignified," Edwards said.
"This is a test for the president. We will see whether this president meets
that test over the coming days."

     Cheney was campaigning Tuesday in Des Moines, Iowa, when he suggested
the United States, if Kerry were elected, would risk falling back into a
"pre-9/11 mind-set" that terrorist attacks are criminal acts that require a
reactive approach. Bush's offensive approach works to root out terrorists
where they plan and train, he said.

     On Capitol Hill during a briefing with reporters Wednesday, Senate
Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said he didn't know in what context
Cheney made the "wrong choice" warning but assumed it was based on strong
feelings by Cheney that Bush has been a bold and reliable commander in chief
in the war on terrorism.

     "He is tough when it comes to terrorism, he will not compromise when it
comes to terrorism, and it is crystal clear where he stands," Frist said. "I
believe he, in using that definition of the commander in chief, would be
stronger than John Kerry."

     Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., called the Cheney statement
unfortunate and inaccurate.

     "When it comes to the war on terror, we have to be pulling this country
together, not dividing it," Daschle said. "We have to avoid that kind of
rhetoric, and I hope that the vice president will be very careful about
comments like that in the future."

     Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence
Committee, said "there isn't a shred of evidence to indicate that a
terrorist attack is more likely under a Bush or Kerry administration."



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