'This Week' with George Stephanopoulos

September 23, 2005

On the Democratic Agenda:

"The truth is the Democrats are the party of moral values. We are altruists and believe we are all in it together and have a community to sustain. The President's attack on Social Security wasn't just about money and neoconservative nonsense. It was about a fundamental attack on the notion that America is one community and we have responsibility for each other. When we talk about moral values... 67% of America believes that it is a moral value that everybody has health insurance; 60% of Americans believe it's immoral for the federal government to tell families what to do in their personal decisions -- decisions that have to do with their personal lives. So, most Americans agree with Democratic moral values.

"...Honesty in government will be one of them; balancing the budget and restoring jobs another; a health care system that benefits everybody a third one. Strong education system to give opportunity to all Americans again....We believe that we ought to have a decent public education system and the president ought to stop taking money away from it... Balance the budget after the most fiscally imprudent Administration in my lifetime, then restore the social safety net for middle class Americans that is being shredded by an Administration who says one thing and does something else... We want ethics legislation and campaign finance reform and health care reform. We will be the party of change, and we're serious about this and Democrats will have to live by these changes just like Republicans. We want fundamental reform in the United States."

On the Republican Party's Culture of Corruption:

"We believe we ought to stop with the corruption scandals--one after another, the House, the Senate, the Vice President's office, all involved in some kind of corruption. [It has] spread to governors' offices all around the country: Ohio; California, the treasurer of the governor in Minnesota's campaign had to resign. There is a culture of corruption that the Republicans have brought to Washington and to statehouses all around the country. We can stop that. We will."

On President Bush's Failed Strategy in Iraq:

"We cannot have a permanent commitment to a failed strategy, and George Bush has a failed strategy for Iraq. When you don't tell the truth when you go into Iraq, it's unlikely it will be a successful program... The president has no plan. The third piece is we're clearly not going to stay there forever. The president seems to think the choices are only between cutting and running and staying forever. They're not."

On the White House Leak Case:

"This is not so much about Scooter Libby and Karl Rove. This is about the fact that the President didn't tell us the truth when we went to Iraq, and all these guys involved in it, it's a huge cover-up. That's what they're in trouble for. The deed that led to it is an attack on the President's dishonesty over the Iraq question. This is all -- came to pass because of Joseph Wilson...

"...The evidence is clear. Half the stuff the president told us about Iraq--weapons of mass destruction, the trip to Niger, the purchase of uranium--we know its not true. It was in the 9/11 report. The 9/11 report--co-chaired by a Republican, Tom Kean of New Jersey--said there was no evidence of a terror connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden and that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. The President has been pushing that line nonetheless ever since. We know the President wasn't truthful with us when he sent us to Iraq.

"The problem--what got Rove and Libby in trouble was because they were attacking--which the Republicans always do-- attacking somebody who criticized them and disagreed with them... That is what they are investigating. A fundamental flaw in the Bush Administration is that they make personal attacks on people for meritorious arguments."

On Harriet Miers:

"Until you get her in front of a panel of senators asking her questions and see her more recent writings we don't know much about [Miers]. The president nominated her. He has an obligation to do what he can to get her confirmed, and we ought to know -- the American people should know what [Miers] believes. The only way to find that out, given the paucity of her legislative record, is have the president waive executive privilege."

--- End ---

Originally posted on www.democrats.org.



Back to Dean Speeches

Or else I'm just a Luddite