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Dean Officially Dives In - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Dean Officially Dives In

Burlington, Vermont - June 23, 2003

Governor Howard Dean is hoping the good times keep rolling.

"You are unbelievable!" he told the crowd shortly after taking the podium at the intersection of Bank and Church Streets in Burlington.

With hundreds cheering him on, the former Vermont governor made it official.

"Today I announce that I am running for the presidency of the United States of America."

This was a good old-fashioned presidential political rally. Vermont's two United States Senators warmed up the crowd by criticizing the incumbent: George W. Bush.

"My friends, we got swindled. All our values by the White House were squandered. I'm not talking small, I am talking about massive Texas size squandering," said Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont.

"Right now we have a President who thinks war will elect him President," said Senator James Jeffords, I-Vermont.

The war in Iraq helped Dean rally his troops. It gave the anti-war candidate a national stage when other Democratic candidates were supporting the President.

"We must rejoin the the world community," said Dean.

Dean also criticized the President's domestic agenda. The former Vermont governor who prides himself on balancing the state's book for a decade..took aim at the the President's tax cuts:

"Our president and too many in Washington are giving away our future so we pass to our children not the flickering flames of freedom but a trail of insurmountable debt."

Dean dubbed this speech "The Great American Restoration". It was just one theme Dean is trying out. A second slogan may be familiar to Vermonters. Three years ago Dean campaigned against the "Take Back Vermont" theme. Today, he's pushing "take back our country".

"Today we stand in our common purpose to take our country back."

It's power Dean says is in the hands of the public.

"You have the power!!! You have the power!!!"

Anson Tebbetts - Channel 3 News

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