Vice President Dick Cheney appeared last night in Cedar Rapids at a fundraiser for Congressman Jim Leach, and defended operations in Iraq. Vice President Cheney told the crowd that the men and women in the U.S. military in Iraq are helping to usher in “a new era of self-rule and stability.”Cheney said “the men and women of the military are rebuilding schools, repairing medical facilities and training Iraqis to perform security for their fellow citizens.” Cheney says the U.S. military is serving in the same kind of “classic role” it did after World War II when Cheney says U.S. soldiers “brought help and hope to people all across Europe.” Cheney says U.S. soldiers in Iraq are earning the trust of those who’ve been liberated from tyranny. It was Cheney’s second speech in Iowa this month, and Republicans say there’ll be more visits from Cheney and others on the Bush team to court Iowans — in hopes of securing the state’s seven electoral votes. Cheney says Iowa was “pretty close” last time around. Al Gore won Iowa by a margin of about four-thousand votes. Cheney says in 2004 he and Bush expect to carry Iowa by “a substantial margin.” Cheney took to a shot at the field of Democrats who hope to run against President Bush next year. Cheney says many of the Democrats suggest rolling back the Bush tax cuts, but Cheney says it’s those tax cuts that are bringing the country out of recession. In 1969, Cheney and Leach worked together in the White House — under Donald Rumsfeld who at the time was managing the Office of Economic Opportunity. Rumsfeld is now the U.S. Secretary of Defense. About 350 people paid one-hundred dollars each to the Leach reelection campaign to hear Cheney speak.
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