Howard Dean's Five-Point Democratic Agenda on Face the Nation

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 at 09:13 AM

Last Sunday, 2-12-06, Howard Dean was one of two guests on Face the Nation.  For a man who gets a lot of smear from the right, and grief from Independents and some Democrats, he was making a lot of sense.

Among other things, he laid out a very reasonable five-point agenda for the Democrats, and put Ken Mehlman's recent attempt to portray Hillary Clinton as "too angry" in proper perspective.

Elisabeth Bumiller: Let me go to politics, domestic politics. Senator Chris Dodd told The New York Times last week that the Democrats seemed to be losing their voice when it comes to the basic things that people worry about. I mean, you're the chairman of the party, do you agree with that assessment?

Howard Dean: It's certainly not true. I can tell you--I can tell you what our agenda is for the '06 elections, which we have agreed to go with Senator Reid, Leader Pelosi and others. One, we want honesty and openness back in government again. Two, we want a strong national defense, first of all, based on telling the truth to our citizens and our soldiers before we send troops abroad to defend America. Three, we want American jobs that will stay in America using energy independence as a new industry to create millions of construction and manufacturing jobs. Four, we want a health-care system that works for everybody, just like 36 other countries have in the world. And, five, we want a strong public education system so we can have optimism and opportunity back in America. I think that's a pretty good agenda, and I think it's one that can win it for us in '06.
Bob Schieffer: The chairman of the Republican National Committee, your counterpart, and the vice president say they believe that this election ought to be about national security. The vice president suggested last week that the debate over eavesdropping should be a political issue, basically, in the coming election. In other words, he said, `We need to put this on the table. We're trying to protect America, and the Democrats don't seem to understand

Howard Dean: Bob, as you know, there was testimony this week leaked from the grand jury that it may be the vice president that leaked security information in a time of war in order to discredit political opponents. I don't think the vice president has any credibility on national security whatsoever, and I think he's in deep trouble. If it turns out that Scooter Libby, who said this week that his superiors ordered him to leak the information for political reasons, then this vice president may not be vice president very much longer.


Dean: President promised two years ago that he would fire the leaker. He hasn't kept his promise. Karl Rove is not only still working in the White House, but he has security clearance. Now it turns out that the vice president of the United States may have been responsible for those leaks for political reasons. That is the kind of thing that has not been done to my knowledge since Aaron Burr was vice president.

Ms. Bumiller: Do you think [Senator Clinton's] too angry? Do you agree with Mr. Mehlman?

Mr. Dean: She--I said I'm not going to talk about the 2008 race. What I do agree is that Senator Clinton has said a number of things about the president which are true and which Mr. Mehlman finds inconvenient because the president's list of accomplishments is incredibly short.