"The danger here is without a very firm commitment on the part of the president of the United States to put in place a vision to make a decision and live with that decision ... what you get out there on the other end is confusion, weakness, uncertainty and indecision," the vice president told about 200 people at a town hall meeting.
Cheney spoke as Kerry addressed an audience in New York, where he accused Bush of "stubborn incompetence," dishonesty and colossal failures of judgment in waging war in Iraq. The vice president said Kerry was offering his "ninth position with respect to the war in Iraq."
Cheney also took a tour of the business, PRL Industries Inc., which supplies metal castings for valves, turbines, and pumps, and counts the military among its customers.
PRL President Janis Herschkowitz said the company "almost didn't survive" defense spending reductions implemented by former President Clinton, but Bush's tax cuts have enabled it to expand its foundry in nearby Lebanon.
In response to Cheney's comments, Kerry adviser Joe Lockhart said that the Bush administration has ignored the harsh reality of Iraq, and cited a recent National Intelligence Estimate that advanced a pessimistic assessment about the future security and stability of Iraq.
"John Kerry won't divert our resources on misadventures like Iraq and will fight (the war on terrorism) in a way that is both strong and smart, which this administration has failed to do," Lockhart said.