Posted: September 18, 2007 5:35 PM
Gravel to America: You're Fat and Dumb
Democratic candidate former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel accepted comedian and talk show host Bill Maher’s challenge to speak honestly to the American people last week, declaring: “I am prepared to tell you that Americans are getting fatter and dumber. I have no problem saying that.”
His comment was published as a mashup on the Democratic Candidate Mashup and Debate site using Gravel’s answers from an interview with Charlie Rose. The site, a partnership between Yahoo! News, Slate.com and the Huffington Post, allows visitors to watch candidates answer questions on major election issues in what the site is calling the first online debate.
Gravel was equally blunt in his responses on other issues, including the war in Iraq. Gravel described Gen. David Petraeus’ testimony before Congress as “a very tragic charade.” He criticized a process in which “you get the president, who is the commander in chief, saying he’s going to follow what the dictates or recommendations of Gen. Petraeus, who is making recommendations that the White House wanted.” Gravel went on to condemn what he called a lack of leadership in American politics, and the subsequent need for his National Initiative for Democracy to give Americans a more direct role in creating federal legislation.
On Friday, Gravel made his first trip to Colorado in support of his 2008 run for the White House, stopping in Denver and Boulder. In an interview with the Denver Post, Gravel explained his initiative and related it to Colorado’s voting system.
“Colorado has an initiative process; you are one of 24 states in the union that has this. More than 50 percent of Americans have made law at the local and state level, and there is no reason why that same capability shouldn’t be transferred to the federal level.”
Gravel also talked with the local Boulder newspaper the Daily Camera. When asked what it feels like to be last in fund raising and the polls, Gravel said that Howard Dean was in the same place at this time in the last election cycle.
Gravel stated, “You can’t prejudge what’s going to happen with the electorate.”