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...


In an article last week, Joe Lieberman wrote about the Democratic Party that he grew up in. It was, he said, "A party that was unhesitatingly and proudly pro-American, a party that 1/4 understood that either the American people stood united with free nations and freedom fighters against the forces of totalitarianism, or that what we -- that we would fall divided." That's the way it used to be. But today, Senator Lieberman points out, the Democratic Party is "further to the left than it has been 1/4 in the last 20 years." He finds no evidence that the party leadership will stand up to the left wing -- and so Joe has proudly endorsed our nominee, John McCain . (Applause.)

As I said earlier, the stakes are high in this election. We're in the midst of a war against a determined enemy -- an enemy that showed its faces in this very city on September 11th . After the attacks of that day, President Bush told the nation to prepare for a struggle that would not be easy, or brief, or predictable in its course. He pledged never to grow tired in his own work as leader of the country and Commander-in-Chief of our Armed Forces. He has honored that pledge in full. (Applause.)

Since 9/11, our administration had to make a lot of tough decisions on national security. As a result, the enemies of the country have been kept off balance. I don't think the terrorists put their feet up after 9/11 and said, "Well, let's not hit the United States again." They wanted to hit us. They planned on it. They tried to do it. And now that we've gone more than six and a half years without another 9/11 is no accident. (Applause.) It is an achievement. And the credit goes to some very dedicated Americans in intelligence, law enforcement, and the military; to vital new laws passed by Congress; and strong leadership by the President of the United States . (Applause.)

From the beginning, we've understood that this war is a battle of ideas. So when we confronted terror states and outlaw regimes, we didn't just remove the dictators and leave the people to their fate. We've stood with them to build institutions of freedom and democracy -- the very institutions that overcome the ideologies of hatred and murder. The work goes on -- and our strategy in Iraq , with a surge of operations begun more than a year ago is succeeding brilliantly. The only way to lose this fight is to quit. (Applause.) But that would be an act of betrayal and dishonor -- and it is not going to happen on our watch. (Applause.) Two months ago I was in Iraq and spoke to several thousand of our troops deployed there at Balad . Our men and women are dedicated to victory. And I remember the strong response the troops gave on one point in particular -- when I said that we are going to get this job done right, so that another generation of Americans doesn't have to go back and do it again. (Applause.)

Against that background, this election year poses one fundamental question on national security: Who is serious about fighting and winning the war on terror, on every front? The choice is going to be very clear. On one side is the Democratic Party -- led by the likes of Senator Harry Reid , who said more than a year ago that the war in Iraq was lost. A Democratic Party whose leaders in Congress permitted a vital surveillance law to expire, leaving the United States more vulnerable to terrorist attack. A Democratic Party that operates in tandem with MoveOn.Org, a fringe group that ran a full-page ad in the New York Times attacking the character and the courage of General Dave Petraeus . A Democratic Party that has, in Joe Lieberman's words, "kowtowed" to the opinions of the far left rather than challenging them.

On the other side of this divide is the Republican Party -- whose leaders have supported the war on terror, regardless of what the polls say or the pundits declare. A Republican Party whose presidential nominee has served this nation with courage, a nominee committed to victory for freedom's cause, a nominee who speaks of idealism, and backs it up with good judgment, consistency, a record of achievement, and genuine American heroism. (Applause.)

Faced with that choice, and with the options laid out clearly before them, there's no doubt in my mind that the American people are going to choose Republican leadership on November 4th . (Applause.)