The Note

At the presidential level, the day's main events involve the showdown on national security -- with both sides playing offense and defense on loose nukes and homeland security.

Sen. Kerry delivers a major address about port security in Palm Beach, Fla. He is expected to outline his plan for working with allies to reduce the threats posed by nuclear, biological and chemical weapons worldwide, and to keep nuclear weapons from being a terrorist threat. Kerry will talk about strengthening the military Thursday in Independence, Mo.

Vice President Cheney speaks about the war on terrorism and the Patriot Act and criticizes Sen. Kerry during a campaign speech in Kansas City.

While his Number Two carries the message of the day, President Bush speaks at the first White House National Conference on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives this morning. ABC News' Aditya Raval reports that President Bush will make a statement about the new Iraqi government in the Rose Garden today at 11:30 am ET. At this writing, it is unclear whether or not the President will take questions from the press.

He travels to Denver this evening to attend an RNC fundraiser.

National Security Advisor Rice speaks to the press on-camera this morning about President Bush's weekend trip to Europe and the upcoming G-8 summit.

The Senate votes on whether to debate a bill that would adjust class-action lawsuits instead of resuming debate on the defense budget, which was under debate before the recess.

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

Vice President Cheney hits the road for Kansas City today and will hit Sen. John Kerry for allegedly flip-flopping on the Patriot Act and will address the war on terror and national security.

Kerry voted for the Patriot Act but turned sharply critical toward the anti-terrorism law during the Democratic primaries. Kerry's stated reason? The law was being abused by an Attorney General who "reaches too far." Cheney will charge on Tuesday that Kerry hasn't offered "a single example of the Patriot Act actually being abused."

Cheney on the Patriot Act:

"In a statement supporting the Patriot Act, Senator Kerry said the law would, 'make it a lot more difficult for new terrorist organizations to develop.' I won't be saying this very often in the next few months -- but Senator Kerry was right...The Patriot Act has been crucial in many of our successes. Yet Senator Kerry has chosen this moment, after these victories, to share his second thoughts on the Patriot Act. He now calls the Patriot Act a 'blind spot in the American justice system.' He now says he wants to let vital elements of the Patriot Act expire at the end of next year. What he hasn't shared, however, is a single example of the Patriot Act actually being abused."

Cheney on national security:

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