- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 8, 2003

Move ends speculation over Giuliani Vice President Dick Cheney accepted President Bush’s invitation to be his running mate again next year, ending what little speculation existed about his future — and that of a candidacy for former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.Democrats, and some in the press, have been critical about the lucrative, no-bid contracts Mr. Cheney’s former employer, Halliburton, won from the government to help reconstruct Iraq. Questions about Mr. Cheney’s health — he has had four heart attacks — have also been raised.Mr. Cheney, 61, confirmed his acceptance in an interview with the Dallas Morning News on Tuesday. He had said before he would be on the ticket if Mr. Bush wanted him. “The president has asked me if I would serve again as his running mate,” he told the newspaper. “I’ve agreed to do that.” The former chief of staff to President Ford, who later became defense secretary under the first President Bush, said his health would not prevent him from being on the ticket.Mr. Cheney’s announcement yesterday suggested to some Republicans that Mr. Bush and his top advisers saw little threat in public doubts expressed by Democrat Rep. Henry A. Waxman of California, among others, about Halliburton’s contracts and its relationship with Mr. Cheney.In March, the Army awarded Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root a contract for oil-well firefighting. But Mr. Waxman says that contract also includes oil production and distribution.In some Republican circles, speculation that Mr. Giuliani would replace Mr. Cheney had been growing since the Republican National Committee’s announcement that the 2004 presidential nominating convention would be in New York City. Registered Democrats hugely outnumber their Republican counterparts in the city, despite residents having elected two Republican mayors in succession: Mr. Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg.But the White House, acting through the Republican National Committee, chose New York primarily for its symbolism after the September 11 attacks.Those attacks also spotlighted the determined leadership and courage of Mr. Giuliani — who became known as “America’s mayor.” He already had endeared himself to people across party and ideological lines for having cleaned up New York.Mr. Giuliani remains one of the best-known Republicans since leaving office, enjoying high approval ratings nationally.According to a Quinnipiac University poll of 1,069 Americans last November, 63 percent of respondents wanted Mr. Giuliani on the ticket if Mr. Cheney wasn’t. The poll, which had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, also found that 53 percent of respondents said Mr. Bush should keep Mr. Cheney.Mr. Giuliani’s support of homosexual rights, abortion rights and gun control, plus a messy divorce while still in office, however, could have made him radioactive for the Bush team, as far as conservative activists are concerned.”Giuliani is unacceptable for the Republican ticket — we have to maintain some moral standards,” said Eagle Forum President Phyllis Schlafly.Interviews with dozens of other Republican and conservative leaders in recent days yielded a nearly unanimous view: Mr. Giuliani’s views on some basic issues might make some of Mr. Bush’s voting base stay home on Election Day.”The thought of Giuliani on the ticket certainly sends shivers up my spine,” said Donald J. Devine, the former director of the Office of Personnel Management in the first Reagan administration. Other Republican leaders said Mr. Cheney was their first choice, followed by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld if Mr. Cheney’s health prevented him from running.

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