The business about never having met Edwards is just a “gotcha.” The business about Iraq and 9/11 is serious.
One of Edwards’s accomplishments tonight was to get Cheney to say, loud and clear, that there was no link between Iraq and 9/11. Everyone with an active EEG ought to know that by now, but in fact a large minority of the electorate still believes that Saddam Hussein somehow attacked us.
Instead of continuing to pretend there was a relationship, Cheney admitted there wasn’t, but denied ever having said there was:
The senator has got his facts wrong. I have not suggested there’s a connection between Iraq and 9/11.
But a year ago, on Meet the Press (9/14/03) , Cheney said:
This is about a continuing operation on the war on terror. And it’s very, very important we get it right. If we’re successful in Iraq, if we can stand up a good representative government in Iraq, that secures the region so that it never again becomes a threat to its neighbors or to the United States, so it’s not pursuing weapons of mass destruction, so that it’s not a safe haven for terrorists, now we will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11.
Kessler and VandeHei at the Washington Post have more Cheney quotes saying that Mohammed Atta had met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague.
They hit Edwards on some rather minor stuff, such as claiming that Bush “proposed” the anti-gay-marriage amendment when, they say, he merely “supported” it.
The headline is ritualistically even-handed, but the story is mostly about Cheney’s fibs and stretchers.