The new chairman of the Democratic National Committee has come under fire for his sharp statements about Republican foes, but Howard Dean’s rhetoric was welcomed by the nearly 500 Iowa Democrats who heard him speak Saturday in Cedar Rapids. One woman used an expletive when a reporter asked her about Dean’s detractors. Bob Krajnovich of Clinton offered this assessment.
“He expresses exactly what I think,” Krajnovich said. “I didn’t see anything wrong with what he said because I’ve said it myself.”
Gus Keefer, also of Clinton, agrees with Dean’s statement that no Republican has ever made an “honest living.” “I think he’s wonderful, I really do. I believe what he’s saying,” he said.
“My wife says that he’s taken the message from me. I’ve been saying that for years.” Dee Brandt of Oelwein backed Dean in the Caucuses, and isn’t surprised by the controversy. “He was under fire when he ran, but he comes out of it,” she said.
“He tells it the way it is and he sticks with it.” Audrey Linville of Davenport backed Dean in the Caucuses, too. “I’ll back him ’til heck freezes over,” Linville said, laughing. During his speech Saturday night, Dean made no apologies for his anti-Republican rhetoric.
“We need to be blunt and clear about the things that we’re going to fight for,” Dean said. “We are going to fight. We are. People have criticized me for being blunt and saying what I think. I do that on purpose. I am tired of lying down in front of this Republican machine. We’re not going to do it anymore.”