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Cheney Looking Forward To Spirited Campaign

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RALEIGH, N.C. — As President George W. Bush campaigns in Pennsylvania Friday, Vice President Dick Cheney talked with WRAL's David Crabtree from campaign headquarters in Arlington, Va.

Cheney says he is ready for a spirited campaign. His low-key approach has some Republicans calling on the president to replace him with Colin Powell.

The latest call came from former Sen. Al D'Amato.

"I guess I'd pay more attention to President Bush than Al D'Amato," Cheney said. "The president's asked me to serve for four more years an I'm delighted to serve."

To do so, Bush and Cheney have to get by a pair of senators, including one from North Carolina.

So how do the current vice president and Sen. John Edwards stack up against one another?

"I think that may be a factor for some voters, but the race turns primarily on the president and his challenger. I don't think there are many people who go to the polls for a vice presidential candidate," he said.

Cheney looks forward to a debate with Edwards scheduled for Oct. 5.

"Debates are always a fascinating part of this process," he said. "I debated frequently when I campaigned for Congress and in the last camapign. John Edwards is a man with considerable skills in this area. He's made millions arguing cases before juries, so it should be an interesting evening."

The vice president thanked local troops for serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and also talked about the frustration of terror alerts with limited information.

Thursday's message about a possible al Qaida strike is the most recent example.

"Well it is one of the problems we wrestle with -- the speculation that it may be geared to our own election cycle," he said.

Cheney says he is healthy and ready for the campaign.

"I've been back recently for my annual cardiac checkup and they've certified me for at least another 30,000 miles," he said.


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