Edwards: Cheney Slam 'Height of Hypocrisy'

Democrat John Edwards (search) called the Bush administration incompetent and hypocritical Wednesday after Vice President Dick Cheney (search) suggested an American city could be the target of a nuclear attack and John Kerry (search) was not up to heading it off.

Edwards, the Democratic vice presidential candidate, told about 1,500 people packed into Canton's civic center that a Kerry administration would protect the United States.

A day earlier, in Carroll, Ohio, Cheney defended President Bush's response to the Sept. 11 attacks and questioned whether Kerry woulface now as a nation is the possibility of terrorists ending up in the middle of one of our cities with deadlier weapons than have ever before been used against us — biological agents or a nuclear weapon or a chemical weapon of some kind to be able to threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans," Cheney said.

"For us to have a strategy that's capable of defeating that threat, you've got to get your mind around that concept," Cheney said.

Edwards called the comments "the height of hypocrisy."

"This is coming from a president and a vice president who have been completely incompetent in dealing with the situation in Iraq," Edwards said. "They've been incompetent in addressing the great threat in Iran and North Korea, both of which are moving forward with their nuclear weapons programs."

Edwards said the Bush administration also has failed to effectively "secure the loose nukes in the former Soviet Union."

"We need a president who will keep you safe. John Kerry will do that," Edwards said.

Before the rally, Edwards met with eight people from the Canton area, including a laid off Hoover Co. employee and union officials who denounced repeated layoffs in the manufacturing industry in the area.

Edwards, who planned to meet with steelworkers later in the day, said a Kerry administration would be mindful of the needs of working men and women.

"At the end of the day we know we can do better," Edwards told the group.

Both sides are fighting hard for Ohio, where recent polls show the presidential race virtually tied.