The Corner

The Truth? Whatever

Howard Dean this morning attacked Steve Doocy on Fox and friends for asking the former Vermont governor about a panic attack he supposedly had upon learning he was about to become governor of his state. Dean insisted no such thing had ever happened, that it was not discussed in the current People magazine interview with Dean and his wife, and that Doocy was downright irresponsible for saying such a thing–essentially making it up.

It’s right there, however, in the people magazine interview.

Q: It sounds as if you had a little bit of an anxiety attack when you got the word that you were now governor.

Howard: I did. I hyperventilated and I started hyperventilating and I thought, You better stop that or you won’t be much good to anybody.

Q: Has that happened since, or before?

Howard: No.

Q: Why was that such a —

Howard: To suddenly get told that you have responsibility for 600,000 people — it provokes a little anxiety.

Q: But now you’re asking for responsibility for 250 million and then, the global reach of the U.S. presidency. That doesn’t provoke a little anxiety?

Howard: No. I mean, I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t — first of all, I think everybody has a little anxiety when they approach a job like that. But I think that over my life, I’ve made hard decisions about people who could die if I made the wrong decision. I’ve made decisions that have helped people to live who were about to die. I’ve seen a lot of people die, which nobody could do much about and for 11 years, I made decisions about all the things that presidents have to make decisions about — who gets what in the budget, things like security issues after 9/11, like my own security. So when you’re used to making tough decisions, you know you have to make the tough decisions. The key to making tough decisions is to make it, not sit around and agonize about it.

Is he claiming People made up the panic-attack conversation? Or was he just betting on no one calling him on his apparent lying?