Dick Gephardt

Democrats Don't Want Gephardt as VP - Even in his Home State of MO!
Dick Gephardt

"Missouri favorite son Dick Gephardt is not the favorite vice presidential candidate of several rank-and-file state Democratic leaders looking to deliver its 11 electoral votes to John Kerry. Asked which prospective running mate would help Kerry win the battleground state, eight of 11 county chairmen and chairwomen selected at random by The Associated Press chose Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina. Gephardt and Edwards are among those Kerry is reported to be considering. Only two of the county officials chose Gephardt, and one picked Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack. President Bush won Missouri by just 3 percentage points in 2000." Kerry says he will choose based on ability to take over the Presidency if need be. But many Dems question if Gephardt, with all his "experience," is a justifiable choice even based on this criteria. They recall how he sold the party out to Bush over the Iraq war in Oct, 2002, leading to a devastating anti-Dem "punishment vote" in the 2002 election.

Gephardt Condemns Bush in the Most Rousing Speech of his Career
Dick Gephardt

STLtoday: "In an emotional speech at the Democratic Party's state presidential convention in Columbia, Gephardt asserted that Bush's lack of leadership was endangering the nation and the world. 'He is bankrupting the country and he doesn't even want to talk about it. He's got to go!' shouted Gephardt, bringing hundreds of delegates to their feet, at times with tears in their eyes. 'I am more frightened about our country and the problems we face around the world than I've ever been. He's not leading the world. John Kerry will.' Gephardt asserted that Bush 'is not up to this job' and is so bad that 'I'm nostalgic for Ronald Reagan.' After Gephardt spoke, Alexis Miller, a Kerry delegate from Manchester, was among several who said they'd never heard Gephardt deliver a better speech in his 30-plus years in politics."

Gephardt to Drop Out of the Race
Dick Gephardt

From Knight-Ridder: "Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri went home Monday night for the wake. Shortly after conceding defeat in the Iowa caucuses on which he had banked his second presidential campaign, Gephardt was scheduled to board a chartered flight to his hometown of St. Louis. Gephardt, 62, will drop out of the race at a Tuesday morning press conference, according to campaign sources, ending his 37-year political career and his two-decade dream of the presidency. 'We did the best we could,' Gephardt said as he entered the hotel that served as his caucus-night headquarters."

Once Again, Gephardt Stands by His Man - George W. Bush
Dick Gephardt

"Dick Gephardt, siding with Bush on his $87 billion request for Iraq and Afghanistan, pledged Wednesday to finance the war on terrorism even if that posture undercuts his presidential bid or ensures budget deficits for years to come... Gephardt criticized Bush's postwar policy in Iraq, but argued that it would be irresponsible to vote against reconstruction money for two war-torn nations... The decision pits him against a majority of the nine-person Democratic field that opposes the $87 billion package. It also underscores a central dilemma of Gephardt's candidacy: He worked with the Bush administration in writing the congressional resolution authorizing the war a year ago when most Democratic voters either opposed the conflict or were yearning for a candidate to stand up to Bush. Gephardt said he's often asked whether his Iraq position will backfire in the relatively liberal primaries. 'I don't care,' he said. 'I did what I thought was right.'" Dick, It was wrong then - and now.

Gephardt Launches Campaign on Economy and Health Care
Dick Gephardt

WashPost reports, "Gephardt called for canceling virtually all the corporate and individual tax breaks Bush pushed through Congress in 2001 and has proposed this year - $2 trillion worth in the next 10 years. He would use that money to guarantee health insurance for every working American, by subsidizing employers and employees. He also promised to create a universal pension plan, portable from job to job, a new Teacher Corps to lure 2.5 million newcomers with the promise of college tuition aid, and expanded pre-school and after-school programs. On his signature issue of trade, Gephardt said he would urge the WTO to 'establish an international minimum wage,' adjusted for individual countries, to reduce the flight of U.S. jobs to foreign lands... Last year, Gephardt became one of the first Democrats to endorse and lobby colleagues to support Bush's [W-ar against Iraq]... Anti-war Democrats, who are an important force in Iowa and New Hampshire, have continued to criticize his stance."

Gephardt to Seek Presidency
Dick Gephardt

Dan Balz reports, Dick "Gephardt (Mo.) announced his intention to run for president in 2004, saying Bush is leading America 'down the wrong path or not leading at all,' and pledging to offer 'a distinctive choice and a different direction' on domestic and national security issues. [Gephardt, soon 62] will plunge into travel, fundraising and the recruitment of staff and supporters, particularly among elected officials and in key early states. He plans to campaign in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, the three earliest battlegrounds of 2004, before the end of the month. His short statement foreshadowed a campaign that will seek to draw bright lines of distinction with the White House and possibly with some of his rivals for the Democratic nomination. 'Too many unmet promises and too much empty rhetoric has left us a nation unsure of our own economic security and still vulnerable here at home to the threats we faced over a year ago on September 11th,' he said.

Mark Shields: 'Rep. Gephardt Will Be Missed'
Dick Gephardt

Mark Shields writes, "Dick Gephardt was elected House Democratic leader after the Republicans' historic 1994 victory, which left his party with 52 fewer House seats and, for the first time in 40 years, in the minority there. Like no Democratic congressional leader before him, Gephardt spent the next eight years tirelessly [recruiting candidates and raising millions] to win back a Democratic House majority. In the elections of 1996, 1998 and 2000, the Gephardt-led Democrats won House seats back from the GOP. Two years ago, a switch of fewer than 2,500 votes in just five districts would have restored the Democratic majority. [Today] critics rush to brand Dick Gephardt a failed political leader. That charge is both unfair and inaccurate...Because of his own loyalty to his membership, the Missourian inspired loyalty from most of his Democratic members. He really was a uniter, not a divider."

Rep. Gephardt Intends To Step Aside as House Dem Leader
Dick Gephardt

"Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt intends to announce Thursday that he will not seek a new term as House Democratic leader, senior aides said. The expected announcement would clear the way for a succession struggle among Democrats, who have been in the minority for eight years and lost seats to Republicans in midterm elections on Tuesday. Gephardt has long signaled his interest in running for president in 2004, but it was not clear whether he would address that race when he announces his plans Thursday. Two senior Democrats, Reps. Nancy Pelosi of California and Martin Frost of Texas, have already indicated they would run for party leader if Gephardt chose not to, and jockeying broke out even before word spread of the Missouri lawmaker's plans...Rank-and-file Democrats are expected to meet next Thursday to pick the party's leaders for the Congress that convenes in January."

SoCal Americans for Democratic Action Calls for Gephardt's Resignation as House Minority Leader
Dick Gephardt

Voice4change.com reports: "In a stinging denunciation of his role in the recent House vote empowering the president to wage war in Iraq and citing the repudiation of his leadership by the majority of House Democrats, the Southern California chapter of Americans For Democratic Action (ADA) called for the immediate resignation of minority leader Richard Gephardt in a nearly unanimous vote last night. In a strongly worded resolution put before the organization's large Board, the group called on the House minority leader to 'resign immediately and subordinate your political ambitions to the good of the country and the world.' The resolution bluntedly pointed out to Congressman Gephardt that 'your resignation will permit the Democrats, under the leadership of Nancy Pelosi, to capture the House majority.' Congresswoman Pelosi, the minority whip from California, would assume the leadership position if Gephardt resigns."

Gephardt Isolates Daschle, Undermines Gore, and Thwarts the Will of the American Majority
Dick Gephardt

Tuesday night, Dick Gephardt turned coat and cut a suprise deal with Bush, aimed at paving the way for a bipartisan endorsement of the Bush W-ar. As the Washington Post points out, the damage Gephardt did is substantial: "His decision sapped momentum from a bipartisan campaign led by Sen. Joseph R. Biden (D-DE) and Sen. Richard D. Lugar (R-IN) to restrict Bush's options in attacking Iraq. It isolated Senate Majority Leader Thomas A. Daschle from the congressional leaders who backed Bush. It blunted criticism that Bush was going it alone. And it greatly increased the likelihood that Bush will win broad, bipartisan support when the House and Senate vote on the war resolution next week... Several Democrats privately questioned [Gephardt's] motives - some wondering if presidential aspirations clouded his judgment. Senate aides said Gephardt fell into a White House trap meant to divide Democrats and embarrass Daschle."

Gephardt Blasts Bush for Politicizing Iraq Debate
Dick Gephardt

House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt (D-MO) writes, "Bush himself has decided to play politics with the safety and security of the American people. It started in New York two days after the one-year anniversary of Sept. 11. Injecting politics into the debate on Iraq, the president told reporters that 'if I were running for office, I'm not sure how I'd explain to the American people, say, 'Vote for me and, oh, by the way, on a matter of national security, I think I'm going to wait for somebody else to act''... [Bush's statements] only serve to weaken that process, undermine trust and thwart cooperation. If Mr. Bush and his party continue to use the war as a political weapon, our efforts to address the threat posed by Iraq will fail. Military action, if required, may meet with quick success in Iraq, but a peaceful, democratic Iraq won't evolve overnight. It will take the active support of both parties in Congress over the long term if we are going to win the peace."

Democrats Demand Regular Foreign Policy Briefings from White House
Dick Gephardt

House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt (D-MO) is leading the Democratic call for more frequent briefings following a "more formal procedure" by Bush or his senior advisors. Gephardt wrote Bush saying: "Many of these sessions have been undertaken on an ad hoc basis and have of late taken place with decreasing frequency. As a result, many members of Congress have recently expressed concern that they are learning about U.S. foreign policy developments and military activities overseas through the media rather than from the administration." Ari Fleischer, White House Press Secretary, minimized the concern by remarking, "Sometimes you have to recognize in Washington no amount of consultations is ever enough for the Hill." No Ari, we recognize that under the Bush dictatorship ANY amount of consultation is TOO MUCH for Bush.

Gephardt Blasts Karl Rove for Politicizing the War Against Terrorism
Dick Gephardt

"In a fiery speech at the Democrats' winter meeting, Representative Richard A. Gephardt, the House minority leader, recalled how the two parties stood 'shoulder to shoulder' in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attack. He denounced as 'a shameful statement' Mr. Rove's advice to Republicans at their own winter session in Austin, Tex., on Friday that on military and security issues they could 'go to the country' because 'Americans trust the Republican Party to do a better job of keeping our communities and families safe.' 'I hope the president will set the record straight,' Mr. Gephardt said. 'We've got to stand together against terrorism. This is no partisan issue.' With the hall cheering and applauding, he invoked the troops overseas and said: 'These young people in Afghanistan are not fighting for the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. They're fighting for the greatest country that has ever existed on earth. That's the United States of America.'" You go, Gephardt!