Dean Press Conference in Cedar Rapids

December 9, 2003

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Let's listen to Howard Dean as he continues his Hallelujah Tour.


HOWARD DEAN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... the one in March in San Francisco about the war, and the other in September about civil liberties.

He is a very deep thinker, as I have known for a while, but on the plane out we talked about global warming. In fact, he, actually, gave us a significant briefing on the initiative he thinks is extremely important, and so do I.

He was very instrumental, having done a presidential campaign before-and there are not many that have-in giving us some advice about how to do things from here. I think it's a wonderful match. It helps us enormously. We have been seen as the insurgent campaign, and we are the insurgent campaign.

But the truth is, we are not going to win this campaign against George Bush unless we unite the entire Democratic Party. And this is a big step in doing that today. So let me thank you very much. And I'm happy to take a few questions.

QUESTION: With this endorsement-and he was obviously very emotional about the war issue. Has this solidified the anti-war vote for you, or do you hope that it does?

DEAN: I don't think anything solidifies anything. Voters make up their own mind. I'm deeply grateful to have this, but not one vote has been cast in the presidential primary season yet.

Iowans will be the first to vote on January 19th. They will make up their own minds.

The value in this endorsement is that Al Gore brings his extraordinary experience, his moral leadership, and his deep thought about issues-which happen to be very similar to my thinking about issues-to a campaign that is doing very well already, and now, I hope, will do better.

QUESTION: Have you had conversations with him about the sorts of things he can do for you to help your campaign?

DEAN: Yes, we have. He's made some very helpful suggestions, and we intend to implement some of them.

QUESTION: What kind of suggestions?

DEAN: I'm not going to go into the nature of the suggestions.

QUESTION: What will he actually be doing for you in terms of campaigning?

DEAN: We don't know yet. He has a very busy schedule, and we'll be discussing that over the next few weeks.

QUESTION: Should you win the nomination, what kind of a role would the former vice president play in it, if any at all?

DEAN: We've had no discussions, but I'd love to have him play some role, because I think he's an enormous resource.

QUESTION: Governor, could you just tell us a little bit more about your reaction when you first got the phone call from him?

DEAN: Actually, I wasn't allowed to have one. The vice president made it very clear that he would strongly prefer this not be announced prematurely, that everybody would have a chance to call, make the calls they had to make and so forth. So I thought we did pretty well to hold it from Friday night to mid-Monday, but we couldn't do it the whole way.

QUESTION: Were you surprised (OFF-MIKE)?

DEAN: I was surprised and ecstatic, but I was unable to show my emotion, since we had tried to make sure that we would honor the vice president's wishes, and it would not become public before he wished it to.

QUESTION: When did you first tell members of your staff?

DEAN: I'm not going to answer that question.

QUESTION: Did you tell your wife?

DEAN: Only at the last minute.

QUESTION: Thank you.

DEAN: Thank you very much.

O'BRIEN: Candidate Howard Dean, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, there to continue his-I guess you could call it an early victory tour. In any case, as he accepts the endorsement of the former vice president of the United States, Al Gore, we'll be talking to supporters at a rally shortly there. And we might give you a little glimpse of that as well as we continue our coverage of the campaign.

Content and programming Copyright 2003 Cable News Network Transcribed under license by FDCH e-Media, Inc.

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