Howard Dean appeared on “CNN Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer” on Sunday and raised more red flags about the possibility of a Dean presidency. Here are a few. #1 — Vice President Wesley Clark BLITZER: Let’s move on and talk about General Wesley Clark. He may or may not, in the coming days, decide to become number 10, the tenth Democratic hopeful for the White House. You have high regard for him. Would you consider him as a potential running mate? DEAN: Yes. There would be a great many people, of course, that would be considered as potential running mates. . . . But I think Wes Clark, he is somebody I keep in close touch with. He’s a terrific person, very bright, very capable, very thoughtful. Our views coincide on a number of matters, and he is a — I certainly can’t say enough good things about him. It’d be tough to run against him. This is the same Gen. Wesley Clark who displayed new “insights” into the founding of this country on an appearance on Tim Russert’s “Meet the Press.” Russert asked Gen. Clark his opinion of the Bush tax cuts, to which he replied, “[T]he tax cuts weren’t fair,” and “I mean, the people that need that money and deserve the money are the people who are paying less, not the people who are paying more. I thought this country was founded on a principle of progressive taxation.” (emphasis added) Do we really want someone with this type of opinion about American principles casting any potential tie-breaking votes in the Senate as the Vice President? #2 –A Poor Memory: Iraq and African Uranium DEAN: [A]ll these Democrats and this Republican president went to war based on telling the American people that Iraq was purchasing uranium from Africa. Note to Gov. Dean:
#3 — A Liberal, Not a Centrist BLITZER: The Democratic Leadership Council, which is the so- called New Democrats, the moderate Democrats, centrist Democrats if you want to call them that, put out this statement that said, “What activists like Dean called the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party is an aberration — the McGovern-Mondale wing, defined principally by weakness abroad and elitist interest group liberalism at home. That’s the wing that lost 49 states in two elections and transformed Democrats from a strong national party into a much weaker regional one.” Those comments, you’ve heard them before. Are you moving now toward their views on some of these issues, as you become more of a mainstream kind of candidate? DEAN: I am a mainstream candidate. I am a centrist, I always have been. . . . Compare Dean’s description of himself to that of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in an article titled “Dean Receives Liberal Dose of Support” on a Dean rally in Seattle: “Seattle, one of America’s most liberal cities, gave Howard Dean, the Democratic Party’s most outspokenly liberal major candidate for president, the biggest, loudest reception of his surging campaign last night. . . . Dean has frequently characterized his campaign as representing “the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party,” and his Seattle visit brought out many of the party’s liberal old guard as well as numerous people who professed to be newcomers to politics. . . . Dean’s anti-war rhetoric and liberal stance has prompted party moderates to warn that his nomination would doom the Democrats’ 2004 hopes of capturing the White House. . . .” (emphasis added) The more liberals like Dean talk, the more ammunition the GOP gets for the 2004 race.
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