As we Noted above, ABC News' Karen Travers reports that in his speech here today, Vice President Cheney will criticize a statement from Sen. John Kerry last week that he would fight a "more sensitive war on terror."
Cheney is responding to a quote from Sen. Kerry from the UNITY conference last week in Washington, when he said "I believe I can fight a more effective, more thoughtful, more strategic, more proactive, more sensitive war on terror that reaches out to other nations and brings them to our side and lives up to American values in history."
Phil Singer, a Kerry campaign spokesman, responds: "What Dick Cheney doesn't understand is that arrogance isn't a virtue when our country is in danger. Alienating allies makes it harder to hunt terrorists and bring them to justice. Kerry was saying we shouldn't be arrogant because we are stronger when other countries are working with us to win the war on terror. The Bush Cheney Administration's arrogance led to America bearing nearly 90% of the financial and military burden in Iraq, and to an America isolated in the world."
Travers Notes that this quote from Sen. Kerry also came up at the Cheney's town hall meeting in Joplin, MO.
A man in the audience said he had a question "for Lynne Cheney to answer" and asked "Sen. Kerry has made the statement that he would like to fight a more sensitive war on terror. What in the world would he be thinking about there? Your thoughts?"
Mrs. Cheney responded: "I just kind of shook my head when I heard that — with all due respect to the senator, it just sounded so foolish. I can't imagine that Al Qaeda is going to be impressed by sensitivity."
A campaign official told Travers that the question was not planted and the excerpt in today's speech is not in response to the question.
In the Dayton speech to an audience that will include veterans and first responders, Cheney will also address the war on terror and highlight the distinctions between President Bush and his strategy to fight the war on terror and Sen. Kerry's lack of a strategy to fight the war on terror, a campaign official said.
At that town hall meeting today in Joplin, MO, Cheney used some of the harshest language and strongest criticism against Sen. Kerry that he has in this campaign.
Ms. Travers further reports:
While Vice President Cheney has never shied away from questioning Kerry's votes on Iraq, intelligence and taxes, yesterday he used the Democratic nominee's record to question his judgment and qualifications for the presidency.
Vice President Cheney classified Sen. Kerry's record as full of "hesitancy and uncertainty" and that it called into question his ability to serve as commander-in-chief — "when nearly every time an issue came up that might have some bearing on that capability he went the wrong way."
Cheney Noted that the president of the United States "has to make those tough calls, those life and death decisions for the rest of us" and "we don't want to turn that responsibility over to somebody who doesn't have deeply held conviction about right and wrong."
ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect:
The Washington Post 's Dan Balz Notes President Bush's focus on security in a month where he was going to lay out his second term agenda. LINK
Balz: "[H]is message remains elemental: He is the candidate who will keep the country safe."