January 20, 2004
KATIE COURIC, co-host:
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean was the front-runner for a long time in Iowa, but his campaign suffered a setback last night when he slipped into third place. He's in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, this morning.
Governor Dean, good morning. Thanks for joining us.
Former Governor HOWARD DEAN (Democrat, Presidential Candidate): Good morning to you, Katie.
COURIC: So simply, what happened?
Gov. DEAN: Well, you just said what happened. I was the front-runner and I took a lot of incoming flack from just about everybody that had any flack to throw. It was a tough campaign, but at least I got a ticket out of Iowa into New Hampshire, and that's the important part. I enjoyed campaigning in Iowa. I thank the voters in Iowa, and now we are off to New Hampshire. And I'm hope-I'm hoping to do well here as well.
COURIC: Your ads, as you know, Governor Dean, hit your opponents pretty hard and they were very critical of them. Iowans seemed to prefer the less negative, I guess, for lack of a better term, the kinder and gentler campaign commercials of John Edwards and John Kerry. Do you wish that perhaps you had been less pugnacious in those ads?
Gov. DEAN: Well, actually-actually my ads were not particularly negative. All what they did was point out that Senator Edwards and Senator Kerry and Dick supported the war, and I-I didn't. I think that's a reasonable ad to have. Some of the stuff in the mailbox is-I heard one of the candidates saying how positive he-he was, Senator Kerry. If you had seen what was going into the mailboxes in Iowa, perhaps he wouldn't look quite as positive as-as he thought he was. All I can do is-is fight for what I believe in. These are good people Senator Edwards and Senator Kerry, but they've never balanced a budget. They've never delivered health care for anybody. Those are the things that got me into this race, and that's the stand that I'm going to make in New Hampshire.
COURIC: Last night after the results were announced...
Gov. DEAN: I lost audio.
COURIC: ...you gave a speech. Can you hear me, Governor Dean? Can you hear me? Governor Dean, can you hear me sir?
OK, his IFB has dropped out. Hopefully, we can talk with Governor Dean a little bit more later on in the program. In the meantime, we'll go back to Matt.
MATT LAUER, co-host:
All right, Katie. Thank you very much.
Copyright 2004 National Broadcasting Co. Inc.
(They futter around and fix Dean's mike, probably during a commercial break.)
Well, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we have restored audio to Governor Dean.
Governor Dean, my next question was about your speech you gave after the results were announced last night. You were quite fired up, quite passionate. But some people watching feared you might implode. In the New York Times this morning it says, (Reading) “At his post caucus rally Monday night, Dr. Dean looked more like Howard Beal, the angry anchor and network, than Marcus Welby MD, while Mr. Kerry was every inch the veteran senator he is.”
Do you think things got a little out of control and you got a little over the top?
Former Governor HOWARD DEAN (Democrat, Presidential Candidate): Thirty...
COURIC: Can you explain that?
Gov. DEAN: ...3500 young people showed up in Iowa to help me win the caucuses. We didn't win, but I thought I owed them a little bit of fun. We're going to have some fun in this race. We're going to fight back. We're going to stand up for ordinary Americans. All these Washington folks, as I've said before, they're good people. And I regret that Dick Gephardt is going to drop out of the race today, as has been reported. I worked for him in 1988. He's a very good person. He's spent a great deal of his life helping America. But I want a change in Washington, a real change in Washington.
COURIC: But I guess...
Gov. DEAN: We're not going to get it from somebody who's been there for a long time.
COURIC: Governor Dean, I guess the question is, in a lot of people's minds and I guess in Iowa, electability. Can you really beat President George W. Bush? Many Iowans seemed to say no when they cast their vote or said that they supported John Kerry or John Edwards?
Gov. DEAN: The only thing I can tell you is that I'm the only person in this race that has ever balanced a budget. I'm the only person-in which we sorely need in Washington-I'm the only person that's ever delivered health insurance to anybody, which we sorely need. You know, my idol is Harry Truman. Harry Truman said what he thought. He said what he believed. He didn't look at the polls first. That's the kind of campaign you are going to get out of me as long as I am in it, and I plan to be in it for a while.
COURIC: All right. Governor Howard Dean. Governor Dean, as always, thanks so much for your time this morning. We appreciate it.
Gov. DEAN: Thank you.
COURIC: It is 7:19. Once again, here's Matt.
Copyright 2004 National Broadcasting Co. Inc.