Fox News Interview with Brit Hume

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

BYLINE: Brit Hume

HUME: In the meantime, let us check in, if we can, with the second place finisher tonight, the former Vermont Governor Howard Dean.

Good evening, Governor.


HUME: I'm very well.

You made some ground up here for sure in the closing days. Obviously, though, I think you probably hoped to come in a little higher than you did.

What do you think was the key factor in all of this?

DEAN: Well, our message was very key. We want real change. I don't think we're going to get real change from inside the Beltway.

We want a candidacy that can beat President Bush. And I think you can only do that if you can bring a lot of new people into the party.

The big message, though, for us was we'll stand up for what we think is right, not just what's popular.

Stood up against the president when he went to war and nobody else would do it. I stood up against No Child Left Behind, which I think is an unwanted federal intrusion into local school boards' ability to mange their schools. Nobody else would stand up.

I'm just willing to do what the president I admired most in the last 60 years did, which is stand up for what you think is right. Harry Truman did tough things. And I'd like to be like Harry Truman if I become president.

HUME: Governor, I'm just looking at the board now that shows the results as we have them, where over-more than 70 percent of the precincts have reported.

The margin of victory for Senator Kerry tonight has shrunk to about 12 points. Twenty-six percent for you, sir.

Does that give you enough steam to come out of here and keep going? Or do you think that perhaps your campaign is now wounded in a way that it will be difficult to carry on?

DEAN: No, we're very optimistic and very pleased, actually. Of course, I would always like to win. We always play to win.

But we had a tough time in Iowa, backlash from I think a lot of media folks saying, “This is the frontrunner. This is the nominee.” Well, voters don't like that kind of talk.

We're back in New England. I did better. I have a tough message about independence and not promising people you can't deliver things. We've got to deal with the budget deficit. We can't go on promising everything in this campaign that we know we can't afford.

And I think we did well. I'm pleased. I'm looking forward to going on to the 13 states, if you include the District of Columbia, in the next 12 days.

It's going to be tough and grueling. And if you can't take the heat, as Harry Truman said, don't get in the kitchen.

HUME: And it certainly does become kind of a national race now. And I'm wondering, Terry McAuliffe is suggesting that if I candidate hasn't won anywhere by the end of next week's round of events that it's time to reconsider.

Can you put your finger on a place where you think you have a very good place to win?

DEAN: I put my finger on Terry McAuliffe. You know, I asked Terry to step in when I was getting a lot of flack from folks, all the other candidates. It was tough. And he decided to be neutral. So I'd urge Terry to continue to be neutral, because we're going at least through Super Tuesday.

We've got strong organizations in states right through Illinois. Delegates that went on our slate, hoping they'd go to the convention. I intend to go as far as we possibly can. It's certainly going to be through March 9 and maybe a lot further. I hope we're going to win.

HUME: How is your money?

DEAN: I have every intention of winning.

HUME: How's your money holding up?

DEAN: Fine. We raised-We raised more money this week than I think any of the other candidates did. We have a very strong base of small donors. Unlike every other candidate, including George Bush, 89 percent of our money comes from small donors who give us $50 and $25 at a time.

These are people who want their country back. They want to take it back from the inside the Beltway folks who finance all their campaigns with those big $20 -- $2,000 and $10,000 -- excuse me, $1,000 checks.

I'm determined to take this country back so that ordinary working families will have a chance again in America.

HUME: Are you going to be able to mount a full effort, all-out effort in Missouri, which I guess is, of all states on February 3, is the biggest prize in terms of delegates.

DEAN: Well, I don't think anybody's going to manage a full-out, all- out effort. That would take $50 or $60 million. Nobody's got anything close to that.

But we're going to be in every single state. In fact, I'm going to Missouri, I think, on Friday.

HUME: And South Carolina, how do you-how does that look you to? That's gotten a lot of attention. I know it's not a big bunch of delegates, but it seems to be...

DEAN: It's an important state.

HUME: Right.

DEAN: It's an important state. We've got good organization there. I'll be there Thursday night and Friday morning.

HUME: And looking West, Arizona, New Mexico, those I guess are the next biggest two. What's your situation there?

DEAN: We were on the ground there. We have great organizations. You know, we raised a lot of dough from all our small donors. And we put it all into organizing right through the 9th of March and beyond. And so we're in good shape.

Now we've got to raise enough money to go up on media in these states. And that's going to take some time. It's a problem for all the candidates.

But we're in very good shape on the ground in an awful lot of states. California, we're in great shape. We're in great shape in New York. Great shape in Texas on March 9. So we've got a solid group of people all over the country, out quite a bit further than just the next 12 days.

HUME: And Governor, I don't want to keep you. I'm sure you've got much else to do. I think there is probably more anticipation tonight about your speech than anyone else's. And after last week's events, could you give us a little preview of what we can expect to hear from you tonight, sir?

DEAN: I just did. We're going to take America back for working families. We're going to stand up for ordinary people again.

This is a time, much like the time of William McKinley or Herbert Hoover, when corporations and special interests seemed to be running America, and ordinary middle class people and small business owners and self-employed people are left behind. We're going to change that.

HUME: All right. Governor Dean, very kind of you to join us tonight. Thank you very much, sir.

DEAN: Thank you, Brit.

HUME: You bet.

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