ABC This Week With George Stephanopoulos

Sunday, January 18, 2004



(Voice Over) And here in Iowa, it looks like tomorrow's caucuses are heading for a photo finish with two candidates surging in the last week. This morning's “Des Moines Register” poll has John Kerry in the lead with 26 percent, John Edwards right behind with 23 percent, Howard Dean at 20 percent and Dick Gephardt at 18 percent. All four candidates will campaign across Iowa today. In New Hampshire, General Wes Clark will top yesterday's appearance with filmmaker Michael Moore with an endorsement by George McGovern, the Democrats' nominee in 1972, and Howard Dean is beginning his day in Georgia with the Democrats' nominee in 1976. Dean will attend Sunday school with former President Jimmy Carter who first put the Iowa caucuses on the map with his surprise finish here 28 years ago. Before flying to Plains last night, Dean joined Peter Jennings on the ABC bus.


(Off Camera) How important to have former President Carter's support and what kind of support have you got?



I think he's certainly not going to do a formal endorsement but Jimmy Carter and I have got to know each other well. He was the first person to get me into politics. I worked in his 1980 campaign, licking envelopes and making phone calls, just like all these kids are doing out here for me. So it means a lot to me, he is somebody I've admired enormously. I wouldn't be in politics without Jimmy Carter.


(Off Camera) And do you go down to Georgia to be seen with him on the eve of the Iowa caucus because he did particularly well in the Iowa caucus?


The timing, I didn't have much to do with so I can't talk to you about the timing much, because I really don't know. I mean, his schedule is a little busy, as you are well aware, but, you know I don't think it hurts any to be seen with somebody who is really a beloved figure among Iowa Democrats. Jimmy Carter put Iowa caucuses on the map. He won here, he was a little known governor, and I went to see him very, very early on, and asked him how he did it.


(Off Camera) A lot of people say to us, well, I'm thinking of Dean-and, Dean- or, Dean-and, so give me very quickly why they should vote for you rather than Mr. Gephardt, say?


Well, there's three reasons. The first is I can win. We have an enormous base behind us that really wants to change the country. It is energy and excitement. It is what the Republicans built for a long time. Now, we've built it on the Democratic side, and that's what most Democrats want. They're really, they'd pick a lot of people if they knew they could beat George Bush and I think we can do that. And I think the other guys are gonna have a tough time because they can't build those kind of, those kinds of, that kind of enthusiastic base. The second is my record. I'm a governor, everybody else is a Senator or a Congressman. They talk about health insurance. We've done it for most people. They talk about balanced budgets. I balance budgets for a living, so those are the two things. And the third thing is and this may be the most important other than maybe the I can win argument, is I'm willing to stand up for what I believe. I opposed the war when 70 percent of the American people didn't agree with me. I did it because I thought it was the right thing to do. I signed the civil unions bill because I thought that everybody deserved equal rights under the law, not because I knew anything about gay or lesbian people, just thought it was the right thing to do. And Harry Truman was a president who I admire enormously. He did what he thought was right, and he really didn't care what the polls said. I think we could use some of that in America.


(Off Camera) Is the same thing apply, Dean and Kerry, Dean and Edwards, you know, same answer for (inaudible)?


Sure. Yes. Same answer for all three of them. They're all good people. I'm gonna support one, whoever wins this thing, I'm gonna support, but none of them, none of them can engender the enthusiasm and the ability to raise money because of, from small donors. None of them have the record that I have of actually being in the chair, making the tough decisions and standing up for what you believe and paying a price, and none of them will, did stand up when the time to stand up was over a year ago when we went to war on things that turned out not to be true the president told us.

Copyright 2004 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.

--- End ---



Back to Dean Speeches

Or else I'm just a Luddite