The Risk of ‘the Wrong Choice’
by Richard Cheney
Following is a transcript of Vice President Cheney's speech on Tuesday in Des Moines, Iowa, as provided by the Federal News Service.
Thank you all. (Applause.) Thank you very much. And let me thank Stan Thompson this morning for taking care of us and getting us introduced. And I know he's going to be the new congressman from this part of Iowa. (Applause.)It's great to see my old friends Bob Ray and Terry Branstad here, this morning -- great governors from thestate of Iowa. (Applause.) And Lynne has known me since I was 14, but she wouldn't go out with me untilI was 17 years old. (Laughter.)But I often tell people that we have a marriage that was the direct result of Dwight Eisenhower's electionvictory in 1952. In 1952, I living in Lincoln, Nebraska with my folks -- just a youngster. Dad workedfor the Soil Conservation Service. Eisenhower got elected, he came in and reorganized the AgricultureDepartment, Dad got transferred to Casper, Wyoming. And that's where I met Lynne, and we grew uptogether, and went to high school together, and just last Sunday -- a week ago Sunday, celebrated our 40thwedding anniversary. (Applause.) I explained to a group the other night that if it hadn't been for DwightEisenhower's tremendous victory in 1952, Lynne would have married somebody else. She said, right, andnow he'd be Vice President of the United States. (Laughter and applause.) They always laugh. (Laughter.)They know it's true.But we're delighted to be here this morning, to be back in Iowa. We were out in Clear Lake yesterday.Before that, we were up in Minnesota yesterday morning at the Minnesota State Fair. Later on today,we'll be in New Hampshire. We've now got about eight weeks -- I guess, eight weeks from today will bethe election where we're going to make a very, very important decision for the nation, for the future of our country, and, indeed, for the kind of world that our children and grandchildren are going to inherit.And as long as I've been involved in politics, and this was my eighth Republican Convention I attendedthis year. But I don't think -- I can't recall a time when I ever felt that the decisions we're going areas momentous as they are this time around, that there are periods in our history when things go alongswimmingly. Our basic policies are in place, and elections basically are sort of an affirmation of continuity in a sense. And there are other times when circumstances have changed enough in the worldthat we really need to sit down and make some fundamental decisions about the direction the country isheaded in, where we're faced with fundamental choices. And I think this is one of those latter kinds of periods.What I'd like to do this morning is talk about a couple of basic areas, policy areas that I think areimportant. And they're reflected by the changes that we've all seen over the last few years, and then throwit open to questions so we have an opportunity to respond to your concerns and hear from you what you'dlike to talk about, try to answer as many of your questions as we can during the time allotted.It's hard -- when I think back to last four years, I signed on with the President just about four years ago atour Republican Convention in Philadelphia. He asked me to be his running mate about 10 days before theconvention. And then we announced it then, so that was I guess, mid August of last year.There wasn't any way then we could have anticipated what was about to happen, of course, on 9/11.And 9/11, in effect, has changed a lot of what we do as a nation, both in terms of how we think about