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GOP Welcome Cheney Hits on Clinton

August 3, 2000

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Republicans welcomed Dick Cheney’s indictment of the Clinton-Gore years and said he demonstrated clearly how things will be different with George W. Bush in the White House.

``It’s enthusiasm we haven’t seen in a long time that we need to win this election,″ said Indiana delegate Rich Bramer.

Bush’s newly nominated vice presidential running mate drew lusty cheers from the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night as he accused President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore of failing to help children and reform education, of not fixing Social Security and of depleting the nation’s military power.

``He poignantly addressed issues with the current administration and demonstrated how we’re going to make things different beginning Jan. 20,″ Edward Folmer, an alternate delegate from Washington state, said of Cheney’s convention speech.

For the first time since his selection, Cheney peppered his remarks with barbs and criticisms of both Clinton and Gore.

``We are all a little weary of the Clinton-Gore routine,″ Cheney said. And, he borrowed a crowd-pleasing line that Gore used in the 1992 presidential campaign against Bush’s father and Dan Quayle: ``It is time for them to go.″

The crowd didn’t miss a beat. They chanted back ``Time to go! Time to go!″ and motioned with their thumbs in the air.

``So much for the convention that was supposed to be feel-good, so much for the convention that was supposed to not attack anyone,″ said Joe Andrews, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. ``Cheney said last night Republicans will make proposals and Democrats will make accusations. Last night, Dick Cheney made 22 attacks and not one proposal.″

Bush’s brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, said Thursday that ``the gloves were off, perhaps, but it was a deft touch.″

``It was not smash mouth; there was no degrading of people,″ the Florida governor said on NBC’s ``Today″ show. He said any ``negative meter″ should be compared with what Gore and his running mate say at the Democrats’ convention in Los Angeles in two weeks. ``I think you’ll find that the Republicans, by and large, will be much more positive.″

Robert Orben, former speechwriter for Gerald Ford, said Cheney delivered the speech in somewhat of a monotone, but he gave him high marks for being aggressive, but not mean.

``Dick Cheney has to be the kindliest attack dog ever,″ Orben said. ``He did it very very well.″

Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine said Cheney was ``right on message on the clear differences between what a Bush-Cheney administration would bring as compared to a Gore administration. They will provide a new kind of leadership, a refreshing kind of leadership.″

Cheney _ a former six-term congressman, defense secretary and oil executive _ opened a new chapter in his political life as he accepted the GOP nomination.

Saying there has been ``little purpose in the White House″ these last eight years, Cheney contrasted the Republican ticket with Clinton and with Gore, who will claim the Democratic presidential nomination later this month.

``They will make accusations ... we will make proposals. ...They will offer more lectures, legalisms, and carefully worded denials,″ Cheney said, touching off a roar of applause in the convention hall. ``We offer another way ... a better way ... and a stiff dose of truth.″

At one point the crowd broke out in laughter when Cheney referred to Clinton as the ``man from Hope″ who is going ``home, ah, to New York″ this fall, a reference to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s bid for a New York Senate seat.

Cheney, who served under three presidents, cast himself as a man of broad experience and said ``I know what it takes″ to do the job.

``I have been in the company of leaders ... and I see in our nominee the qualities of mind and spirit our nation needs,″ Cheney said.

Cheney said he and his wife, Lynne, were content in their life out of the public eye with time for fishing and grandchildren.

But he said he was glad to return to the public arena because, ``I have been given an opportunity to serve beside a man who has the courage and the vision and the goodness to be a great president.″

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