Text of Howard Dean's Radio Address:
Good Morning. I'm Governor Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Last week, President Bush compared the Iraq War to our ongoing commitment in South Korea, suggesting a plan for a 50-year presence in Iraq. By saying this, President Bush and the Republicans showed once again that they simply do not get it.
It's time to end the war, not escalate it. A 50-year plan for Iraq is a continuation of an ineffective strategy and it is not acceptable.
Our brave men and women in uniform deserve better. They have served with honor and distinction, but its time for the mission to change. It's time for the mission in Iraq to focus on a political solution, not a military one. It's time for a responsible end to this war.
This week the American people had the chance to see for themselves the crystal clear difference between the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates on the number one issue our nation and our next President will face.
Right down the line, we saw Republican contender after Republican contender embrace President Bush's escalation of the war and now defend the 50-year plan for Iraq. The Republican field of presidential candidates only offer more of the same ongoing support for the President's failed, ineffective strategies.
The Democratic candidates for president all stood united and firmly committed to responsibly ending the war in Iraq. This week, they each spoke passionately against any misguided stay-the-course plan that keeps our men and women in uniform policing a civil war.
The Democratic candidates have made it clear that they will not ignore the will of the American people and our military experts.
Democrats in Congress have stood up to this President and fought hard to keep him accountable. They passed a bill that established benchmarks with consequences and set deadlines to bring our troops home.
But the President vetoed it.
The American people hired Democrats last November to ensure that we end this war. So let me be clear, we know that if we don't keep our promise, we may find ourselves the minority again.
But we have to face the reality that Republicans in Congress are standing with President Bush as he stubbornly wields his veto pen in the face of overwhelming opposition to this war from the American people.
Democrats in Congress will continue to work hard to hold the President accountable and to pressure him to responsibly end this war. We want to ensure that we refocus our military efforts on fighting terrorist networks which are resurging in Afghanistan and that our brave troops have the resources they need both on the battlefield and when they come home.
But there is one way to truly ensure we end this war.
Elect a Democratic president in 2008.
There is one way to ensure that we have a commander in chief who understands that America needs a defense policy that is tough and smart, and ensures an effective strategy to keep America safe at home and around the world.
Elect a Democratic president in 2008.
Republican leaders have pursued ineffective policies that have bogged us down in Iraq for years and led to the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Democrats offer the American people an effective offensive strategy that takes the fight to our real enemies abroad.
Democrats understand that the Iraq war has kept us from devoting the resources we need to hunt down and capture the terrorists who are plotting to attack America. We no longer can afford to be pinned down in a war that has created more terrorists and made America less safe, as recent intelligence reports have shown. That is why we favor shifting more forces back to Afghanistan to win the fight there against al Qaeda and the Taliban.
We also want to make sure our military has the resources they need. And equally importantly, we want to restore our alliances around the world and regain America's moral leadership.
Our men and women in uniform on the frontlines in Iraq have done their job with extraordinary courage and determination. They deserve an effective offensive strategy, one worthy of their dedication and skill, and one that can be executed successfully.
The best way to do that is to get them out of the middle of a civil war in Iraq.
And the best way to do that is to elect a Democratic president in 2008.
I'm Governor Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Thanks for listening.