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ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect: Vice President Cheney:

Vice President Cheney talked about the recent terror attacks in Russia and the war in Iraq in the same sentence yesterday, reports ABC News' Karen Travers.

Cheney: "Russia of course did not support us in Iraq, they did not get involved in sending troops there. They got hit anyway. I think we're back now reassessing what the motives may be of the people who are launching these attacks."

Speaking of European countries, Cheney said, "I think some have hoped that if they kept their heads down and stayed out of the line of fire they wouldn't get hit. I think what happened in Russia demonstrates pretty conclusive that everybody is a target."

The Washington Post 's Lisa Rein on Dick Cheney's statement that recent terrorism in Russia may signal an increasingly aggressive response from European governments. LINK

At a town meeting in Ottumwa, Iowa, Vice President Cheney met Branden Zahlne, a 19-year old military convoy escort who served six months in Iraq and wanted to tell the Vice President yesterday that he supported the war effort there despite his injuries.

Zahlne was wounded when he was thrown from his Humvee in June, sustaining internal injuries and a broken pelvis.

The 19-year old said that he went to Iraq supporting the Bush Administration and what they were trying to do there and despite being injured, he came back still supporting the president. After he finished his remarks, Cheney came over to speak to him for several minutes.

Zahlne told Travers that he is a long-time Republican from a Republican family. When asked about the war in Iraq as a campaign issues, he said that he was upset about Senator Kerry's vote on the $87 billion funding for Iraq.

Zahlne said that he saw Humvees there that did not have armor. In fact, on just his 7th day in Iraq, he saw a fellow soldier lose a limb after getting hit in his Humvee that did not have armor. Zahlne's unit did have body armor but he said, "when I hear how Senator Kerry voted against the $87 billion, I don't understand why he wouldn't want to protect us like that."

ABC News Vote 2004: Kerry-Edwards '04:

The New York Times ' Jodi Wilgoren wraps Kerry's yesterday criticism of Bush and the assault weapons ban lapse and reports that the campaign has asked Mike McCurry to join the daily press staff. LINK

"The campaign asked Michael D. McCurry, the former White House press secretary, to travel with Mr. Kerry for the remainder of the race. Mr. McCurry's successor as Mr. Clinton's spokesman, Joe Lockhart, had planned to fill that seat when he joined the campaign last month but has instead assumed a broader strategic role."

"Kerry's comments came as he accepted the endorsement of the National Assn. of Police Organizations, a coalition of unions and law-enforcement groups," adds Michael Finnegan of the Los Angeles Times. LINK

Buried at the end of his stellar write-up of the days' activities with the campaigns concerning assault weapons, Pat Healy of the Boston Globe shares some Kerry tidbits. LINK

"Kerry plans to spend several hours a week on debate work, such as briefing books and memos prepared by aides that include shorter responses with plainer language. At recent town hall meetings with voters, Kerry has been trying to tighten up his opening remarks to between 15 and 20 minutes — about half as long as he took at some of these forums as recently as last month."

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