Whopper of the Week: Howard Dean

“Oh, that statement about raising the retirement age …’

Dennis Kucinich: [M]y good friend, Mr. Dean, has said that he’d move the retirement age to 68. One time he talked about moving it to 70.


Howard Dean: [W]hen we first looked to the rules for this debate, we were told if anybody mentioned our name, that automatically gave us a minute.

“I’m not going to go back and ask you to change the rules, but I think I’ll take 20 seconds just to tell everybody that I have never favored Social Security retirement at the age of 70, nor do I favor one of 68.”


AFL-CIO Democratic presidential candidate forum, Aug. 5, 2003

Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Ore.): I’ve said many times that I think we should raise the retirement age about the year 2015—raise it by that time to about age 70.



Howard Dean: I am very pleased to hear Bob Packwood because I absolutely agree we need to reduce the—I mean, to increase the retirement age. There will be cuts and losses of some benefits, but I believe that Sen. Packwood is on exactly the right track.”

CNN’s Crossfire, Feb. 28, 1995

“The way to balance the budget, Dean said, is for Congress to cut Social Security, move the retirement age to 70, cut defense, Medicare and veterans pensions, while the states cut almost everything else. ‘It would be tough but we could do it,’ he said.”


News story on a breakfast meeting Dean held with reporters by Miles Benson, Newhouse News Service, March 3, 1995

“Just six weeks ago, Dean told NBC, ‘I would also entertain taking the retirement age up to 68.’ “

Deborah Orin, “Is Dean Being Honest? Well, Define ‘Honest,’New York Post, Aug. 8

Discussion. Dean’s Clinton-esque rhetorical construction, “nor do I favor [a retirement age of 68],” arguably signals a change of mind since he “entertained” raising it to 68 a few weeks earlier. But in the context of the accusation from Kucinich, it’s clearly meant to mislead. The statement, “I have never favored Social Security retirement at the age of 70” is completely untrue.


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Whopper Archive:

July 25, 2003: Condoleezza Rice

July 18, 2003: President Bush

July 10, 2003: Donald Rumsfeld

June 27, 2003: Remembering Strom

June 20, 2003: Billy Bulger

May 30, 2003: Ari Fleischer

May 23, 2003: Donald Rumsfeld

May 19, 2003: Un-Whopper: Ari Fleischer Tells Truth!

May 2, 2003: Peggy Cooper Cafritz

April 17, 2003: Eason Jordan

March 7, 2003: John Kerry

Feb. 28, 2003: Ari Fleischer

Feb. 14, 2003: Bill O’Reilly

Feb. 7, 2003: Saddam Hussein

Jan. 31, 2003: Karl Rove

Jan. 23, 2003: Bill Frist

Jan. 17, 2003: Naji Sabri

Jan. 10, 2003: Rod Paige

(Click here  to access the Whopper Archive for 2002 and here  to access the Whopper Archive for 2001.)