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Cheney swings through Utah

Published July 28, 2004 5:05 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2004, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Vice President Dick Cheney slipped into Salt Lake City Wednesday to raise money for Republican congressional candidate John Swallow.

But Cheney's quick stump speech was as

much about rallying American voters to send President Bush back to

the White House as helping Swallow defeat Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim

Matheson in Utah's Second Congressional District.

Normally, partisan politicians lay low

while their opponents gather at national conventions every four

years. But in a tight presidential contest this year, Cheney has

taken an unusual campaign tour of western states stopping in

Washington, Oregon and California before his two-hour stop in Utah

the same week the Democratic Party faithful gather in Boston.

In a rehearsed, half-hour speech similar

to those he delivered on earlier stops, Cheney touted the president's

fight against terror while chiding presumptive Democratic

presidential candidate John Kerry for changing votes in the Senate,

seeking greater international support for the war in Iraq and

suggesting a rollback of the Bush tax cuts.

"The president and I have some important

differences with the folks gathering in Boston," Cheney said. "What

we're hearing on the other side is the failed thinking of the past.

And we're not going back."

A crowd of more than 300 faithful

Republicans who paid $250 each for Little America Hotel's spinach

salad and chicken and the chance to listen to the vice president

interrupted Cheney with frequent applause.

But outside, about 50 protestors vented

their feelings for the Bush administration's environmental policies

and the war in Iraq. Security inside the building was stifling, with

Secret Service and Utah Highway Patrol agents checking under cars

with bomb-sniffing dogs and escorting reporters to the bathroom.

The focal point of that security, Cheney

said terrorists are as determined to destroy America as the "Axis

powers" of Germany, Italy and Japan during World War II. Borrowing a

quote from the 9-11 Commission's report on the terrorist attacks of

Sept. 2001, the vice president said the terrorists are

"sophisticated, patient, disciplined and lethal."

"This enemy is perfectly prepared to

slaughter anyone man, woman and child to achieve its ends,"

Cheney said. "This is not an enemy we can reason with. This is an

enemy we must vanquish."