CBS' The Early Show
October 1, 2003
HARRY SMITH, co-host:
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean is proving that he can do at least one thing better than the other Democratic candidates for president, and that is raise money. Dean picked up more than $14 million, a record for Democrats, in the last three months alone. And Governor Dean joins us this morning.
Good morning, sir.
Former Governor HOWARD DEAN (Democratic Presidential Candidate): Good morning, Harry.
SMITH: You've raised almost $15 million; however, the president has raised around $50 million. That makes yours look almost like chump change. How do you compete against that?
Dr. DEAN: W—what we've done is build a huge grassroots donation network. We had over 200,000 people who gave us money and the average gift is somewheres just under $80. The way you beat a president who s—gets $2,000 checks from all those folks he gave tax cuts to, is to simply ask a million people to give you $80. And we're not going to have as much money as the president, but I do believe it's possible that grassroots trumps this presidency, which has been so representative of high special interests and big corporate folks and not very representative of all those of us who are losing our jobs and really suffering on—on terms of health care and education and the things that Americans really need right now.
SMITH: Let's talk about that in just a minute or so. I want to talk, first, though, about—about the general—about Wesley Clark. He's already ahead of you in some of the polls in a candidacy that's only two weeks old. How do you account for that?
Dr. DEAN: I think he's gotten a lot of television exposure. People are interested in hearing his views. His resume is very impressive. The biggest problem, though, is he appears to be a Republican. He did say he was a Democrat 25 days ago, but I find it troubling, not so much that he voted for Nixon and Reagan, because that was a long time ago, but I find it troubling that he said that he voted for Al Gore and then went and raised money for the Republican Party, extolling the virtues of the very person that we're all trying to get out of office, and as well as Vice President Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. That I find troubling. And I don't think that the Democrats ought to nominate a Republican for president.
SMITH: Let's talk about some world issues here for a second. Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, North Korea—you're a governor and a physician from a small state in the Northeast. What's on your resume that would prepare you to deal with some of the things you would inherit?
Dr. DEAN: The most important thing that's on my resume is judgment. In terms of the domestics—the s—the domestic issues, I'm a fiscal conservative, a real fiscal conservative, not a borrow-and-spend credit card conservative, like the president is. We really do balance budgets in our state and we've got the scars to prove it. We've had to keep sk—spending down. We're reduced a quarter of our debt and we need that approach now that the president's dug us a half-a-trillion-dollar hole.
SMITH: How about some of those international issues that just talked about?
Dr. DEAN: Right. And the—wh—what I was just saying—about to say there was that judgment is qu—critical. In October, I was the only one of the leading candidates that came out against the war with Iraq. Senator Kerry, Senator Lieberman, Senator Edwards, Re—General Clark, Senator—Representative Gephardt all supported the war at that time. Now some of them have changed their positions, which I commend them for, but I was able to figure out with my team that the president simply was not giving us the facts. To this day, we don't know why we went into Iraq. I—I supported the first Iraq war. I supported the Afghan war because 3,000 of our people had been murdered and I thought we had an obligation and a responsibility to defend ourselves. But I, as commander in chief, am not going to send foreign troops to other countries without telling the people of t—of this country the truth about why they're going.
SMITH: I've got 30 seconds left. Numbers yesterday, jobs being created in the United States at the lowest level since 1995. How would you put America back to work?
Dr. DEAN: We need to invest in small businesses instead of big corporations. They create more jobs than big businesses do and they don't move their jobs offshore. And then we need to invest in infrastructure—schools, roads, mass transit, renewable energy and broadband telecommunications. That puts people to work right now and builds the infrastructure upon which to build the new economy in this country.
SMITH: Governor Dean, we'll see you down the road. Thanks so much.
Dr. DEAN: Thanks very much.
SMITH: You bet.
Now here's Rene.
RENE SYLER (Co-host): All right, Harry.
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