Koch, Cheney Stump for Bush in Fla.

Campaigning in the area that was ground zero for the Florida recount, Vice President Dick Cheney (search) teamed up Tuesday with former New York Mayor Ed Koch (search).

Koch, a Democrat and fervent supporter of the Bush administration in the war against terrorism, said the vice president is a man "I would give my life to" to protect.

"You can depend on him. You can depend on George Bush," Koch told several hundred cheering Republicans at a rally in Palm Beach County (search).

Cheney repeated a favorite criticism of Sen. John Kerry (search) — "He's a man who will say and do anything if he thinks it will advance his cause" — and suggested the country has been spared the full impact of Kerry's views on national security because as a senator "John Kerry has been one of a hundred votes and fortunately ... his views never prevailed."

Cheney added, "A senator can be wrong for 20 years ... but a president always has the deciding vote."

Palm Beach County is hostile territory for the Bush-Cheney campaign, which gathered only 35 percent of the vote here four years ago. Democratic candidate Al Gore received 62 percent, a figure Democrats say should have been even bigger.

Contending a confusing ballot format resulted in voters selecting Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan instead of Gore, Palm Beach County Democrats collected more than 5,000 affidavits complaining that votes weren't counted and that voters were unfairly turned away from the polls.