CNN's 'American Morning'

July 28, 2004

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Time to bring in another governor. Just about eight months ago, it appeared the Democratic convention would be all Howard Dean's party, all his show. That was then, this is now. And we saw it last night.

Governor Dean our guest now, here in Boston. Good morning, nice to have you with us here on AMERICAN MORNING.

DEAN: Good morning. Great to be back.

HEMMER: Dick Cheney said this yesterday, "They talk about jobs," meaning the Democrats, "yet they never explain how they would put a single American back to work. Their big idea," he says, "for the economy is to raise our taxes."

When people hear that and voters hear that, how do you react? Is that the case?

DEAN: I don't know why you'd believe Dick Cheney after all the money he's taken from Halliburton and all our taxpayers money he's given to Halliburton.

The truth of the matter is, we're going to get jobs by the same way Bill Clinton did, by balancing the budget.

We haven't had a Republican balance the budget in 34 years in this country. I think we need balanced budgets. When you do that, you stop running up half-trillion dollar deficits every year, then you can have the jobs planted in the economy again. It worked for Bill Clinton, it will work for John Kerry.

HEMMER: There was a poll that came out yesterday, Governor, "Washington Post" showing in the past month John Kerry is losing ground on nearly every issue, issues like the economy, Iraq, education, health care, taxes. The list continues there, six total. What explains that?

DEAN: I don't think anything, you know, there's 10 polls in the last 10 days, and I think you've got to look at all of them. I think it's a very close race. It's going to be a close race, and I think we're going to win.

HEMMER: You wanted this position. In fact, that was your opening line last night when you were greeted on the stage here in Boston. And what a reception you received, too, from the delegates.

You mentioned John Kerry's name six times. Was that hard for you to do last night in your speech and conceding, ultimately, that you're here but not in the way you wanted to be?

DEAN: No, not really. You know, I lost the primaries. I would have liked to have won them. John Kerry won, and we're all on the same team.

The differences between me and John Kerry or John Edwards or Dick Gephardt are so small compared to the differences between us and President Bush, I think we're going to present a real vision of hope and a vision mostly of opportunity, jobs, and health insurance and the dedication to education.

The president hasn't done any of those things. We offer the American people a real positive alternative. And think that's what this is about. You know, of course I would have liked to have been to nominee. I'm not, and I'm going to support John Kerry vigorously.

HEMMER: When you concluded last night, Sister Sledge came on the house speakers. They played the song "We Are Family." Was there symbolism there?

DEAN: I think so. I think, you know, the Democrats have a reputation for fighting. But this time we're most unified I've seen in seven conventions.

And we need to win for the future of this country. We cannot afford these enormous deficits. We cannot afford the loss of moral leadership in the world that we've had under President Bush.

We need a president of the United States who understand our place in the world, which ought to be at the front of the pack, and a president who understands money and how to balance budgets.

We don't have that now, and we can get that with John Kerry.

HEMMER: Howard Dean, thanks for your time here in Boston with us.

DEAN: Thank you.

HEMMER: Nice to speak with you.

DEAN: Thanks very much.

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