I'll mend Iraq rift, Dean says
WASHINGTON -- Howard Dean says he would retain part of the Bush administration's missile defense program if elected president, and predicts he could "reasonably quickly" mend relations with US allies soured by war in Iraq.
In a wide-ranging interview, the Democratic presidential candidate and former Vermont governor also pledged to balance the federal budget -- probably not in his first term, though -- by being willing to restrain spending on programs dear to Democrats.
"Everything is on the table," Dean said Friday.
Just as quickly, he put Social Security and education out of reach for cost-cutters, promising details of his balanced budget plans at a later date.
Dean said Republicans may need a balanced budget amendment to bring government spending into black, "but if I'm going to be president, I'd rather not have one so I can have flexibility."
Acknowledging his have-it-both-ways approach with a smile, Dean said: "So you can put me down as waffling on the balanced budget amendment.
"I'm already down as waffling on that one. I've waffled before. I'll waffle again," he joked.
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