Howard Dean 2004: The Medals Matter

By MichaelJames

Mar 28, 2008 9:32pm

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., launches a biography tour next week, which looks to tell the American people about his days as a POW in Vietnam, at least based on his new TV ad (watch HERE) introduced today in New Mexico.

In response, Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean issued a statement, saying, “John McCain can try to reintroduce himself to the country, but he can’t change the fact that he cast aside his principles to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with President Bush the last seven years. While we honor McCain’s military service, the fact is Americans want a real leader who offers real solutions, not a blatant opportunist who doesn’t understand the economy and is promising to keep our troops in Iraq for 100 years.”

The Republican Party has seized upon the term "blatant opportunist" to suggest that Dean is implying McCain is an opportunist for including his POW information in his TV ad.

RNC Deputy Chairman Frank Donatelli said, “Howard Dean owes John McCain an immediate apology and both Sens. Clinton and Obama should unequivocally denounce this disgraceful attack."

That’s all noise. What’s more interesting are the Dean quotes from 2004 that may come back to haunt him this year.

"The real issue is this," Dean said in March 2004, when endorsing formal rival Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., "Who would you rather have in charge of the defense of the United States of America, a group of people who never served a day overseas in their life, or a guy who served his country honorably and has three Purple Hearts and a Silver Star on the battlefields of Vietnam?"

McCain, by the way, has been awarded the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Star Medals, a Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

- jpt

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