Dean blasts Bush at Brown
By LISA GENTES The Associated Press | September 10,2004
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean addresses an audience on the campus of Brown University in Providence, R.I., Thursday. Dean, a former Democratic presidential hopeful, spoke about the presidential campaign and criticized policies of the Bush administration.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — One-time Democratic presidential contender Howard Dean Thursday accused President George W. Bush of dishonesty that the former governor says has led to the deaths of 1,000 soldiers in Iraq.
"The president has said a lot of things that are untrue," Dean said in an interview before addressing a crowd of about 800 at Brown University.
"The Republicans have the best propaganda out there since Lenin, and they just make stuff up and they keep repeating it, and hope people are going to believe it," he told The Associated Press.
Dean also charged that Bush has "totally mismanaged" the military.
"I think that George Bush is certainly going to have a draft if he goes into a second term, and any young person that doesn't want to go to Iraq might think twice about voting for him," he said.
The former Vermont governor spoke at Brown as part of the school's 2004 Noah Krieger Memorial Lecture series.
The crowd of mostly Brown students packed the auditorium and an adjacent room, where many watched Dean on a big-screen TV.
Dean has been acting as a "surrogate speaker" for Democratic presidential nominee and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, campaigning for him around the country, Dean spokeswoman Laura Gross said.
Dean called Kerry a "forceful" Democratic candidate and, despite public criticism of the senator, denied that Kerry has flip-flopped on issues, such as the war in Iraq.
Instead, he said, the candidate's message has been distorted and misrepresented by the media.
Dean is also lending his support for the Dean Dozen — 101 Democratic candidates across the country that he has endorsed through his Democracy for America political action committee.
The candidates range from school committee hopefuls to would-be senators. It's part of the group's philosophy of "taking back democracy one office at a time," Gross said.
On Thursday, Dean urged Democrats to get involved, run for office and vote.
He said the upcoming election needs to focus on public education, health care and job opportunities.
"This country deserves a change because the people of this country are far, far better than their leadership, and you're the only ones that can make the change," he said.
Dean received numerous rounds of applause and was followed out of the auditorium by a swarm of young, shorts and sandal-clad college students. Encircled on the college green, he signed autographs and pictures, shook hands, and received a hug, along with many thank yous.
Dean said he felt like he was campaigning, and one student shouted, "We wish you were."
He addressed one young woman's question regarding the state of foreign policy and the conflict in the Middle East, saying that the United State has an enormous opportunity to help.
"We're going to have to take American money and invest it in the West Bank after we can get this to some level of reduction of conflict," he told the crowd outside the auditorium.
Dean, who dropped out of the Democratic presidential race in February, has been traveling five to six days a week, attending campaign rallies, press events and book signings, according to Gross.
Dean's latest book, "You Have the Power: How to Take Back Our Country and Restore Democracy," is scheduled for publication on Sept. 27.