Philadelphia (CNSNews.com) - Dick Cheney accepted the Republican Party's nomination for vice president Wednesday, and promptly began the veep's traditional role of campaign point man by attacking President Clinton and his anointed successor, Vice President Al Gore - both of whom have been largely ignored at this 37th GOP national convention.
"We are all a little weary of the Clinton-Gore routine," said Cheney, who was introduced to the delegates by his wife, Lynne. "But the wheel has turned, and it is time - it is time for them to go," he said, repeating the latter phrase throughout his speech.
Cheney, who served as secretary of defense under President George Bush during the Gulf War, said that he had no intention of returning to public life after leaving Washington eight years ago.
However, he said he has been so inspired by Texas Gov. George W. Bush that he had no qualms about accepting the vice president slot when the Bush asked him last week.
"To serve with this man, in this cause, is a chance I would not miss," said Cheney.
Cheney recited a long list of Bush's accomplishments in Texas, including tax reductions, a balanced budget and education reform, which he has seen Bush implement. For the last five years Cheney has lived in Texas while working as CEO of Halliburton Co., a giant oil services firm headquartered in Dallas.
"George W. Bush came to the governor's office with a clear view of what he wanted to achieve. He said he would bring higher standards to public schools, and he has," said Cheney.
"He pledged to reduce taxes, and he has," added Cheney. "He did it twice, with the biggest tax reduction in state history. And not only is the budget in balance, it's running a surplus of more than a billion dollars."
Bush can bring those same changes, and others, such as Social Security reform and building up the armed forces, to Washington, said Cheney. The Clinton Administration, said Cheney, wasted many opportunities to accomplish the same goals.
"When I look at the administration now in Washington, I am dismayed by opportunities squandered -- saddened by what might have been, but never was," said Cheney.
Cheney said that he and Bush expect a tough fight from the Gore team in the upcoming election campaign.
"In this election, they will speak endlessly of risk; we will speak of progress. They will make accusations; we will make proposals. They will feed fear; we will appeal to hope. They will offer more lectures, and legalisms, and carefully worded denials. We offer another way, a better way, and a stiff dose of truth," said Cheney.
And in November, said Cheney, he and Bush will defeat Gore.
"And in the end, with your help, George W. Bush will defeat this vice president, and I will replace him," said Cheney to thunderous applause.