Before I comment on Cheney's remarks let me say what I found most notable was his silence on the Presidential election. Not one word. Spoke volumes.
No mention borders either. But he was magnificent. Look he would have been my candidate.
The crowd roared when he said it's no accident that there are no terror attacks since 9/11, it is an achievement.
The Captain liveblogged these remarks:
11:20 - On the war policy of the Bush administration: "Would I support those same decisions today? You're damned right I would." The war won't be on the defensive, Cheney says.
11:18 - Iraq will remain a tough job, as Petraeus has said. He is highlighting the gains from the surge, nothing terribly surprising.
11:14 - Defends the interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, which gets a rousing cheer from the audience. "They are in full compliance with the nation's laws and our treaty obligations." It has saved thousands of lives, Cheney tells the audience. "We do not torture," but do not shrink from aggressively working to protect the nation.
11:12 - Emphasizing that terrorism is not a law-enforcement issue, but a national-defense and intelligence issue. The US needs to ensure that the front line of our defenses has the tools it needs to protect us. Cheney wants to make sure that the FISA laws passed last year get extended for a lengthy period, and "those who helped secure this nation do not get harassed with lawsuits".
11:10 - "The absence of another 9/11 is not an accident -- it is an achievement." That gets by far the biggest response. Everyone is on their feet.
11:08 - A better reaction on Bush's work on pro-life and judicial nominations. Will McCain take a cue from that?
11:06 - Repeats Bush's pledge to veto budgets that don't reduce earmarks by 50%. He also talks about the EO on non-legislative earmarks. That gets a bigger cheer, but I suspect that many may wonder why the number can't be 90% or better, and why the EO couldn't have applied to this year's budget. I'm not hearing a huge reaction to this.
11:04 - Demands permanence for the Bush tax cuts and outlines the impact of them. He also calls for lower spending, and explains how that works in a $3.1 trillion budget. Well, that doesn't get much more than golf claps.
11:03 - Cheney is emphasizing economics, and the need to keep taxes low. "Put more tax money back into the hands of those who earned it." He promises no new regulations for "meddling" with the economy.
11:00 am ET - He's underscoring the support that he has for the candidates who will speak here. That may carry some weight with the conservatives, although it was somewhat subtle.
Stephen Hayes on the dais
BTW, the panel discussion that was thankfully interrupted by Cheney's early arrival was more of an attempt to soften us for more moves to the left.
Bob Novak (ugh) lead a discussion on a new book about Bush arguing that Reagen would not have gone into Iraq (nor, according to them would Woodrow (League of Nations) Wilson (as if Reagen and Wilson could be interchangeable.)The book, Reagen's Disciple: George W. Bush's Troubled Quest for a Presidential Legacy, was presented by father and son author, Lou and Carl cannon.
Like I said, thankfully it was interrupted. I can't imagine many stayed for it after Cheney's remarks.