- The Washington Times - Monday, November 15, 2004


Vice President Dick Cheney, back home after a brief hospital visit, has nothing more than a bad cold and his heart is fine, his wife and an adviser said yesterday.

Mr. Cheney, who has had four heart attacks, had three hours of tests Saturday after experiencing shortness of breath. They showed no problems with his heart — “none whatsoever,” said Mary Matalin, a former top White House aide to the 63-year-old.

Mr. Cheney’s most recent heart attack was in November 2000, just before he assumed the vice presidency. He had a pacemaker implanted in his chest in June 2001.

Mrs. Matalin, who has acted as Mr. Cheney’s spokeswoman this weekend, said he just followed the orders of his “very cautious” doctors, who recommended that he have tests at the hospital. Mr. Cheney returned Thursday night from a pheasant-hunting trip in South Dakota with a cold that left him short of breath.

She said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Mr. Cheney should serve as “an inspiration to people with heart disease that you can lead such a productive and constructive life.” She noted his heavy travel schedule during the presidential campaign this year, saying Mr. Cheney attended more than 280 events.

“It was a remarkable schedule,” she said. “The long and the short is, the vice president had a cold like everybody else did on his plane.”

Lynne Cheney said the entire family has had a bad cough and cold.

Mr. Cheney was resting yesterday, drinking lots of fluids and generally taking it easy — “doing everything you’re supposed to do when you have a cold” — but he planned to show up for work today, she told CNN’s “Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer.”

On another subject, she said her husband’s oft-repeated statements that he does not plan to make his own run for the White House in 2008 were “ironclad, concrete.”

President Bush, at services at St. John’s Episcopal Church across the street from the White House, heard the minister offer prayers for Mr. Cheney.

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