(Host) Former Vermont governor Howard Dean officially kicked off his presidential campaign on familiar turf on Monday. Dean told several thousand people gathered at the Church Street Marketplace that he’s running to help restore traditional values to the country.
VPR’s Bob Kinzel was at the announcement in downtown Burlington.
(Sound from Dean’s speech) “Today I announce that I am running for president of the United States of America!” (Sound of applause from the crowd.)
(Kinzel) Dean used his announcement speech to highlight the core issues that he’s been focusing on for the past six months – issues such as health care, education, the environment and his opposition to President Bush’s tax cuts:
(Dean) “I wanted to bring those issues to the forefront of the national debate and I wanted to balance the budget to bring financial stability and jobs to America. But most importantly I have wanted my party to stand up for what we believe in again.” (Sound of applause.)
(Kinzel) Dean told the crowd that while he has strong differences with President Bush on most domestic and foreign policy issues, the real heart of his campaign is an effort to strengthen this country’s sense of community. It’s an issue on which Dean says Bush has failed to provide any effective leadership.
And while Bush raises a record amount of money for his re-election campaign, designating big donors as Rangers and Pioneers, Dean says his campaign is taking a different approach:
(Dean) “And tens of thousands of people all across America are standing with us right now in every single state in the nation and we call ourselves Americans. And today we stand in common purpose to take our country back.”
(Kinzel) Dean is hoping to capitalize on the momentum of his announcement. In the next five days Dean will campaign in Washington D.C., California, Arizona, and New Mexico and this weekend he’ll make a number of appearances in New Hampshire.
At the end of the month, all the presidential candidates will be filing new financial reports. Dean campaign officials are hoping to raise four million dollars in this new three-month reporting period.
For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Bob Kinzel.
Listen to or read Dean’s speech is online.