Cheney says ‘wrong choice’ of Kerry risks terrorist attack |

Cheney says ‘wrong choice’ of Kerry risks terrorist attack

Associated Press Writer

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday warned Americans about voting for Democratic Sen. John Kerry, saying that if the nation makes the wrong choice on Election Day it faces the threat of another terrorist attack.

The Kerry-Edwards campaign immediately rejected those comments as “scare tactics” that crossed the line.

“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,” Cheney told about 350 supporters at a town-hall meeting in this Iowa city.

If Kerry were elected, Cheney said the nation risks falling back into a “pre-9/11 mind-set” that terrorist attacks are criminal acts that require a reactive approach. Instead, he said Bush’s offensive approach works to root out terrorists where they plan and train, and pressure countries that harbor terrorists.

Cheney pointed to Afghanistan as a success story in pursuing terrorists although the Sept. 11 mastermind, Osama bin Laden, remains at large. In Iraq, the vice president said, the United States has taken out a leader who used weapons of mass destruction against his own people and harbored other terrorists.

“Saddam Hussein today is in jail, which is exactly where he belongs,” Cheney said.

Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards issued a statement, saying, “Dick Cheney’s scare tactics crossed the line today, showing once again that he and George Bush will do anything and say anything to save their jobs. Protecting America from vicious terrorists is not a Democratic or Republican issue and Dick Cheney and George Bush should know that.”

Edwards added that he and Kerry “will keep American safe, and we will not divide the American people to do it.”

The candidates are campaigning hard for Iowa’s seven electoral votes. Democrat Al Gore narrowly won the state in 2000. Bush has campaigned in the state five times in the last month, and Cheney has made three stops.

Hours before Cheney spoke, the Congressional Budget Office said this year’s federal deficit will hit a record $422 billion. Cheney, in praising Bush’s tax cuts, noted that the CBO said this year’s projected deficit will be smaller than analysts had expected.

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