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Byrd Rips Cheney's "pitiful" Joke

When it comes to the president pro tempore of the Senate, one fact is clear: you don't mess with West Virginia.

So it came as no surprise that Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) was none too pleased Monday when Vice President Dick Cheney took a swipe at Byrd's beloved home state.

Speaking at the National Press Club on Monday, Cheney joked about his complicated family tree, saying;  "I had Cheneys on both sides of the family -- and we don't even live in West Virginia."

Although the 90-year-old Byrd has had some health problems of late, he still has plenty of fire left.

"That a man who has ascended to the seat of Vice President of the United States would openly display such contempt and astounding ignorance toward his own countrymen is an insult to all Americans," Byrd said in a statement.

"Now that he or the Administration he represents no longer needs their vote, Mr. Cheney apparently feels that he is now free to mock and belittle the people of West Virginia. With his trademark arrogance, the Vice President even added ‘You can say those things when you’re not running for re-election.’”

West Virginia went for George W. Bush and Cheney in both 2000 and 2004.

But Byrd didn't stop there.

“This pitiful comment is not entirely surprising when you consider the source," he said. "Vice President Cheney’s words reflect the attitude of an administration and a party that says what they must to get elected and then turns their backs on those they promised to represent.”

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