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John Kerry Statement on Dean Foreign Policy Address

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Kerry: speech "gives little comfort" to those who question Dean's experience

December 15, 2003

For Immediate Release

"Today's speech is still more proof that all the advisers in the world can't give Howard Dean the military and foreign policy experience, leadership skills, or diplomatic temperament necessary to lead this country through dangerous times. He broke no new ground today and offers no details as to how he intends to increase our homeland defense efforts, relieve the stress on our overextended armed forces, or implement the $30 billion AIDS programs.

"Dean remarkably backed off claims that Saddam's capture was a good thing, and failed to mention North Korea, despite the fact that he has previously called it one of the biggest threats in decades. He claims that his position on the war has not changed because of the arrest, yet it becomes increasingly unclear each day what that position was and whether it was rooted in conviction or political expediency. Finally, Dean's claim to keep promises with veterans fail to square with his previous support of cuts in benefits to balance the budget.

"Governor Dean's speech is long on rhetoric and short on substance. His speech gives little comfort to those who question whether Howard Dean has the background and experience to be our commander-in-chief."

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