Today on NBC's Meet the Press, David Gregory asked DNC Chairman Howard Dean, about his support for Ned Lamont vs. Joe Lieberman.
MR. GREGORY: Let me ask you about the big political news of the week, that of course related to Senator Joe Lieberman. Six years ago he was the vice presidential choice for your party. What happened?
MR. DEAN: I think he embraced George Bush’s policies, and the American people are tired of George Bush’s policies. They want a new direction in this country, and, and the voters have spoken.
MR. GREGORY: Should he get out of the race now?
MR. DEAN: I think so. Look, I know how hard this is for Joe, and he’s a good, good person. But the truth is I, I lost one of these races, and I got right behind my party’s nominee, and I think that’s what you have to do if you want to help the country. The way to help this country is to limit Republican power. They have failed in, in the budget, they’ve failed in Iraq, they’ve failed at—with Katrina. I just got back from North Dakota; there’s not—more than a war on terror going on in this country, there’s a war on the middle class going on. There—you know, those folks need help, and we need help domestically. We need a change in this country. We need a new direction, and I think Ned Lamont will give us that new direction.
MR. GREGORY: Senator Lieberman led the charge against the new face of the party after his defeat, saying, in effect, it had been taken over by the liberal wing. This is what he had to say the day after his defeat on NBC’s “Today” show.
SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN: I am committed to this campaign, to a different kind of politics, to bringing the Democratic Party back from Ned Lamont, Maxine Waters, to the mainstream.
MR. GREGORY: “Back from the extreme.” Has the Democratic Party that, that you represent been taken over by the extreme?
MR. DEAN: You know, I think that was an unfortunate statement that Joe made.
That’s exactly the same line that Ken Mehlman and, and Dick Cheney are using. The truth is, Ned Lamont is a moderate. Ned Lamont earned his own living. He made a lot of money—and good for him—in, in this American system. He wants a balanced budget, he wants a sane defense policy, he wants health care for all Americans. That is what the Democratic Party believes in. The truth is, most Democrat—most people in this country, let alone Democrats, most Americans, by a large majority, agree with Led—Ned Lamont and not George Bush and, and Joe Lieberman.
MR. GREGORY: Let me ask you about something Senator Lieberman also said in the wake of the UK bombing plot. This is how it was reported in The Washington Post on Friday: “Campaigning in Connecticut, Senator Joseph Lieberman ... said the antiwar views of primary winner Ned Lamont would be ‘taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England.’” Your, your reaction?
MR. DEAN: I think that’s—I think that’s outrageous. I mean, that’s the same—again, the same thing Dick Cheney, who’s been widely discredited by most Americans as essentially a propaganda machine, has said. It’s ridiculous. That is saying to the Connecticut voters that you don’t care about American security and saying to the Connecticut voters that they like al-Qaeda. That is a ridiculous thing. The Republicans hope, once again, to win an election based on fear. They—you know, fear-mongering, whining and complaining and name-calling is not going to lead America.