Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
– U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the debate between Vice President Dick Cheney and U.S. Senator John Edwards (D-North Carolina.)
“Last night’s debate was not only a contrast in styles but also of substance. Senator Edwards is a gifted lawyer and if one needed to be represented in a North Carolina courtroom, he would be up to the task.
“However, if the need is to have someone explain to the nation and the world the War on Terror, its roots, and solutions, then Dick Cheney is the clear choice. In ninety minutes, he demonstrated a depth and experience level unmatched in the history of the Vice Presidency.
“In the most important moment of the debate, Vice President Cheney turned toward Senator Edwards and forcefully stated that Senator John Kerry and Edwards have totally discounted the Iraqi’s contribution to their own freedom. They have been dying in droves trying to free their country from terrorists.
“The Vice President made the most compelling case yet that for the last thirty years Senator Kerry has been on the wrong side of history when dealing with foreign policy matters. His statement in the 1970’s that America should never go to war without United Nations approval is dangerous and naive. His one-man effort to dismantle President Reagan’s military build up in the 1980’s will be viewed in history as out of touch with the times. His decision to vote against a war resolution authorizing the removal of Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in 1991 was not only a dangerous misunderstanding of the threat we faced, but demonstrated a lack of resolve to deal with tyrants.
“Finally, the Vice President provided an accurate and telling description of Senators Kerry and Edwards no votes regarding the $87 billion funding request to provide our troops the means necessary to fight in Iraq as a politically motivated reaction to Howard Dean. It was the most damaging evidence that Senator Kerry does not have the conviction to make the hard decisions to fight a ruthless enemy.
“If last night proved nothing else, it’s that whining pessimism for ninety minutes is not the makings of a great nation. Realistic optimism is essential to rally the nation and world to win this war on terror.
“Senator Edwards’s attacks were over the top in their pessimism and factually incorrect. The Vice President’s realistic assessment of progress being made against this ruthless enemy is not only justified, it is the winning formula to bring this enemy to account.”