Interview on (Hannity &) Colmes
March 18, 2004
(Notes: this video was recorded off the TV by a Dean supporter, 'balconycollapse', is truncated at the beginning and end, and has one or two "photoshopped-in" satirical comments in the bottom scroll. Although billed as "Hannity & Colmes", only Alan Colmes was present.)
COLMES: (remarks joined in progress) -ted about Spain. You said the President was the one who dragged our troops into Iraq, which apparently has been a factor in the death of 200 Spaniards over the weekend. You then made clear that that was what an al-Qaeda operative said, and then you were criticized for quoting al-Qaeda, as if, 'who would believe al-Qaeda?'. Were you taken out of context there?
DEAN: No, that was just bad journalism, of which we've seen a great deal of that in this, in this campaign. The White House put out a press release which deliberately took my remarks out of context, the press presented that to Senator Kerry, and Senator Kerry reacted accordingly. This, you know, this is another example of kind of made-up stuff in the newspaper, and I, there's nothing to that.
COLMES: Senator Kerry said 'it's not our position.' Is there a difference then between you and Senator Kerry on this--
DEAN: That's correct. There is no difference. What's it-- no-- cause it was again, bad journalism. Senator Kerry was replying-- 'it's not'-- said 'it's not our position' when he was talking about the Bush Administration, not about me. The papers made it- made up something differently, and put it in the paper, which I thought was pretty bad, and they probably oughtta retract it.
COLMES: Given that, the Democrats, we couldn't get you as the nominee, is John Kerry second best?
DEAN: (laughs) John Kerry's first best right now. He's the nominee of the Democratic Party. That's who the Democrats have chosen to represent them, and we need John Kerry in the White House. John Kerry understands defense, this President does not. John Kerry understands working with other countries, this President does not. John Kerry understands jobs, this President does not. John Kerry understands you can't run half-trillion-dollar deficits, this President does not. We need a new President, and that President's gonna be John Kerry.
COLMES: You know the Republicans like to-- they will look at-- as Democrats would, if we were-- the other side were having primaries, and all the divisive things that got said, and they're gonna hit you with how you said that John Kerry was a candidate of special interests, that he would not beat President Bush, that you were the guy to do it, and how will you then respond to these charges that, you know, what you're saying now is different than what you were saying then?
DEAN: I think in primaries we focus on our differences, and there were some differences between myself and Senator Kerry. In general elections, we're gonna focus on what we have in common. John Kerry wants health care for every American. Our plans are very similar. We're the last industrialized country in the world that doesn't have health insurance for every American, 'cause this President believes if you're rich, you deserve it, and if you're poor you deserve it too. That's not what I believe. John Kerry is a true champion of the environmental-- of the environment; the President has done everything he can to wreck the environment. He's the President of the energy companies and the polluters. John Kerry believes in balanced budgets, so do I, and this President has never balanced a budget. So I think the things that John Kerry and I have in common are much greater than the things that divide us.
COLMES: When did you know it was over for you?
DEAN: (thinks for a moment) Um, proba- I think in Wisconsin. You know, when we came in third behind John Edwards in Wisconsin, I realized that there was really no purpose in continuing, other than to be a kind of a, um, a conscience of the Democratic Party. I think you can be the conscience of the Democratic Party without spending more of your supporters' money. You know, I never intended to run a quixotic campaign, and when I realized that we weren't about-- not only beat John Kerry, we couldn't beat John Edwards, then I thought that it was time to leave the campaign trail and go on to something else. So we started DemocracyForAmerica.com and we're now interested in promoting other peoples' candidacies and getting people to run for office.
COLMES: You know for so long, and all this press, and the word "presumptive" before the word "nominee," which I'm sure could drive you crazy, how did you cope with that emotionally, when that moment finally came when you realized, you were not going to be the nominee. What's that roller-coaster ride like?
DEAN: It's very intense. But the key-- I-I-- brought myself back to why I really ran. I ran because I thought the country was being really badly run. We have a President that can't handle money, he's managed to spend a half a trillion of ours every year that he doesn't have. We have a President that has gotten us into an enormous amount of messes in foreign affairs. We need a stable Presidency, and I think John Kerry will provide that, and George Bush cannot. We've gotta have jobs back in this country. This is the first President since Herbert Hoover who's managed a net loss of 2.3 million jobs. So, I realized that when I wasn't going to be President, I was gonna support whoever won a 'cratic nominee (sic). We need fundamental change in Washington. This is an Administration which has not told the truth at home or abroad. This is an Administration that's taken taxpayers money and given it to millionaires and the biggest corporations in the world. This is an Administration that doesn't care about ordinary Americans. They forgot us. And a Democrat, I think, has a better chance of not forgetting us. And of course we'll be working hard to make sure the new Democratic President doesn't forget us.
COLMES: When do you plan to formally endorse John Kerry?
DEAN: Ah, soon. Soon. I'm not gonna give you an exact date, but it'll be soon.
COLMES: What are you waiting for?
DEAN: The fact is, there are some of my supporters who are uncomfortable with Senator Kerry. We-we had a very wide coalition, including Green Party people, and Independents, and even some moderate Republicans who believe in balanced budgets, as I do. And, so, some of those folks need some time. And they need-- John Kerry needs to show them that he's going to be the kind of President that they'd like to have, and... But I'm firmly in John Kerry's corner. I'm gonna encourage my people to be in John Kerry's corner. And I want to encourage our people to be in John Kerry's corner.
COLMES: Where is the discomfort?
DEAN: Oh, I'm not going to go into that, because it would be an implied criticism of the Democratic nominee, which I'm happy to do, again, privately, but not publicly.