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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Friday, October 10, 2003


More on Kerry/Woodruff attack

posted by annatopia at Friday, October 10, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
CNN's debate transcript is online, so I thought I'd append my post from last night. Here is the exchange in question:
WOODRUFF: Governor Dean, before you sit down, I've just been handed a document. I think it came out of the press room that Senator Kerry's staff has been distributing some comments about what was said. Among other things they are saying that you, Governor Dean, tried to kick Vermont seniors off their prescription drug plan. That's relevant to what you were just saying here, so do you want to respond to that?
DEAN: Does that go along with the fact that I'm just like Newt Gingrich, too, and I tried to undo Medicare.
That's silly, of course. What I did try to do was get a cigarette tax past the Republican House. They wouldn't pass them. I told them if they didn't pass a cigarette tax to pay for our health care program, then they wouldn't be able to fund seniors' prescriptions. They passed the cigarette tax, as I knew they would.
WOODRUFF: Senator Kerry, what about that?
KERRY: Well, it's not silly. It's what he did. I mean, it's sad. But he in fact, in order to balance his budget, terminated -- called for the full termination of what was called the V-Script program, and also turned to seniors and made prescription drugs more expensive for them in order to balance the budget.
Now, that's a fact. I didn't raise this, and I didn't know they were saying that, and it's sort of separate from where we were.

Senator Kerry doesn't even realise what's going on in his own war room? Sheesh. Once again, let me reiterate that this was a dirty trick on the part of Kerry/Woodruff, but it was good for Dean. He needs to demonstrate that he can think on his feet and respond to these types of attacks. I am satisfied with his answer. He forced the legislature in Vermont into enacting a cigarette tax that would make medicaid solvent and preserve health care benefits. In this action, he demonstrated leadership and gravitas, two qualities I admire in a President. Dean fought hard for health care in his state, and for someone like Kerry - who has never delivered health care - to belittle Dean's record or accuse him of kicking seniors off health care, well that's just disgusting and disingenuous. Any questions? I'm happy to answer them if any come up...


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Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.