Vice President Dick Cheney was in Des Moines over the noon-hour, delivering a few verbal slaps at a political competitor. Cheney was the featured speaker at a fundraiser for G-O-P congressional candidate Stan Thompson of Des Moines, and the Vice President used the occasion to attack presumed democratic nominee John Kerry’s fitness to be president. Cheney accused Kerry of being a politician who shifts “with the political winds, saying one thing one day, another thing the next.” Cheney characterized Bush as a “steady” determined leader. Cheney said he and Bush came to Washington determined to give the military all the tools and training they need to win the war on terror. He says it’s one of the clearest distinctions with “the junior senator from Massachusetts” because Kerry voted “no” on spending the money for the war in Iraq. Cheney said “we are now entering into a great national debate about how best to deal with the dangers we face.” Cheney accused Kerry of believing terror attacks should be handled as law enforcement matters, putting guilty parties on trial. Cheney said 9/11 changed everything in this country, and proved the “time for the terrorists with legal papers was over.” Cheney hasn’t been to Iowa since October, when he made two fundraising visits to the state. Cheney said the Iowa Caucus campaign among democrats had generated “a little political noise” but he said he was delighted to be back because he and Bush are “ready to join the fray.” Cheney hinted Bush himself will soon visit Iowa. Today’s Cheney event attracted about 320 people and required a $250-per-person donation to Thompson’s campaign.
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