Dean: Wisconsin can 'turn around' campaign
Former Vermont governor focuses on next week's primary
"This is the chance to turn around a campaign that's been managed by the media and the folks inside the Beltway," Dean said Tuesday.
Howard Dean says his supporters want fundamental change.
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MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin (CNN) -- Presidential hopeful Howard Dean is looking to reshape the Democratic presidential race in the Wisconsin primary next week.
In a rally with supporters in Milwaukee on Tuesday, Dean questioned his opponents' commitment to "standing up for what's right," and cast the contest as a choice between "rhetoric or results."
The rally took place as early primary results from Tennessee and Virginia appeared to further cement Sen. John Kerry's front-runner status. (Full story)
Dean sat out Tuesday's Southern race, choosing to concentrate his time and money in Wisconsin.
Looking to make an unprecedented lunge to the front of the pack after having no victories in 14 states that have held nominating contests, Dean did not refer to Kerry by name, but said, "This election [next] Tuesday is about whether we're going to have as the nominee of our party somebody who's been in the Senate forever, who's taken an awful lot of insider special interest money," or "are we gonna be a Democratic Party -- a real Democratic Party?
"This is a big deal, the Wisconsin primary," Dean said. "This is the chance to turn around a campaign that's been managed by the media and the folks inside the Beltway. We can do better than this in this country."
He repeatedly called his rivals "Washington insiders," referring to Kerry and Sen. John Edwards, and accused them of basing their policy stances on what's popular.
"The time they got any backbone was when you all figured they wanted them to get some," he said. "It is time to say to those Washington Democrats who stood with the president when he went to war in Iraq, who stood with the president when he passed the No Child Left Behind Act ... that we ought never as Democrats to be afraid of standing up for what's right.
"My question to Wisconsin is who do you want to stand up with you in the foxhole -- the guy who will stand up when it's right, or the guy who just stands up when it's popular? We can do better than that," Dean said to supporters' applause.
In a joking allusion to the 1828 presidential vote, in which John Quincy Adams lost his bid for re-election, the country "sent [Adams] back to Crawford, Texas," Dean said, making a reference to Bush's home in Texas. "Well, it was really Boston, Massachusetts. But maybe we ought to send somebody back to Boston, Massachusetts, too," he said in a reference to Kerry.
"Oh, I shouldn't say things like that," he added. "You gotta have some fun when you're campaigning for president."