Edwards Blasts Cheney on Terror, Rhetoric

Sen. John Edwards (search), who hopes to be vice president come January, went after the current holder of the office Thursday, criticizing Dick Cheney (search) on terrorism, campaign rhetoric and health care.

"Dick Cheney said at the Republican convention with a straight face that they've made health care more affordable and more accessible for the American people," Edwards said during his first trip to New Hampshire since the Jan. 27 primary. "I don't know what America or American people he's talking about, but it hasn't happened in New Hampshire where health insurance premiums are up more than $4,000."

Edwards pointed to a new report that said employer-sponsored family health care premiums grew 11.2 percent for the year ending last spring.

"Your paycheck's going down and your health insurance premiums are going up" he said. Edwards, who is trying to help Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry (search) win the presidency, said of President Bush, "Why in the world would you rehire this guy to be your president? They don't have any kind of plan that's going to solve this health care problem."

Edwards kept up his criticism of Cheney's statement in Iowa this week that if voters "make the wrong choice" in November it would increase the risk of a new terrorist attack.

Speaking at his own town hall meeting, Edwards paraphrased the comment.

"He said if you don't vote for him and George Bush in November, when and if another terrorist attack occurs, it's the fault of you, the American people," Edwards told about 700 cheering supporters at Daniel Webster College. "This statement by Dick Cheney is dishonorable and undignified. ... It's wrong and the president of the United States should say it's wrong."