Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean is due in Iowa today, about 36 hours after news broke that Dean — at least four years ago — wasn’t a big fan of Iowa’s Caucuses. During an appearance on a Canadian t-v show, Dean said the caucus system played to the extremists in both parties and didn’t give Americans in the center a say. Yesterday, Dean faced the music. Dean says he doesn’t know if he’s in trouble in Iowa over a remark that he made four years ago. Dean says he wouldn’t be in the position he’s in without Iowa, which he says is a place where a candidate like him with “no money but a great message” can go and get noticed. Dean says while he certainly would not say today what he said four years ago about the Iowa Caucuses, the campaign can’t be about who said what four years ago. Dean says the big issues in the campaign are Iraq, jobs, health care and education. According to Dean, “the press likes a fight” and that’s why his “positive message” never gets out. As Radio Iowa reported yesterday, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin endorsed Dean and moved up the announcement to divert attention from Dean’s anti-Iowa comments. Dean says Harkin’s endorsement is “helpful.” Dean says Iowans, obviously, are going to make up their own minds, but having Harkin on his side “certainly helps.” During a speech at a Friday afternoon rally, Harkin called Dean “the Harry Truman of our time.” Afterwards, Harkin told reporters Dean’s anti-Iowa comments don’t worry him. Harkin says “actions speak louder than words” and Dean’s been to Iowa often and has visited all 99 counties. Harkin says Dean now understands the Caucuses are the “most fair, inclusive system that we have anywhere.” Harkin says people can change, and once they get here, they learn how “good” the Iowa Caucuses really are.* Harkin says he talked with Dean Thursday night, and Dean called the Iowa Caucuses one of the best experiences of his life, and Harkin says Dean assured him if he wins the presidency, the Iowa Caucuses will be first in 2008. Also yesterday, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller switched his pick in the presidential sweepstakes. Miller endorsed Massachusetts Senator John Kerry’s candidacy. Miller had previously endorsed Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, but Lieberman is no longer campaigning in Iowa.
You are here: / / Dean explains four-year-old remark; gets Harkin’s backing