Dean to GOP: In your face

In a speech in Boston, the DNC chairman says Democrats can't win if they don't fight.

Published June 21, 2005 12:10PM (EDT)

If you were worried that the recent attacks on Howard Dean might have him cowed, you can rest easy this morning. In what the Boston Globe calls a defiant speech at a party fundraiser, Dean said yesterday that neither he nor the Democratic Party he leads is about to back down.

"We are going to be much tougher and in your face with the Republicans when they say things that aren't true," Dean told Democrats in Boston. He added: "We can't win if we don't fight."

Before Dick Durbin took his place as the distraction du jour -- and when, exactly, are we all going to start spending day upon day talking about Bill Frist's phony diagnosis of Terri Schiavo and the way he lied about it last week? -- Dean came under fire from Republicans and some members of his own party for saying that "a lot" of Republicans have "never made an honest living" and that the GOP is "pretty much a white Christian party." The browbeating and piling on reached a weird sort of apex last week when Vice President Dick Cheney -- whose name may bring to mind many things, "love" not being one of them -- said of Dean: "Maybe his mother loved him, but I've never met anybody who does." Monday in Boston, Dean responded: "I don't care if Dick Cheney likes my mother or not; we are going to fight back. I think it's great that Dick Cheney went after me. At least they know there's a Democratic Party that's not going to put up with this stuff anymore."

Cheney -- whose name may bring to mind many things, "accuracy" not being one of them -- also said last week of Dean, "He's never won anything, as best I can tell." Dean was elected governor of Vermont five times.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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