“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.
Got a whopper? Send it to email@example.com. To be considered, an entry must be an unambiguously false statement paired with an unambiguous refutation, and both must be derived from some appropriately reliable public source. Preference will be given to newspapers and other documents that Chatterbox can link to online.
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