Statements former Vermont Governor Howard Dean made on Canadian television about the caucus system may be coming back to haunt him. N-B-C reporters watched Dean’s regular appearances on “The Editors” — that’s the name of the show — and found that Dean said the caucus system is “dominated by the special interests” and tend to represent the “extremes,” helping to nominate a candidate who is not “centrist.” Dean’s campaign issued a statement late last night. In it, Dean said the Iowa Caucus is where the campaign will begin, and if elected President, he’ll make sure the Iowa Caucuses are first in 2008. Other candidates were quick to criticize the statements Dean made four years ago. Missouri Congressman Richard Gephardt called Dean’s characterization of the caucus system “unbelievable.” Gephardt says the comments would lead one to believe Dean is “cynically participating” in the Iowa Caucuses, and Gephardt says he can’t understand why Dean would suggest the caucus system is dominated by special interests. Gephardt says he’s been going to meetings around the state and hasn’t seen special interests dominating. Gephardt says he’s seen “ordinary people” who generously spend their time listening and taking seriously their part in the election process. Gephardt says the idea that Iowa Caucus-goers are extremists is “unknowable.” Massachusetts Senator John Kerry calls the caucuses “rather extraordinary”. Kerry says the comments “do a disservice” to Iowans. Kerry says the comments also illustrate that Dean’s a candidate who sometimes “really just says things that are irresponsible and out of control.” North Carolina Senator John Edwards says he also disagrees with Dean’s assertion that the caucuses attract “extremists” rather than “centrists” and Edwards says he’s learned a great deal from Iowans.
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