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January 5, 2004
AP Review of Debate: Smoke and Fog

The AP writes an unusually critical review of yesterday's Democratic debate, noting the lack of honesty and factual argument that has become the rule rather than the exception, especially in regard to Howard Dean:

For a brief time in their debate Sunday, Democrats seemed to be hewing to a New Year's resolution to stick more carefully to the facts on taxes, the budget and more. But old habits die hard. ... Dean repeated his frequent claim that middle-income Americans have not seen their taxes go down under Bush: "There was no middle-class tax cut," he declared.

In fact, their taxes did go down. But Dean went on to explain what he really meant — that most people are worse off because college tuition, health care premiums, property taxes and other state and local taxes or fees have gone up by more than Americans have saved under the Bush tax cuts.

But the head scratching did not end there.

Dean and the other candidates keep demonstrating either their lack of honesty or their lack of knowledge during these debates, and one has to wonder when the Democrats will finally decide to pull the plug on the debate format and instead just stick to normal stumping. For another example of the general cluelessness that these debates seem to showcase, consider this:

The discussion turned into a critique by several candidates against the weaknesses of free trade agreements. Carol Moseley Braun and Dean were among those who said trade agreements must include strong labor, environmental and human rights standards.

But Braun voted for NAFTA when she was in the Senate and Dean voiced support for that deal and the China agreement before he entered the campaign.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 5, 2004 5:35 AM

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