Interview with CNN's Judy Woodruff

June 3, 2005

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Howard Dean is on the offensive once again. During a speech last night, the Democratic Party chairman made some strong statements about Republicans. When recalling the crowded conditions at Ohio polling stations last November, Dean wondered who could work all day and then stand in line for hours to vote? Then he said, "Well, Republicans I guess, can do that because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives."

It's the latest anti-GOP dig from Dean. CNN's Judy Woodruff asked Dean about his other critical comments during an interview last week.


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Let me turn to something that a lot of people have been talking about, Howard Dean and your rhetoric, some of the language you've used from time to time as chairman of the party, even earlier. At one point, you said you hate Republicans.

People asked me, why do you use that word? Why do you use the word "hate"?

HOWARD DEAN, DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIRMAN: Well, I hate what the Republicans are doing to this country. I clearly don't hate individuals.

WOODRUFF: But you said, "I hate Republicans."

DEAN: Well, that's, you know -- that was -- as you know, the print media sometimes picks things out of context. That was actually in the context of saying, "But I admire some of the things that Republicans do in order to win elections in terms of their organization."

Look, I hate what the Republican Party is doing to America. They have abuse of power. They have an elected leader in the Congress who has been reprimanded by the ethics committee three times under investigation. They have a president who suppressed a report showing that mercury was highly toxic to allow his agenda to go to go through. They lied to the Congress about how much the Medicare drug program was going to cost.

When you have one party in charge of everything, that's a huge problem. The Republicans have abused their power. I don't like what they're doing to America.

WOODRUFF: I hear you. But when you use words like that that get picked up, as the press will, doesn't that distract from what else you're trying to say?

DEAN: I can't worry about what the press does. The press has done what they do since I've been running for office. My job is not to worry about the press. My job is to worry about the American people and the Democratic Party.

WOODRUFF: But you are concerned about the impression you leave.

Let me ask you about...

DEAN: Well, I'm concerned about it but I've learned during my presidential campaign there's not much you can do about it. The press will write what the press will write. Whether it's accurate, whether it's out of context, whatever it is, there's not much I can do about it. I don't worry about it. I say what I think.

WOODRUFF: So you don't acknowledge that sometimes your rhetoric was -- your words were ill-chosen.

DEAN: You know what? Harry Truman in 1948 was told by one of his supporters: "Give them hell, Harry." And what he said was: "I don't give them hell, I just tell the truth and the Republicans think it's hell."


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Originally posted on CNN's Transcripts site.



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