Des Moines, IA (AP)--Vice President Cheney warned the American people on Tuesday that if John Kerry is elected this November, "then the terrorists will have already won."
Appearing before a crowd in Des Moines, Iowa, Cheney issued the boldest statement yet linking the Democratic presidential hopeful to future terrorist attacks. "A vote for John Kerry is a vote for terror. A vote for the president is a vote for freedom. The choice is yours to make because we live in a democracy," Cheney told cheering supporters outside of a local grocery store.
"That may not be the case after four years of John Kerry," he added.
In his speech, which has already been dubbed the "Make Your Choice" address, Cheney detailed how electing Kerry would show weakness to foreign terrorists. "When I was a boy growing up in Wyoming, I learned a thing or two about how to survive in tough times," Cheney told the crowd. "I learned that you never change horses in mid stream, and that's exactly what you would be doing if you elect John Kerry."
"You know it. I know it. And the terrorists know it too," the vice president said. "And if you think that they'll pass up the opportunity to attack this great land during a change of administration, let me tell you you've got another thing coming."
Speaking at a campaign stop in Columbus, Ohio, Kerry swiftly responded to Cheney's attack. "If elected, I pledge that I will do my best to protect American against any violence that may follow my election," Kerry told supporters. He went on to outline a fifteen-point policy plan to install radiation detectors at US ports, increase the number of border patrol agents, install new biometric technology at all US entry-points, strengthen local police and fire forces, improve healthcare for every American, and create more jobs in the nation's struggling manufacturing sector.
"This plan will ensure that any casualties from a post-election terror attack are kept to an absolute minimum," Kerry said.
Upon hearing Kerry's proposal, Bush Campaign Spokesman Danny Diaz responded, "If you want to see another 3,000 freedom-loving Americans brutally slaughtered by Islamic terrorists then by all means cast a vote for Kerry."