siceone Posted March 18 Report Share Posted March 18 Cheney Blasts Kerry on Voting Record, Claims of Foreign Support Melanie Hunter, CNSNews.comWednesday, March 17, 2004 "American voters are the ones charged with determining the outcome of this election, not unnamed foreign leaders," Vice President Dick Cheney said today in response to Sen. John Kerry's claims that foreign leaders the Democrat spoke to have privately endorsed him for the presidency.Speaking to an audience at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., Cheney also challenged Kerry's voting record on the Iraq war, the military, and his comments on the cooperation of U.S. allies.Kerry "is fond of mentioning some countries did not support America's actions in Iraq. Yet of the other nations that have joined our coalition, allies and friends of the United States, Senator Kerry speaks with open contempt," Cheney said."Great Britain, Australia, Italy, Spain, Poland and more than 20 other nations have contributed and sacrificed for the freedom of the Iraqi people," the vice president said, pointing out that Kerry calls these countries "window dressing.""They are in his words a coalition of the coerced and the bribed," Cheney said. "How would Senator Kerry describe Great Britain - coerced or bribed? Or Italy, which recently lost 19 citizens killed by terrorists in Najaf? Was Italy's contribution just window dressing?"If such dismissive terms are the vernacular of the golden age of diplomacy Senator Kerry promises, we are left to wonder which nations would care to join any future coalition," he said.Kerry was challenged about his comments on the support of unnamed foreign leaders by a voter in Pennsylvania, Cheney pointed out. "Senator Kerry said that's none of your business. But it is our business when a candidate for president claims the political endorsement of foreign leaders. At the very least, we have a right to know what he is saying to foreign leaders that makes them so supportive of his candidacy," the vice president said.Cheney also blasted Kerry on claims the Bush administration has failed to supply body armor and other material support for the troops on the ground in Iraq. Cheney pointed out that Congress passed an $87 billion supplemental appropriation bill at the president's request, but Kerry voted against it.Extra Serving of Waffles"I know that yesterday, attempting to clarify the matter, Senator Kerry said 'I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it,'" Cheney said, eliciting laughter from the audience. "On national security, the senator has shown at least one measure of consistency. Over the years, he has consistently voted against weapons systems for the military," Cheney said. "He voted against the Apache helicopter, against the Tomahawk missile, against even the Bradley fighting vehicle. "He's also been a reliable vote against military pay increases, opposing them no fewer than 12 times. Many of these very weapons systems have been used by our forces in Iraq." Cheney also examined Kerry's comments on the ouster of Saddam Hussein and the war in Iraq, and concluded that if Kerry were president, Saddam would still be in power today.Cheney pointed out that Kerry was in the minority of senators who voted against the Gulf War in 1991, saying the international coalition consisted of shadow battlefield allies who barely carry a burden."Last year, as we prepared to liberate Iraq, he recalled that Gulf coalition a little differently. He said it was a strong coalition and a model to be followed," the vice president said.When President Bill Clinton was in the White House and Saddam was still defying the terms of the ceasefire, Clinton, who was considering military action against Iraq, "found a true believer in John Kerry," according to Cheney. "The senator from Massachusetts said 'should the resolve of our allies wane, the United States must not lose its resolve to take action,'" said Cheney. "He further warned that if Saddam Hussein were not held to account for violation of U.N. resolutions, some future conflict would have greater consequence."Cheney said Kerry indicated his support for regime change in 1998, with ground troops if necessary, and even voted in October 2002 to authorize military action against Saddam if the dictator refused to comply with the resolutions.Cheney said a neutral observer looking at Kerry's voting record on Iraq and his public support for past military action against Saddam Hussein, if necessary, means Kerry supported the war in Iraq."The senator himself now, tells us otherwise. In January he was asked on TV if he was 'one of the anti-war candidates.' He replied, 'I am.' He now says he was voting only to 'threaten the use of force, not actually use force,'" Cheney said. "Even if we set aside these inconsistencies and changing rationales, at least this much is clear: Had the decision belonged to Senator Kerry, Saddam Hussein would still be power today in Iraq. In fact, Saddam would almost certainly still be in control of Kuwait," the vice president said. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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