EDWARDS: I want to go back to something the vice president said just a minute ago.
EDWARDS: What the vice president has just said is just a complete distortion.
EDWARDS: I want to go back to what the vice president just said.
EDWARDS: I want to go back to what the vice president said.
EDWARDS: Let me speak first to what the vice president just said.
EDWARDS: Let me say first that the vice president said.
EDWARDS: And I want to go back, if I can, about to the question you just asked, and I want to go back to the whole issue.
RUSH: This is somebody who is not organized. This is somebody who’s not able to combine one answer or two answers into one. This is somebody, his train of thought stops. “Okay, I want to go back.” This was not smooth. This was, as I say, the classic, quintessential example of running out of material. You know, the talking points in the campaign is what he basically was using last night, and once he ran out, how many times did he repeat these things? They got onto Bush for saying “hard work, hard work,” and repeating his message over and over. Edwards was doing the same thing last night, but not in a proactive, offensive way. He was doing it to bide time while his mind was trying to come up with something else to say. Here’s more Cheney from last night. This is early on in the global test.
CHENEY: The senator’s got his facts wrong. I have not suggested there’s a connection between Iraq and 9/11. But there’s clearly an established Iraqi track record with terror, and the point is that that’s the place where you’re most likely to see the terrorists come together with weapons of mass destruction, the deadly technologies that Saddam Hussein had developed and used over the years. Now, the fact of the matter is the big difference here, Gwen, is that they are not prepared to deal with states that sponsor terror. They’ve got a very limited view about how to use U.S. military force to defend America. We heard Senator Kerry say the other night that there ought to be some kind of global test before U.S. troops are deployed preemptively to protect the United States. That’s part of a track record that goes back to the 1970s when he ran for Congress the first time and said troops should not be deployed without UN approval. Then in the mid-eighties he ran on the basis of cutting most of our major defense programs. In 1991 he voted against Desert Storm. It’s a consistent pattern over time of always being on the wrong side of defense issues. A little tough talk in the midst of a campaign or as part of a presidential debate cannot obscure a record of 30 years of being on the wrong side of defense issues.
RUSH: Now, it was at the beginning of this bite, Cheney says, “I have not suggested there’s a connection between Iraq and 9/11.” NBC has this bite that the rest of the media has picked up and is using to try to illustrate or point out that Cheney “lied” when he said there was no connection between Iraq and 9/11. Here, again, is that bite.
CHENEY: We will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11.
RUSH: Now, they’re trying to say that that bite proves that Cheney is saying that the terrorists in Iraq that we’re fighting also attacked us on 9/11, but that’s out of context. That’s not by any means all of what Cheney said. I have all of what Cheney said right here and I’m going to read it to you one more time. This was September 14th, 2003, Meet the Press. Vice President Cheney. “If we can stand up a good representative government in Iraq that secures the region, so that it never again becomes a threat to its neighbors or to the United States, so that it’s not pursuing weapons of mass destruction, so that it’s not a safe haven for terrorists, now we will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assaulted now for many years but most especially on 9/11.”
Now, even at that, even with that, it’s clear he’s not saying that 9/11 terrorists are those in Iraq. He’s simple saying, “We will have struck a major blow at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault for years,” and that is the geographic base: the Middle East, Iran, all of that, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Cheney went on to say, “They understand what’s at stake here. That’s one of the reasons they’re putting up as much of a struggle as they have, is because they know if we succeed here, Iraq, that that’s going to strike a major blow at their capabilities,” and Mr. Russert came back by saying, “So the resistance in Iraq is coming from those who were responsible for 9/11?”
Cheney said: “No, I was careful not to say that,” and they have that on tape at NBC. It’s part of the whole Meet the Press interview. But the excerpt that they used last night was just basically 11 seconds of what I just read to you, and it does not contain Cheney saying, “No, I was careful not to say that.” This is one of the big zingers of the debate last night. Gwen Ifill said to Vice President Cheney, “When the president says that Senator Kerry is emboldening enemies and you say we could get hit again if voters make the wrong choice in November, are you saying it would be a dangerous thing to have John Kerry as president?”
CHENEY: We’ve seen a situation in which, first, they voted to commit the troops, send them to war. John Edwards and John Kerry. Then they came back, and when the question was whether or not you provide them with the resources they needed, body armor, spare parts, ammunition, they voted against it. I couldn’t figure out why that happened initially. Then I looked and figured out that what was happening was Howard Dean was making major progress in the Democratic primaries, running away with the primaries based on an anti-war record. So they in effect decided they would cast an anti-war vote and they voted against the troops. Now, if they couldn’t stand up the pressures that Howard Dean represented, how can we expect them to stand up to Al-Qaeda?
RUSH: A great point and, of course, it was a huge, huge, huge zinger: If you can’t stand up to Howard Dean, how can you stand up to Al-Qaeda, or anybody else. And then this. This is a clear illustration of the inconsistency and the “I’ll say whatever I have to say to whoever in order to keep moving forward, all about me,” or him, in the case of John Kerry.
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