KANSAS CITY, Missouri (CNN) - Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday waded into the week-old controversy over a newspaper advertisement that criticized the top U.S. commander in Iraq, using a speech at a Republican fund-raiser to call the ad "an outrage."
Republicans have blasted the full-page New York Times ad by the anti-war activist group MoveOn.org, which questioned whether Gen. David Petraeus was "cooking the books" in his report to Congress last week. GOP lawmakers have demanded that Democrats disavow the Sept. 11 ad, which was titled "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?" (Related video: Strategy Session: Was MoveOn out of line?)
"Like most Americans I admire the integrity and the candor that General Petraeus showed in his hearings before Congress," Cheney said during a fund-raiser for Missouri Republican congressman Sam Graves. "The attacks on him by MoveOn.org in ad space provided at subsidized rates in the New York Times last week were an outrage."
The Times said last week that MoveOn.org paid $65,000 for the page - the normal rate for an advocacy ad from a non-profit group, according to newspaper spokeswoman Catherine Mathis. The newspaper had no additional comment Monday.
Cheney was one of the leading advocates of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and remains one of the now-unpopular war's most outspoken supporters. Fellow Republicans have used the MoveOn.org ad to attack Democrats who now support withdrawing American troops from the conflict.
"It's bad enough when politicians turn their backs on a war they voted for and supported when it was popular," Cheney said Monday. "But no one in politics, regardless of party, should hesitate to object when an American soldier at war is mocked and insulted."
Democrats have repeatedly attacked the vice president's credibility on Iraq. He told CNN in 2005 that the now 4-year-old insurgency was in its "last throes," and said in 2001 that it was "pretty well confirmed" that Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker in the al Qaeda attacks on New York in Washington, had met with an Iraqi intelligence official in the Czech Republic.
The independent commission that investigated the attacks later found that Atta was in the United States when the meeting was supposed to have taken place.