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Leader
21 Dec 03,, 22:42
Dean: Stop the Attacks

Sunday, December 21, 2003

MAQUOKETA, Iowa Howard Dean (search) appealed to fellow Democratic presidential candidates Saturday to stop the bitter attack politics that have come to dominate the race for the party's nomination. The race needs "a little character transplant," he said.

"It's not necessary to tear down the other opponents," said Dean, whose front-running campaign has come increasingly under fire from Democratic rivals.

In his latest swing through Iowa, where the nominating process starts with caucuses next month, Dean pushed hard at his claim to being an outsider running against Washington-based candidates with no record of accomplishment.

"There are five or six people running for president right now who have a chance at winning," Dean said. "I'm the only person who has done anything about trying to get health care."

Dean is bunched with Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt (search) in Iowa, but he has developed a wide lead in other early states such as New Hampshire. As his campaign has developed momentum, he's come under fire.

"This campaign needs a little character transplant," Dean said. "You shouldn't believe what other people say."

Dean argues that his Internet-based campaign is broadening the Democratic Party and offers the most realistic chance of ousting President Bush. He urged backers to commit not only to supporting him but also to changing the party.

"It has to be about rebuilding the Democratic party," said Dean.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,106326,00.html