Dean goes negative?
Hmmm. For weeks now Howard Dean's primary opponents, specifically Gephardt, Lieberman and Kerry, have been attacking him on multiple fronts, trying in some way to slow his momentum (it may be working in Iowa). So Dean has issued two new campaign ads that specifically address the attacks. As Dean himself put it:
"I learned a long time ago that when somebody says something that's not true," he said, after a midday gathering in a New Hampton living room, "you have to respond, and that's what we're doing. They have said all over Iowa, they've left the impression that I'm against Medicare. That's not true."
So what is the response? The Times headlines it as "In New Ads, Dean Becomes First in Campaign to Attack Fellow Democrats". Kerry issues a press release titled "Dean goes negative".
Got that? Dean responds to criticism and he is the one who is characterized as going on the attack. He is the one who blamed for going negative.
Update: Joe Trippi responds to the absurd suggestion that Dean is the one who is going negative with a simple multi-page listing of story headlines documenting the repeated attacks on Dean by other candidates over the last several weeks. It appears that Kerry and others have at least learned one lesson from the Republicans: accuse your opposition of doing what it is you are doing.