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Cheney needs cane to walk in Harley-Davidson factory

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Vice President Dick Cheney holds his cane in Kansas City, Mo., on Friday.

Vice President Dick Cheney holds his cane in Kansas City, Mo., on Friday.

Orlin Wagner, Associated Press

A foot ailment forced Vice President Dick Cheney to use a cane on Friday, but it didn't affect his sense of humor.

"I'm a little hobbled-up today," Cheney told workers at a Harley-Davidson factory in Kansas City, Mo., where he was highlighting upturns in the economy. "I don't usually carry a cane, but (Defense Secretary) Don Rumsfeld has been chewing on my ankles."

Lea Anne McBride, a Cheney spokeswoman who is traveling with the vice president, said he was experiencing a recurrence of a "pre-existing foot condition."

She didn't disclose details about the problem with Cheney's left foot, but she said it was being treated with rest and anti-inflammatory medicine.

Cheney is no stranger to a cane. In September 2005, he returned to work with a cane after surgery to repair aneurysms behind both knees.

McBride said the foot condition is not related to the surgery or the 64-year-old vice president's lengthy history of heart problems. He has had four heart attacks, quadruple bypass surgery, two artery-clearing angioplasties and an operation to implant a special pacemaker in his chest.