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Cheney Avoids Survey Question on Talk Shows


Dick Cheney declined during appearances on Sunday talk shows to say if he had completed the questionnaire given to other potential running mates for George W. Bush.

Cheney, whose vice presidential candidacy has been marked by questions about his retirement package, his conservative voting record in Congress and his infrequent trips to polls in Texas, had been in charge of the vetting process for the ticket's No. 2 slot until being tapped in late July by Bush.

Asked by Cokie Roberts on ABC's "This Week" if he had completed the survey, he said: "I did in many parts of it."

The issue of Cheney's own vetting process had been raised again in a Sunday Washington Post article that reported many issues Cheney has stumbled over were included in the detailed questionnaire filled out by all potential choices.

Cheney, who dismissed questions about his selection process as "old news," told Roberts he "went through the same vetting process that virtually everybody else did." He also was asked about the issue on CNN's "Late Edition" and refused to answer Wolf Blitzer's inquiry about whether he had filled out the survey.

"I have answered your question," he said, after giving a response similar to his comment on "This Week."

Said Blitzer: "You have?"

Cheney has been critical of media coverage of the campaign, saying reporters have focused on "absolutely trivial issues" instead of policy.

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