Lynne Cheney Woos Hispanics; Bush Campaign Refuses to Cede Key Voting Bloc

Article excerpt

Byline: James G. Lakely, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The Bush campaign has refused to speak at the NAACP's convention, but sent out Lynne V. Cheney yesterday to reach out to Hispanics, a minority group that could be key to President Bush's re-election.

The vice president's wife, long active in politics, delivered the keynote address at the National Hispanic Leadership Summit, saying she was "proud to campaign" for Mr. Bush.

"[Mr. Bush] has a clear vision for the future of the nation," Mrs. Cheney told an audience of more than 300 Hispanic business and political leaders in Washington. "Abroad, he will use America's great power to serve great purposes: to protect our homeland by turning back the forces of terror, and spread hope and freedom throughout the world.

"Here at home, this administration will continue building prosperity that reaches every corner of the land so that every child who grows up in the United States will have a chance to learn, to succeed and to rise in the world," she said.

Mrs. Cheney, an author and historian, made only passing references to Hispanic-Americans in the beginning of her speech.

"The story of Hispanic contributions to our country is an uplifting one, and I have been proud these past few years to have a small part in helping children learn about it," she said.

Mr. Bush declined an invitation to speak at the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Philadelphia this week, citing personally disparaging comments the organization's leaders made toward him.

The president also passed on an opportunity last month to address the National Council of La Raza, another nonprofit group that leans heavily liberal and Democratic in its politics. …