Remarks by Vice President Cheney at the New York Republican State Committee Dinner

WASHINGTON , May 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a transcript of remarks by Vice President Cheney at the New York Republican State Committee Dinner: New York Sheraton Hotel and Towers New York City, New York...

This is going to be one of the major dividing lines between the two parties in this election year -- and we need to make sure that every voter in the country knows the difference. Remind your friends that whenever they hear Democratic politicians pledging to get rid of the Bush tax cuts, what they're promising is a major tax hike for working families. And they wouldn't have to move a muscle to do it, because under the law, that tax cuts simply expire a few years from now. That means it is all more -- all the more critical to elect a Republican Congress to make the tax cuts permanent -- and a Republican President to sign them into law. (Applause.)

Americans are certainly concerned as well about energy, because everyone's paying higher prices at the pump. Our administration has worked with the Congress and private sector to increase the efficiency of cars and trucks, and to promote alternative fuels. But that's not enough to meet the demands of the country -- we also have to produce more oil and gas inside the United States . (Applause.)

Part of the problem in Washington is that a lot of our Democratic friends year after year have tried to stand in the way of more energy production. The plain truth is we can get a lot more energy here in America, and we can do it in an environmentally sound and friendly way. And it's not just crude oil or natural gas production that's being held up. Amazing as it may sound, we haven't built a new refinery in the United States in 30 years -- so now we have to import ever larger amounts of refined product and gasoline. Republicans believe more of the refining ought to be done right here in the United States , at American refineries, by American workers. (Applause.)

You and I belong to the party of low taxes, limited government, and free enterprise. We understand that government exists not to be the people's master but rather the people's servant. We understand the Constitution and the separation of powers -- and that's why we believe in putting good judges on the bench like John Roberts and Sam Alito . (Applause.)

Above all, ladies and gentlemen, we believe in protecting the United States of America -- in defending our security, our values, and our way of life. (Applause.) President Bush has never lost sight of that responsibility. And for that reason, many Democrats who believe in a strong defense have stood by the President in the war on terror. Four years ago at Madison Square Garden, our keynote speaker was Senator Zell Miller of Georgia -- a lifelong Democrat. Senator Miller spoke passionately about the Democratic Party that has lost its bearings on national security; a party that regards our own country as a negative force in the world. Senator Miller said, quote, "Motivated more by partisan politics than by national security, today's Democratic leaders see America as an occupier, not a liberator." And he added a thought that no citizen of this country should ever forget, quote: "Never in the history of the world has any soldier sacrificed more for the freedom and liberty of total strangers than the American soldier. And, our soldiers don't just give freedom abroad, they preserve it for us here at home." (Applause.)

In that same election year, another prominent Democrat known to all of you gave his endorsement to George W. Bush . This Democrat said that the President was, quote, "the only one running who appreciated the threat of Islamic terrorism to American values and Western civilization and was prepared to wage a war to defend those values." Those are the words of Mayor Ed Koch . (Applause.)

And yet another Democrat of national standing has been appalled by the direction his party has taken on national security. Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut is a statesman whose Democratic credentials could not be more impeccable -- (applause). After all, he ran against me for Vice President in 2000. (Laughter.) Yet in his most recent campaign, Joe was targeted for political extinction by his fellow Democrats. One by one, they turned their backs on him. Joe's old running mate, Al Gore , abandoned him. His Connecticut colleague and best friend in the Senate, Chris Dodd , campaigned against him. In a tough political fight, Joe Lieberman was dropped by his own party simply because of his firm stand in the war on terror -- a stand he has consistently held, in good times and bad. (Applause.)