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Richard Piatt ReportingDemocrats have a chance to win big in Utah. That bold statement comes from Howard Dean, the new chairman of the national Democratic Party. Dean won his new position over the weekend. He talked to political reporter Richard Piatt, via satellite today, about how he can make a difference for Democrats in Utah.
Howard Dean knows a little about comebacks. Last year his party rejected him. Now he's a hero.
Dean wants to make his mark moving Democrats to win. He'll do that, he says, by clarifying the party's message on issues he says Republicans have hijacked.
Richard Piatt: "Was this the message you were trying to get across, consciously?"
Howard Dean: "What I was trying to get across is that democrats, in order to win, have to stand up for what we believe. We are never going to win if we try to pretend we're half republican all the time. The republicans have claimed democrats are pro-abortion. That couldn't be further from the truth. I don't know anybody that's pro-abortion. I do know democrats think women should make up their own mind about what kind of health care they get."
Dean says he has plans to create and fund grassroots campaigns--even in conservative areas like Utah. He rejects labels like 'liberal' for the party. Instead, he wants to seize the moral high ground from Republicans -- helping the poor and protecting children are consistent with religious values, he says.
Howard Dean, Chairman, Democratic National Committee: "If voters believe, as they should, that social security is in jeopardy, they're going to think carefully about how those taxpayers dollars are spent, whether it's moral to leave that kind of debt to our children. hen I think democrats have a chance."
Fiscally conservative, socially progressive: that's the Democratic party Howard Dean says he'll run. And, like his own comeback, Dean is planning to woo American voters to pick Democrats next election day.
Dean says the re-election of Congressman Jim Matheson and County Mayor Peter Corroon are both proof the Democrats have a chance to win big in Utah.