George W. Bush Asks Dick Cheney to be His Running Mate

On July 25, 2000, Bush surprised some observers by asking Dick Cheney, a former White House Chief of Staff, U.S. Representative, and Secretary of Defense, to be his running mate.

Cheney was then serving as head of Bush's Vice-Presidential search committee. Soon after, Cheney was officially nominated by the Republican Party at the 2000 Republican National Convention.
Bush continued to campaign across the country and touted his record as Governor of Texas. Bush's campaign criticized his Democratic opponent, incumbent Vice President Al Gore, over gun control and taxation.

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BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to go live to Austin, Texas, for a big rally, Texas Governor George W. Bush and his selected running mate Dick Cheney. We should tell you, this programming reminder, tonight: an exclusive interview on "LARRY KING LIVE," Larry and Dick Cheney.

Now to Candy Crowley in Austin, Texas.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Bernie, we are at the Irwin Center, which is an athletic center for the University of Texas. I'm told this is the orange room, but I think you can see behind me they have turned it into red, white, and blue, complete with the banner that is the focus of the upcoming convention, which starts Monday. Dick Cheney and his wife arrived here in Texas at the governor's mansion several hours ago. The two -- the four of them actually, because Mrs. Bush is with them, had lunch together, had a time to talk about what they were going to say here today.

What we expect is for the governor to come out, make a few brief remarks and then introduce Mr. Cheney, who will then make his first speech as George Bush's choice for the vice presidency. This has been known for about 24 hours now. The picture that we saw at the governor's mansion this morning made it official. This is a man who meets the three-Bush criteria for the vice presidential selection, that is someone who likes him, that is someone he is comfortable with, someone who is ready to step into the presidency and someone who agrees with the Bush agenda. So Cheney, although he was pointman for the vice presidential search, turns out to be the guy that survives it.

Governor Bush phoned Senator McCain this morning, Senator Hagel and others who had been on the list of possibilities and told them of his choice, to a person they all said that the Cheney choice was a very good one, the right man for the right time, as Hagel put it. So, you know, basically what we are really waiting for is just the picture of what we have known for awhile to be true, that is that we have a Bush-Cheney ticket.

I think it's an excellent pick, Jim. I think he satisfies at number one criterion, which is he is prepared to be President should something happen to George W. Bush. And this guy is somebody who has arguably the most experience in Washington and as an executive of any Republican in the last 30 years. He's been a CEO of a major company. He's been a defense secretary. He's been a leader in Congress. He was a White House chief of staff in his 30's. He knows politics. He knows how to be an executive. He's extremely loyal. He's extremely loyal. He's extremely competent. If you're talking about George W. Bush's judgment, him picking someone who could replace him, he's exercised good judgment.

JIM LEHRER: Mark?

MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated Columnist: Jim, there's a rhetorically obligatory line that every presidential nominee says. I'm going to choose somebody who if anything should happen, the euphemism, should step in as President. Dick Cheney would be on anybody's short list of certainly the ten or five Republicans in the United States who could take over as President and was on that line before for the reasons that Paul cited and others. He's a grown-up. I mean, it's so refreshing. He is a true grown-up. And I think that's important. And the second factor is that Bob Teeter, the Republican pollster, has what he calls the 48-hour rule of vice presidential nominees. The first 48 hours someone's out there, the press and political consensus forms that this is a good choice or it's a choice that is open to criticism or question. There's no question that this is seen as a good choice. And Dick Cheney has passed the 48-hour rule. Just before Paul gets too euphoric, I point out that the best vice presidential nominees of our lifetime, consensus have been on losing tickets, Lloyd Bensen in 1988, Michael Dukakis over Dan Quayle and certainly Ed Muskie in 1968 over Spiro Agnew. They were both excellent, superb choices, and both ended up giving concession speeches on election night.