Skip to comments.AP: Dean Blasts Bush Over Mad Cow Scare
Posted on 12/27/2003 6:04:10 PM PST by LurkedLongEnough
WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean says the Bush administration missed an opportunity to soften the impact of the country's first mad cow scare and that the American beef industry should receive federal aid to weather the crisis.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press, Dean also said Friday he wants Osama bin Laden to get the death penalty, seeking to minimize fallout from a New Hampshire newspaper story in which he was quoted as saying the terror leader's guilt should not be prejudged.
"As a president, I would have to defend the process of the rule of law. But as an American, I want to make sure he gets the death penalty he deserves," Dean told the AP in a phone interview.
The former Vermont governor, who solidly leads the field of Democratic presidential candidates in both polls and money, said he was simply trying to state in The Concord Monitor interview that the process of trying bin Laden needs to be fair and credible.
In that interview published Friday, Dean was quoted as saying, "I still have this old-fashioned notion that even with people like Osama, who is very likely to be found guilty, we should do our best not to, in positions of executive power, not to prejudge jury trials."
Dean told the AP that sentiment doesn't mean he sympathizes in any way with the al-Qaida leader. "I'm just like every other American, I think the guy is outrageous," he said.
Dean also weighed in for the first time on the news earlier this week that a cow in Washington state has tested positive for mad cow disease, the first such case in the United States.
The former governor, whose state has a large dairy cow population, said the Bush administration failed to aggressively set up a tracking system that would allow the government to quickly track the origins of the sick cow, quarantine other animals it came in contact with and assure the marketplace the rest of the meat supply is safe.
"What we need in this country is instant traceability," he said.
Dean said such a system should have been set up quickly after the mad cow scare that devastated the British beef industry in the mid- to late-1990s. The Bush administration was still devising its plan when the sick cow was slaughtered Dec. 9, and on Friday the government still hadn't determine the infected animal's origins.
"This just shows the complete lack of foresight by the Bush administration once again," Dean said. "This is something that easily could be predicted and was predicted."
Dean said as a result the beef industry will suffer enormously. Officials said Friday 90 percent of the foreign markets for American beef have been closed off because of the announcement.
Asked if he supported a federal economic aid package for the industry, Dean said: "The answer is, yes, of course I do. The question is how much? And we don't know how much yet."
Dean said the government's first job, before the economic damage is calculated, must be to "close down that impact as soon as possible" by tracing the cow's origins and credibly reassuring the American public and the world that the rest of the U.S. beef supply is safe.
As a doctor, Dean said he was more concerned about the impact of the announcement on the U.S. economy than on public health. "The truth is this is going to have a minimal health impact," he said.
Dean also reacted to comments attributed to Democratic rival Joe Lieberman in a story published Friday in The Union-Leader of Manchester, N.H., suggesting the Roe vs. Wade decision needs to be revisited because scientific advances allow a fetus to survive outside the womb much earlier than in the 1970s.
Lieberman issued a statement Friday saying he was misquoted and doesn't want the historic Supreme Court decision to be reopened.
Dean said he wasn't personally familiar with the Union-Leader interview, but he said Lieberman is "very much off base and doesn't understand the science," comparing him to anti-abortion Republicans.
"I think Joe makes the mistake that Republicans do, insinuating himself in the doctor-patient relationship," Dean said.
That fact becomes more and more evident every day.
Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this list.
I don't get offended if you want to be removed.
So.....he will repeat an unfounded tinfoil hat theory that W had advanced knowledge of 9-11, and the worst thing that he can say about Osama is that he is "outrageous."
Howie, forgive me if my opinion of Osama is a wee bit lower than is yours.
Because Clinton was only interested in Pigs.
Dean - Clark
That's an unbalanced ticket.
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