Gotta love old Howie trying to weasel out of this one- he should call Willie Jeff up and find out how he kept out of trouble all those years, except the Clintons are too busy trying to rescue Gray Davis. Any rate, Gov. Dean slipped a little white lie in front of a small audience the other night:
Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean said Wednesday that he misspoke when he told the AFL-CIO he never favored raising the retirement age for Social Security benefits to age 70.
Dean acknowledged that he had called for such an increase when the country was faced with a deficit in 1995, but said he no longer thinks it is necessary. He said former President Clinton set an example of balancing the budget without raising the retirement age.
“Clinton proved that if you run a decent economy and have a budget surplus and some jobs, then you don’t need to raise the age to extend the life of Social Security,” Dean said in a telephone interview after The Associated Press questioned conflicting statements he has made on the issue.
The current retirement age for receiving full program benefits is 65 years and two months. The retirement age will gradually rise to 67 over the next two decades.
Dean’s false statement came Tuesday night during an appearance at the AFL-CIO (search)’s Democratic presidential candidate forum.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (search) of Ohio, who favors taking it back to age 65, criticized Dean for saying he’d raise to 68 or 70. Dean responded, “I have never favored a Social Security retirement age of 70 nor do I favor one of 68.”
Not only did Dean lie about his position, but Dean is lying about mis-speaking. He thought he could just say it and get away with it, a la Clinton. And before you start this nonsense about him just making a little mistake, maybe you should remember this little flap that happened on June 22nd. You see, there is this famous news show called MEET THE PRESS with Tim Russert, and Dean appeared and had this exchange:
Russert: …calling for that, and this is what Howard Dean said.