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Reply #35: The Republicans were already having a hay-day with this one [View All]

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Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-06-03 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #2
35. The Republicans were already having a hay-day with this one
last night did not help Dr Dean. You cannot be everything to everyone! That is the worst mistake you can make in today's information age.

Oh, the joy I got watching Howard Dean, former Governor of Vermont, run into the buzz saw known as Tim Russert Sunday morning on Meet the Press. Tim Russert has a track record of catching people in attempts at misinformation and pandering to voting blocks, and in this case, he did not disappoint. In one single interview, contender for the Democratic presidential nomination Howard Dean was exposed for the pretender he really is.

Dean really got thrown for a loop when Russert started throwing his own words at him. In this case, it was over raising the retirement age.

Russert posed the question to Dean about raising the retirement age to seventy years old. Dean successfully dodged the question for a moment, claiming it already had been raised, and then moving the discussion to balanced budgets.

But fear not, Russert would not be duped, and he was armed with some good ammo. After the brief distraction of balanced budgets, Russert moved the discussion back to retirement ages, playing an old clip of Howard Dean supporting the idea of raising the retirement age. Let's go to the transcript:

RUSSERT: "I think we should raise the retirement age about the year 2015-raise it by that time to about age 70." And then Governor Dean said, "I absolutely agree we need to increase the retirement age. There will be cuts and losses of some benefits, but I believe that Senator Packwood is exactly on the right track, and we need to deal with the Social Security retirement age."
MR. DEAN: Well, we've-I mean, we have done that partly. We've raised it to 67. Now, can we raise it more? I am not going to rule it out. But I think before I signed up for that, I'd like to look at the...
MR. RUSSERT: Well, Packwood said 70. And you said you agreed with him.
MR. DEAN: OK, but, you know, how long ago was that?
MR. RUSSERT: Oh, a couple years, but that's all right.
MR. DEAN: Yeah, a couple years. How long has it been since Bob Packwood was in the Senate?
MR. RUSSERT: But that's...
MR. DEAN: Was I even governor then?
MR. RUSSERT: But if you changed your mind, why would you change your mind?
MR. DEAN: Because I am older and wiser and I know that you don't say things like that without looking at the numbers first.
MR. RUSSERT: And maybe running for president.

Save us the torture Mr. Dean. Here's the response you were looking for:

My pollsters haven't looked at that one yet. I'm going to do what best gets me the support of those fine, elderly Americans whose blood, sweat, and persistency built this country into what it is today. (Cue waving of an American flag)


Here's another one:
Russert continued, pinning Dean to the wall on several proposals he'd made while unofficially campaigning for the nomination, including raising the retirement age to 70, cutting Social Security and the legality of Canadian marriages in the U.S. involving same-sex couples. Ouch. No matter how quickly Dean backpedaled, Russert had snappy graphics ready to remind candidate Dean of precisely what he'd said.

Dean stumbled, backtracked, spun, bobbed, dodged and weaved, but Russert was relentless in his pursuit of an honest position.

Was this a case of Dean not working out a message before he started talking? Or did he start believing his own press? Dean's gotten a lot of ink for his hard-line attacks on President Bush, but he seemed ill prepared Sunday to take a stand and support assertions he'd made.

That's not an attractive trait in a candidate for any office, let alone for president.

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