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Bush Would Tap Cheney in ’04

Times Staff Writer

President Bush said Thursday that if he runs for reelection, Vice President Dick Cheney will be on the Republican ticket with him.

Cheney has said he is willing to run for a second term “if the president’s willing and if my wife approves and if the doctors say it’s OK.”

The vice president, 61, has had four heart attacks, the most recent shortly after the 2000 election. He underwent quadruple bypass surgery in 1988 and had a pacemaker that monitors his heartbeat implanted last year.

“We’ve got plenty of time to deal with this issue,” Bush said at a news conference Thursday. But he added that if he decides to run, “Vice President Cheney will be my running mate.”

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The president’s statement went to the central question about the vice president’s political future: Would the Republicans want to give such a highly visible position to someone unlikely to run for the presidency in 2008?

“I appreciate his advice. I appreciate his counsel. I appreciate his friendship ... and there’s no reason for me to change,” the president added.


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