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Saturday, 2 November, 2002, 09:55 GMT
Cheney delivers new Iraq warning
US Vice President Dick Cheney
Cheney is one of the administration's leading hawks

US Vice-President Dick Cheney has issued a new warning to Saddam Hussein, insisting that either he will give up his weapons of mass destruction or, as Mr Cheney put it, for the sake of peace, the US will disarm him.


The government of the United States will not look the other way as threats gather against the American people

Dick Cheney
The vice-president was speaking to Republican Party supporters at an election rally in Denver, Colorado.

Mr Cheney was there to lend his support to Senator Wayne Allard, the incumbent Republican who is facing a strong challenge from the Democratic Party contender, Tom Strickland.

This race could determine which party controls the US Senate.

Warning

Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction have not figured prominently in this mid-term election campaign.

It is the economy, housing, health care and a range of domestic issues that are uppermost in voters' minds.

Nonetheless, Mr Cheney used this rally in the key state of Colorado to repeat the Bush administration's tough line on Iraq in uncompromising terms.

He said that wars were not won on the defensive and that America had to pre-empt serious threats before they materialised.

"Saddam Hussein harbours terrorists and the instruments of terror," Mr Cheney said.

President Bush with Senator Allard
Senator Wayne Allard has got top support
"He is pressing forward with weapons of mass destruction and has already used them against the Iranians and against his own people. The government of the United States will not look the other way as threats gather against the American people."

Stressing the long-term nature of the battle against terrorism, Mr Cheney noted that America was still closer to the beginning of this conflict than to its end.

Close call

On the domestic front, the vice-president put forward a strong defence of the Bush administration's tax cuts, insisting that jobs could only be created when Americans were able to keep more of the money they earned, and he described the current Democratic leadership of the Senate as dysfunctional.

The message went down well in a hall full of Republican true believers.

But the real political battle here in Colorado is too close to call.

Republicans and Democrats are running neck and neck; every vote is going to count.

Turnout will determine which party wins this contest, and the party that wins here, in Colorado, could well control the Senate itself.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Jonathan Marcus
"Dick Cheney used this rally...to repeat the Bush administration's tough line on Iraq"

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11 Sep 02 | Middle East
10 Sep 02 | Americas
27 Aug 02 | Americas
10 Aug 02 | Middle East
07 Jun 02 | Middle East
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