Edwards Calls Cheney Remark
By VICKI SMITH, AP
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (Sept. 8) - 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
''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 un-American.''
The Democrat called on President Bush to renounce
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
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
Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.,
called the Cheney statement unfortunate and
''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
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
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