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Howard Dean Tells It Like It Is

Reported by Ellen - September 14, 2005

Alan Colmes interviewed Howard Dean last night (9/13/05) on Hannity & Colmes. Dean's blunt, no-nonsense approach was such a refreshing change from the usual H&C - well, nonsense.

Colmes' first question was about disaster relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Dean answered that "one thing Bill Clinton did really, really well" was to have a strong FEMA. He said that the Bush Administration "just went back to turning it into a dumping ground for people who evidently didn't have anything else to do. And it's really too bad because now people have paid for that with their lives."

Colmes said that Bush did take "personal responsibility."

Dean answered that there's a lot of people dead and without homes and that they needed help "on time," not two weeks later. He said that the non-partisan Congressional Research Service reported that Governor Blanco of Louisiana did "everything she could" which, according to Dean, meant that "the real screw ups" were at the federal level.

On the subject of eliminating the estate tax, Dean said that if the Republicans do that and also spend billions to rebuild after the hurricane, the deficit will soar. "When is this going to stop? These people are completely irresponsible, financially. We need to balance the budget someday in this country and to spend 750 billion dollars giving a tax break to 20,000 American families as opposed to the other 280 million of them, I think is morally wrong. We did have moral choices to make. We've made the wrong choices again and again and again and we're paying for this very dearly. Moral choices not just in terms of favoring getting rid of the estate tax over dealing with the deficit, but moral choices in downgrading FEMA, not putting the money in the levee reconstruction project."

Colmes asked whether Dean isn't concerned that some of his "rhetoric" about Bush may be "more divisive than uniting."

Dean answered that he thinks it's true and that "It's time somebody told the truth. The president said he was a uniter and turned out to be the most divisive president, probably in our history, except, perhaps, before the Civil War. This is a divisive president and he got there by not telling the truth... I think the things that I say are true and, therefore, they need to be said. You can't fix something if you're not willing to point your finger at it."

Dean doesn't think Bush or John Roberts are "overtly racist but their actions contribute to harm for vulnerable people." He included women and gay people along with minorities "and anybody that doesn't look like them and I think that's a problem."

About John Roberts, Colmes asked, "He seemed to say (at his confirmation hearings) the kind of thing you'd think Democrats would want to hear... Is that enough to say, 'Look, maybe we should really look at this person and he might be the appropriate choice?'"

Dean said he didn't hear any answers, just a lot of "mumbo jumbo and a lot of dancing around." He said the question is, does the guy have the interests of the American people at heart. He called Roberts accomplished and very bright "but if you don't have compassion, then how can you really be a leader of the American people?"

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