The Stephanie Miller Show

December 5, 2005

(phone rings)

Stephanie: What?

Chris: Huh?

Stephanie: Celebrity hotline? Why, who could that be, Chris?

Chris: Why, it's DNC chairman Governor Howard Dean!
(trumpets and applause)

Stephanie: You know on this show, because we have so much respect for him, we refer to him by all three of his titles. And that is ...

Chris: Doctor Governor Chairman?

Stephanie: Doctor Governor Chairman Howard Dean.

Doctor Governor Chairman, good morning sir.

Howard: Good morning, and congratulations on more than one million listeners!
(more trumpets)

Stephanie: Thank you, sir. (They laugh.) You know, I told my producer, Chris, Governor Dean, that-- I said I am not shocked that we can get people like you on the show, I'm surprised that we can get you back on the show after having once been on. (Dean laughs) And slobbering all over you. But thank you so much for taking time for us again.

Howard: A million people is an audience you do not turn down-- I'm delighted to be on. Thank you!

Stephanie: Oh, thank you, sir. So you just had a big meetin' in Phoenix with all the--

Howard: We did, we had a great meeting in Phoenix. We're focusing on states like Arizona, and like Texas, Arkansas, places that we believe are fundamentally not Republican states and that we can win back. And so we're doing a lot of work in those states, and we've got organizers on the ground there, we will have for four straight years, and we're looking forward to the '06 elections.

Stephanie: You can be honest with us, 'cause there's hardly anyone listening, Governor. (laughter) When you see the latest poll numbers every week, do you giggle, a little bit?

Howard: No. (Stephanie can be heard giggling in the background). You know, I don't take any great pleasure in the poll numbers because this is-- it's fundamentally bad for America. You know, the Republican party, I think they're corrupt, and they have not done the things that need to be done in America. But this is not so great for America to have three more years of a leader who people don't trust and don't believe. Who is unfortunately incompetent... incompetent in conducting the war, incompetent in dealing with the economy, incompetent in dealing with natural disasters... this is a sad presidency and it's a sad day for America. But we're going to change that, and we have some things that we are going to do that are going to improve things dramatically.

Howard: First of all, we're going to balance the budget-- Republicans haven't done that for 40 years. Second of all--

Stephanie: You know who did that is, a governor from Vermont that I had heard of. I believe it was a Democrat.

Howard: Yeah, we need to balance budgets. We need to have health insurance for all our people. Thirty-six countries have it and they balance their budgets. We're losing jobs in America because businesses can't pay their health care bills. And we're going to have honesty in government. People always giggle when you say that because they believe that politicians are corrupt. The truth is, most of them aren't. Unfortunately the Republicans have brought a culture of corruption to a lot of state governments and the federal government. I want ethics legislation, and I want Democrats to have to live under that too, and if they cross the line then they ought to be out of office too.

Stephanie: Well, you know, Governor, that is absolutely true. I mean if ever there was an operative phrase for 2006 it has to be "Throw the bums out." Because at this point you can't say it's just one guy. When you say "culture of corruption" people go "Oh, talking point!" but it's not. Because, when in your memory was there--? we've got Bill Frist, Tom DeLay, you've got-- I mean, look at the entire-- you've had the White House procurement officer arrested. You've had the Vice President's Chief of Staff indicted-- it's just unparalleled in my opinion.

Howard: All that's very bad-- very, very bad-- the worst thing is that Karl Rove is still in the White House with a security clearance, having given away the name of a CIA agent. Now that's not a reflection on Karl Rove, that's a reflection on George Bush. George Bush thinks it's okay to have a security clearance for somebody who leaks CIA agents' names in a time of war? This is a thoroughly corrupt, incompetent administration. And I'll tell you the last time we had one, but it wasn't quite as corrupt, and that's Watergate, and that's Nixon who had to resign.

Stephanie: -- It wasn't Watergate, it--

Howard: They didn't have the House and the Senate mired in corruption at that time. Now you've got the Republican leader of the Senate under investigation for insider stock trading, the Republican leader of the House is already indicted, you've got congressmen now resigning, having taken bribes-- you've got more to come, too. This is not the last one-- you're going to see more Republican congressmen go down under this one. This is awful, and it's awful for the country, and we will do better.

Stephanie: You know, I gotta tell you, I am so thrilled to have a platform to offer-- a progressive platform to offer to people like you. 'Cause I'm so sick of this "liberal media" thing. I read a transcript of you recently, I think it was on Nightline. But I thought "where do they get this liberal--" I mean, you were so-- if they only question this administration as roughly as he was questioning you, I think it was about Tom DeLay. It's like, a lot of things that you say, turn out to be right, but at the time they're like "Oh! Oh, Governor Dean! Did you hear what he said about Tom DeLay?" And then of course he gets indicted!

Howard: Did you hear what I said during the campaign about "we're not any safer now that Saddam Hussein has been captured." Hell, they can't even try the guy! (Stephanie laughs) I mean, his lawyers keep quitting and the trial is in disarray. This is an administration that cannot get its feet out of its own way. It's just appalling to me.

Stephanie: Governor, tell us about--

Howard: At least the Nixon people were smart-- this is unbelievable.

Stephanie: Well, this is about people dying-- this is not about a burglary. I mean, it's--

Howard: That's right.

Stephanie: So, tell us about Iraq and what your thought are -- John Murtha, and--

Howard: --Well, I think the Democrats are coalescing. I think the Democrats are coming together. I had a long talk with a group of senators this weekend about this. You know, there's different points of view, but when Jack Murtha stood up, a 37 year Marine Corps veteran, he really, I think, got the attention of the country. And the basis of some of his discussions were based on a paper by a guy named Lawrence Korb, who was oddly enough an official in the Reagan administration, who has a way out, and I think it makes an enormous amount of sense, and I--

Stephanie: --I do too--

Howard: --and the president is flying off someplace and not paying attention. But I think this is a sensible plan, he calls it strategic redeployment, which is what Jack Murtha called it. What he says is that we ought to take 20,000 of the troops and send them to Afghanistan, because we need more troops there, and that is a war that has something to do with national defense. That we ought to bring home the 80,000 National Guardsmen and Reserves-- they have no business being in a war like this. They shouldn't have been there in the first place. That we ought to take 14,000 troops and put them in a nearby friendly country. Because we are going to have a real problem as a resu-- I mean this isn't going to go away when leave, all this chaos over there. And we are going to have to deal with Zarqawi, which was not a problem before--

Stephanie: Governor, I hope we've learned our lesson though as Democrats, you know-- when you add in the phony pre-war intelligence-- that we have to stop being afraid of being called 'weak on terror' or 'weak on national security'. I was saying earlier in the show, they take away, the Republicans-- I feel like they take away the ability for us to have a reasonable discussion about what to do in Iraq, because they immediately call you a coward, basically. You're a "cut and run" guy-- "you're a coward!"

Howard: I blame the Democrats for that, not the Republicans. Yeah, the Republicans are a bunch of name callers and all this stuff; we just needed to stand up against them. Jack Murtha did that. And Harry Reid did it when he shut down the Senate and said "You promised us a year ago you'd tell the truth and do an investigation, you haven't done it, and we're going to do it now. That's the kind of thing that makes people say "yeah, the Democrats will stand up and fight for us." If the Democrats get intimidated by a president who hasn't been truthful with us, then we deserve what we get. And I think that those days are coming to an end.

Stephanie: That's why I was so thrilled, Governor, when you became the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, because I said, 'we need a fighter.' That's why we need the Colonel Hacketts and we need the Howard Deans. 'Cause, exactly. We need people that are going to stand up and fight against these guys. Now, talk to us quickly-- because that's what they do is divide. So, immigration is going to be their new wedge issue--?

Howard: All right, there's a sensible program we can have on immigration, and oddly enough John McCain is on this bill, not just Democrats. But here's basically what we ought to do. One, we should enforce the border laws. The President's been there for five years, and all of a sudden this is a big issue with him--

Stephanie: Yeah, he's on it now! He's all over it now!

Howard: --five years ago. Second, we ought to enforce the border laws. And we ought not to have the Minute Men doing it, (Stephanie laughs) we ought to have employees of the U.S. Government. Secondly (laughing) the President says he's going to kick all the immigrants out, and the illegals out and send them back to Mexico or whatever. Well, this is a guy who can't find a 6-foot-4 Saudi running around in the desert, he's not going to find 11 million undocumented immigrants. It's ridiculous! He doesn't have the money to do it even if he wanted to do it--

Stephanie: --with a dialysis machine! Governor, we are out of time, I'm so sorry, but please, any, ANY time. Thank you so much for fighting the good fight for us!

Howard: All right, thanks so much!

Stephanie: All right, Governor Dean, everybody!

--- End ---
Renee in Ohio, a longtime Dean blogger, originally posted this transcript on the Shadow BFA blog. Thanks, Renee!
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