Dean on Government Shutdown: If DNC Chair, 'I'd Be Quietly Rooting for it' | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Dean on Government Shutdown: If DNC Chair, 'I'd Be Quietly Rooting for it' 

Former Democratic Gov. Howard Dean is garnering some national attention for doing what he does best — shoot from the lip.

In today's installment of "Did Howard Dean Really Say That?", the former blunt-speaking presidential aspirant and chairman of the Democratic National Committee said he if were at the helm of the DNC he'd be "quietly rooting" for a government shutdown.

"I wouldn't like a shutdown from a statesman-like point of view, but if I was the head of the DNC I'd be quietly rooting for it," said Dean. Nervous laughter ensued and his comment seemed to take the audience, and the moderator by surprise. "Because I know who's going to get blamed. We've been down this road before."

And who would be blamed, Dean was asked?

"The Republicans are going to be blamed for it. They appear to be intransigent and overreaching and that is exactly what happened after 1994," said Dean. "They came in and they went too far."

During his remarks, Dean stoked the fear that Social Security checks and Medicaid and Medicare payments might cease if the government were to shut down.

The moderator corrected Dean that, in fact, as a practical matter Social Security checks would still be mailed.

"No, but there is going to be a lot of talk about it and a lot of nervousness — are there going to be some things that will stop — and who knows what's going to stop," added Dean.

The comments came at a forum sponsored by the National Journal. Talking Points Memo has another fun take on the event, including some entertaining comments from readers.

Not surprisingly, even folks from the "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" weren't enthused by Dean's off-the-cuff comments.

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Shay Totten

Shay Totten

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Shay Totten wrote "Fair Game," a weekly political column, from April 2008-December 2011.

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