Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Sen. Dave Durenberger Pt 1

Iraq: "We were Wrong" - Sen. Dave Durenberger
Life long Republican also says Senate candidate Mark Kennedy is “Stuck in the Texas Republican party”

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Former U.S. Senator Dave Durenberger lived through World War II. He knows what a nation at war looks like.

“I don’t believe this nation is at war,” Durenberger tells “Inside Minnesota Politics” host Peter Idusogie. “I think there’s a family down in Clarks Grove, Minnesota that’s at war. You can go around reserve units, National Guard units, you can go around families all over the United States and you can find people who are at war.”

“The rest of the country is busy making money. Busy going to the beach. Busy living like business as usual.”

In a special interview Durenberger questions President Bush’s motives for invading Iraq, noting that Bush is “reaping the temporary benefits of being at war.”

“They can’t find Osama Bin Laden. They can’t find the real terrorists. They needed an identifiable person and they needed to characterize him as a terrorist and so they used Saddam Hussein.”

“We were wrong. It was the wrong decision. I would have never voted for it…. Number one it was the wrong target. There are people we should be at war at, but it’s a whole different war.”

Durenberger, who left office a decade ago, is now 70 and is not running for anything. So he feels free to point out the problems with the Minnesota Republican Party, its candidates, and Governor Tim Pawlenty.

Republican Mark Kennedy is running to recapture Durenberger’s Senate seat. Durenberger says Kennedy “is basically stuck in a Texas Republican party. It’s not a Minnesota party. …He needs to be a Minnesota Republican. And I don’t mean necessarily the current so-called ‘from the business right’ or whatever the right is in Minnesota. Business, church, evangelical or something or other. But he needs to be what his instincts, what his upbringing in Pequot Lakes, what his education at St. John’s taught him to be – a compassionate conservative.”

On Tim Pawlenty trying to govern from the center:
“I bet on Tim Pawlenty to be that kind of Governor and I still would like to bet on him to be that kind of Governor. Although the evidence so far is… it’s kind of a stretch to find it at the current time.”

On who was damaged most politically by the state government shutdown:
“Here in Minnesota, the blame is going to lie on the Governor”

On what the Governor should do now:
“It has to be a different message. It can’t simply be the message of leaner government, better government, cheaper government, no taxes, no this, no this. You can’t be a negative message.”

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