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Views vary on choice of Cheney

July 29, 2000

Views vary on choice of Cheney



By JULIE E. GREENE and RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writers


Many Tri-State area residents aren't interested in the upcoming presidential election, but quite a few were outspoken Saturday about Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush's choice of Dick Cheney for running mate.

Barbara Franks, 61, of Hagerstown, gave Cheney a "thumbs down" because he's too "wishy washy."

"I just don't trust the running mate and I'm not that fond of Bush," Franks said. "I just don't think the acorn falls too far from the tree."

Christian Broyles, 20, of Frederick, Md., called the pairing "sweet. Just a sweet deal." Broyles said he likes Cheney's experience.

"And he's a right-winger and that's where it's at," Broyles said.

Several Tri-State residents thought Cheney's political experience would help Bush.

Robert Criswell, 80, of Martinsburg, W.Va., said he couldn't be more pleased with the Bush-Cheney ticket. "It's wonderful. I'm pleased. Cheney has a good head on his shoulders, he's a good conservative and he's good with foreign policy. He's got everything Bush needs. Now the Democrats can't come along and say Bush has no expertise on foreign policy."

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John Loughran, 80, of Shepherdstown, W.Va., and Florida, said Bush "showed some signs of intelligence by picking Cheney. Now (Vice President Al) Gore needs to find someone, maybe even someone like (Green Party candidate Ralph) Nader, who will tell him the unvarnished truth that he needs to hear."

Cheney "was a good secretary of defense. I guess he'd be a good vice president," said David Kershner, 43, of Hagerstown's North End.

While Kershner is a Democrat, he doesn't always vote the party line. But, no matter who Bush chose, Kershner said he's leaning toward Gore.

Dave Brandenburg, 47, of Youngstoun Drive in Hagerstown, said he would have preferred Arizona Sen. John McCain.

"But Cheney's probably a good choice as far as showing some knowledge of world affairs and having some years behind him," Brandenburg said.

"I think he'll bring strength to the campaign to probably get a Republican elected this time," said Bruce Warrenfeltz, 51, of Boonsboro.

A few people thought Cheney's experience made him a better presidential candidate than Bush.

"I just think Cheney's a better man than Bush," said Michael Stipanovic, 43, of Hagerstown.

Sue Nash, 51, of Shepherdstown, agrees.

"He's far more capable than Bush," Nash said.

Still others thought Bush's choice would help Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore.

"I have to admit to a bias, but I think Bush did Al Gore a favor. Cheney's connected with the oil industry. The Republicans are putting up the first all-oil ticket in history," said West Virginia Del. John Doyle, 58, a Democrat from Shepherdstown.

Phil Miller, 34, of Greencastle, Pa., agrees it's a ticket of "oil buddies. They're going to help big business."

"I don't think it'll bring any Democrats over to him (Bush)," said Charles Slick, 61, of Hagerstown.

"Cheney's all right, but he's not what you'd call friendly," Slick said.

George Sweltzer, 28, of Shady Grove, Pa., also thinks Bush's choice will help Gore. "I really thought Bush would pick somebody younger."

Ray Ocheltree, 83, of Bedington, W.Va., like Cheney, has survived heart bypass surgery. He doesn't think that bodes well for the country. "I don't know how he feels, but I'm not in that good shape. I don't like him anyway," Ocheltree said of Cheney. "He's too old."

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