Watch in wonder as I make the news say what I want.
Position 1. Dems Attack Dean (Barre Montpelier Times)
Contenders gun for Dean in first debate
September 5, 2003 Democratic contenders gun for surging Dean in 1st debate
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The Democratic candidates for president made it clear Thursday night who worries them most.
For now it isn't President Bush.
It is Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont, who drew the sharpest attacks from fellow Democrats in a 90-minute debate, aired on public television to a national audience.
Criticizing Bush and the war in Iraq and boosted by a growing band of Internet-based campaign contributors, the former physician and governor has passed all other Democrats in fund raising and claimed early polling advantages in the premier caucus and primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
The strongest attack on Dean came halfway through debate, as Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut challenged Dean's stance on trade with foreign nations. Lieberman said he had read a "stunning" newspaper interview with Dean:
"He would not have bilateral trade agreements with any country that did not observe fully American standards," Lieberman said. "That would cost us millions of jobs. If that ever happened, I'd say that the Bush recession would be followed by the Dean depression."
Position 2. Dems ignore Dean, attack Bush
Democrats unite in faulting Bush (The Charlotte Observer)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Apart from a few barbs lobbed at Howard Dean, the Democratic candidates for president mostly echoed each other Thursday night in a nationally televised debate.
They reserved most of their fire for President Bush, whom they consider "a miserable failure," in the words of Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri, on issues ranging from Iraq to the economy to U.S. relations with Latin America.
The Democrats, appearing together on a stage at the University of New Mexico, did occasionally point out differences among themselves. Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut wants to send more U.S. troops to Iraq, for example, while Dean, former governor of Vermont, and Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio said they favored bringing American soldiers home.
But the eight candidates -- bad weather kept the Rev. Al Sharpton of New York from making his connecting flight to Albuquerque -- spent most of the 90 minutes bashing Bush policies and laying out their own similar plans and positions.