Cheney characterizes 'disturbing' Lieberman loss as sign Democrats weak on terror

Published: Thursday August 10, 2006

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Vice President Dick Cheney has continued the Bush Administration's push to characterize the primary loss of Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) as an indication that the Democratic party is weakening on security issues, RAW STORY has learned.

In a telephone conference late yesterday, Cheney praised Lieberman as a "good man," that the Vice President has "a good deal of respect for."

"The thing that's partly disturbing about [Lieberman's loss] is the fact that," Cheney told reporters from Jackson, Wyoming, "our adversaries, if you will, in this conflict, and the al Qaeda types--they clearly are betting on the proposition that ultimately they can break the will of the American people in terms of our ability to stay in the fight and complete the task."

Lieberman, Cheney went on to claim, had been "pushed aside because of his willingness to support an aggressive posture" on terror.

The Senator shouldn't be expecting any help from the White House, however, which Cheney says no intention of becoming involved in the campaign.

When reporters pressed Cheney on the point that Lieberman was just one of three incumbents to lose primary elections on Tuesday, the Vice President outright rejected the notion that there was any anti-incumbent sentiment at work. Cheney went so far as to interrupt one reporter with a one-word answer ("no,") before repeating the same answer when the reporter finished the question.

The Vice President also indicated that the Iraq war is likely to effect Democrats more than Republicans in the upcoming elections, citing what he calls "deep divisions" within the party.

"I think there's a significant body of opinion that wants to go back," Cheney added, to a "sort of the pre-9/11 mind set, in terms of how we deal with the world we live in."

Cheney concluded by adding that he feels "significantly better" about Republican prospects to maintain control of Congress than he did months ago.