Voter Triggers Dean's Much-Talked About Temper
Sun January 11, 2004 05:30 PM ET
By Patricia Wilson
OELWEIN, Iowa (Reuters) - Dale Ungerer, a 66-year-old retiree from Hawkeye, Iowa, succeeded on Sunday where eight Democratic presidential hopefuls have failed -- he made front-runner Howard Dean show a flash of his much-discussed temper.
The former Vermont governor had just finished his standard stump speech blasting President Bush for, among other things, his Iraq policy and his stewardship of the economy. He asked, as is his custom, for "questions, comments or rude remarks in the New England tradition."
Ungerer, wearing a T-shirt bearing the words "Mr Fix It," rose to his feet and condemned what he called the incivility of the campaign and the political press. He suggested Dean and the other Democratic candidates stop "tearing down your neighbor" and cut their "slam, bam and bash Bush" rhetoric.
"Please tone down the garbage, the mean-mouthing of tearing down your neighbor and being so pompous," Ungerer, a registered Republican who voted for Bush in 2000, said to scattered hisses and boos from the overwhelmingly pro-Dean audience at the Oelwein Community Center.
Dean, whose rivals have suggested his impulsiveness, outspokenness and temperament make him less than ready for the White House but have been unable to provoke him in a dozen or more debates and forums, began by calmly replying: "George Bush is not my neighbor."
But when Ungerer stood and tried to interrupt, Dean shouted: "You sit down. You had your say. Now I'm going to have my say."
The crowd cheered and Ungerer sat.
"George Bush has done more to harm this county right here with unfunded mandates, standing up for corporations who take over the farmers' land, making it impossible for middle class people to make a real living, sending our kids to Iraq without telling us the truth first about why they went," Dean said.
"It's not the time to put up any of this 'love thy neighbor' stuff ... I love my neighbor, but I'll tell you I want THAT neighbor back in Crawford, Texas where he belongs."
After Ungerer left the room trailed by reporters, Dean lambasted Bush for trying to cut overtime pay, calling it another reason he had "differed with the gentleman over here so vociferously."
"This is the president of the United States," he said. "I don't think that's being a good neighbor to ordinary working people."
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Originally posted by Section109Row15@Jan 12 2004, 12:33 AM I'm not a Dean supporter, but I thought it was a pretty good comeback. Atleast Dean allows Bush supporters near him and not at a freespeech zone 1/2 mile away.
Great comeback...I just hope people wait and realize what a know nothing loud mouth dean is and nominate him first. Please howie, come to Westchester and campaign.....pleeeeze!!
I will never be a Dean supporter. But for Dean to have to defend himself to Al Sharpton-a convicted tax cheat, a man who has a campaign trail's worth of unpaid bills, a man who claims to own nothing, who has been found guilty of slander, who has been a paid FBI informant after being caught discussing a drug deal with a known Mafia figure-is a disgrace. Dean was an elected official with a reasonable record. The fact that there are no black folks in Vermont isn't exacly news. If the Democrats are going to allow Sharpton to be treated as a respected leader and set the agenda, they will lose big. This man is criminal, and and no one will call him on it.
Bugg - it just shows the level of pandering involved in these things. I'd like to say that the GOP is above pdnering, but with Bush's latest domestic agenda items, it is clear Bush is also pandering to cotton-heads and Mexicans.
Originally posted by Come Back to NY+Jan 12 2004, 12:43 AM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Come Back to NY @ Jan 12 2004, 12:43 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--Section109Row15@Jan 12 2004, 12:33 AM I'm not a Dean supporter, but I thought it was a pretty good comeback. Atleast Dean allows Bush supporters near him and not at a freespeech zone 1/2 mile away.
Great comeback...I just hope people wait and realize what a know nothing loud mouth dean is and nominate him first. Please howie, come to Westchester and campaign.....pleeeeze!! [/b][/quote]
I guess you don't remember how well Reagan's New Hampshire temper tantrum went over back in 1980.
When Reagan was frustrated during a debate with George Bush he screamed "I PAID FOR THIS MICROPHONE!!" and he got a big bounce out of it.
Its a sad fact but the American electorate wants and demands a degree of boorishness from their presidential candidates.