- The Washington Times - Monday, August 2, 2004

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AP) — Vice President Dick Cheney told nearly 1,000 military personnel yesterday that the Bush administration is doing everything it can to protect the nation against terrorists and other threats.

“I am grateful to stand before so many who defend our homeland so well,” Mr. Cheney told the airmen and a handful of civilians gathered in a hangar. “Your mission here is nothing less than the defense of America’s land, sea and airspace.”

Mr. Cheney, who has been campaigning throughout the West, was addressing members of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the U.S. Northern Command, which was set up here to coordinate the military response to threats to North America after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

“It’s been almost three years since the terrorists brought war to our homeland,” Mr. Cheney said. “We saw a foe whose hate for us is limitless. This is, to put it simply, an enemy we must vanquish. And we will vanquish this enemy.

“President Bush is determined to remove threats before they arrive … all Americans can be certain we are doing everything we can to protect this nation.”

Chad Clanton, a spokesman for Sen. John Kerry’s presidential campaign, said the administration is “not doing all we need to do to strengthen homeland security…. We’ve been sitting on our hands too long. The time for talk is over. It’s time for action.”

It was Mr. Cheney’s sixth visit since the fall to a state that has two congressional seats left open by the retirement of Republicans. The Bush and Kerry campaigns have been running ads in Colorado in an effort to capture its nine electoral votes in the November election.

In June, Mr. Cheney spoke to 300 workers and their families at Adam Aircraft in Englewood, Colo., about the economy, saying voters should reject any suggestion to roll back tax cuts.

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