Originally created 10/25/02

Cheney stumps for Chambliss



DALTON, Ga. - Georgia voters should put Republican Saxby Chambliss in the U.S. Senate to help free up a Bush administration agenda being blocked by Democrats at every turn, Vice President Dick Cheney said Thursday.

"We need more leaders in Washington to work with us, not against us," Mr. Cheney told an enthusiastic audience of nearly 2,000 at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center.

The vice president's speech, delivered in a region Georgia Republicans count as a stronghold, was his second campaign stop of the day.

Earlier, he appeared in Tampa to give a boost to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's re-election bid and to a local GOP congressional candidate.

Mr. Cheney and President Bush have been crisscrossing the nation in the final weeks leading up to the mid-term elections, working to help Republicans hold on to their six-seat majority in the U.S. House and retake control in the Senate, which Democrats control by one vote.

Georgia Sen. Max Cleland is among a handful of incumbent Democrats the GOP has targeted this year.

He's considered vulnerable in part because of Mr. Bush's strong showing in the region two years ago and because Republicans perceive his voting record as out of step with Georgia's conservative voters.

Without mentioning Mr. Cleland by name, Mr. Cheney hammered at Senate Democrats who oppose an administration bill creating a new Department of Homeland Security.

The measure has passed the House, but Mr. Cleland and other Senate Democrats are pushing a different version they say would offer civil-service protections demanded by unions while allowing the president to hire and fire workers during national emergencies.

Mr. Cheney said the Democrats' plan wouldn't give Mr. Bush the authority he now holds over every other agency of the federal government, the same power every U.S. president has had for the past four decades.

Mr. Cheney also urged Congress to make the 10-year tax cut pushed through last year by Mr. Bush permanent.

Mr. Cleland voted for the bill but has warned that guaranteeing the reductions permanently would be premature because no one can predict what the U.S. economy will look like a decade from now.

Mr. Cheney also appeared on behalf of GOP gubernatorial candidate Sonny Perdue, who shared the dais with the vice president and Mr. Chambliss.

Thursday's trip was Mr. Cheney's third to Georgia in recent weeks. One trip included a visit to Augusta.

Reach Dave Williams at (404) 589-8424 or mnews@mindspring.com.