Howard Dean In Quotes

Here are some of my favorite quotes by and about Howard Dean so far. They go from outrageous to contradictory, grating to bizarre. I think when you look at them as a whole, you’ll find they paint an unflattering picture…

Foreign Policy

“The Soviet Union is supplying much of the equipment that Iran, I believe, most likely is using to set itself along the path of developing nuclear weapons. We need to use that leverage with the Soviet Union and it may require us to buying the equipment the Soviet Union was ultimately going to sell to Iran to prevent Iran from them developing nuclear weapons. That is also a country that must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons much the key to all this is foresight. Let’s act now so we don’t have to have a confrontation which may result in force, which would be very disastrous in the case of North Korea and might be disastrous in the case of Iran.” — Howard Dean in a 2003 interview with Chris Matthews

“The French will always do exactly the opposite on what the United States wants regardless of what happens, so we’re never going to have a consistent policy.” — Howard Dean in 1998

“I don’t think we could have built an international coalition to invade or have a substantial bombing of Saddam.” — Howard Dean Defends Bill Clinton bombing Saddam in 1998

“I thank God F.D.R. was my commander in chief in WWII. Had it been Howard Dean we would have not participated. This would have saved lives and none of us would have been wounded. Just one little problem: we would have lost our liberty and freedom.” — Bob Dole


“We got rid of him. I suppose that’s a good thing.” — Howard Dean on Saddam

(When asked if the Iraqis were better off without Saddam Hussein) “We don’t know that yet.” — Howard Dean

“I think in general the ends do not justify the means.” — Howard Dean after we blew away Uday & Qusay Hussein

The capture of Saddam has not made America safer.” — Howard Dean

Losing & McGovern

“This ‘security mom’ thing is real. Women are even more hawkish than men. Until you can convince the voters that you, too, can keep the country safe, you don’t get heard on the other stuff.” Can Dean beat Bush? “Absolutely impossible.” — Jim Jordan, John Kerry’s Campaign Manager

“A Dean nomination could again [mean] Democrats lose 49 out of 50 states.” — Mark Penn, Lieberman’s pollster

“”I told Steve McMahon, the media guy for Dean, who was on ‘Crossfire’: You have one of the three most influential presidential campaigns of my lifetime. That’s the good news. The bad news is the other two are McGovern and Goldwater.” — James Carville


(9/11 & the aftermath will) “require a re-evaluation of the importance of some of our specific civil liberties. I think there are going to be debates about what can be said where, what can be printed where, what kind of freedom of movement people have and whether it’s OK for a policeman to ask for your ID just because you’re walking down the street.” — Howard Dean in Sepember of 2001

“[I]t was in many ways the most important event in my political life.’ — Howard Dean on Vermont’s Civil Unions Law

“You cannot balance the budget and tell people you’re going to keep all these tax cuts. I am going to balance the budget, and I’m going to do it in the sixth or seventh year of my administration. We’re also going to have health care… (Crowd laughs) — Howard Dean at a Democratic debate

“The most interesting theory I have heard so far, which is nothing more than a theory, I can’t think – it can’t be proved, is that [President Bush] was warned [about 9/11] ahead of time by the Saudis. Now, who knows what the situation is?” — Howard Dean

“I have reluctantly concluded that the efforts of the United States and NATO in Bosnia are a complete failure. If we ignore these behaviors … our moral fiber as a people becomes weakened. … We must take unilateral action.” — Howard Dean in a 1995 letter to Bill Clinton

“Dealing with race is about educating white folks.” — Howard Dean

(I want to be the)”candidate for “guys with Confederate flags on their pickup trucks” — Howard Dean

“I believe that the flag of the Confederate States of America is a painful symbol and reminder of racial injustice and slavery which (Abraham) Lincoln denounced from here over 150 years ago” — Howard Dean


“We have got to stop having the campaigns run in this country based on abortion, guns, God and gays.” — Howard Dean

“From a religious point of view, if God had thought homosexuality is a sin, he would not have created gay people.” — Howard Dean

“My view of Christianity … is that the hallmark of being a Christian is to reach out to people who have been left behind. So I think there was a religious aspect to my decision to support civil unions.” — Howard Dean

“Dean himself moved from Episcopalian to Congregationalist “because I had a big fight with a local Episcopal church about 25 years ago over the bike path.” He does not hesitate to reveal this information or to declare that he seldom goes to church.” — Robert Novak

“After hearing Dr Dean’s observation, beginning with ‘If you know much about the Bible – which I do’, a reporter asked about his favourite New Testament book. Dr Dean named Job, adding, ‘But I don’t like the way it ends… in some of the books of the New Testament; the ending of the Book of Job is different… There’s one book where there’s a more optimistic ending, which we believe was tacked on later’.

The candidate returned an hour later to confess error: Job was in the Old Testament, not the New. Beyond that slip, his recollection of ‘one book where there’s a more optimistic ending’ is muddled; the Book of Job in the Old Testament has an upbeat ending, with God doubling Job’s former wealth and giving him new children for having sustained his piety through all his trials.” — William Safire describes Howard Dean’s difficulties with Job.

Social Security Flip-Flop

“The way to balance the budget is for Congress to cut Social Security, move the retirement age to 70, cut defense, Medicare and veterans pensions, while the states cut almost everything else. It would be tough but we could do it.” — Howard Dean in 1995

“I would also entertain taking the retirement age up to 68.” — Howard Dean to NBC in June of 2003

“I have never favored a Social Security retirement age of 70 nor do I favor one of 68.” — Howard Dean in August of 2003


(I promise that I will) “repeal every dime of President Bush’s tax cuts.” — Howard Dean

“Governor Dean would repeal all of the Bush tax cuts. And that would mean an increase in taxes on everybody, including the middle class and working families who don’t deserve it now, can’t take it, in fact need a break.” — Joe Lieberman on Howard Dean

“Dean not only advocates universal health insurance but also tells audiences that Vermont already has moved in that direction. . . . How to pay for this? Simple, says Dean. Roll back virtually all of President Bush’s tax cut of 2001.” — David Broder

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