FOX News Channel host Bill O'Reilly claimed that former Vermont Governor Howard Dean advocated “pull[ing] out of Iraq immediately” as a candidate in the Democratic presidential primaries. In fact, Dean advocated keeping troops in Iraq until stability was restored. During an interview with rock musician Joan Jett -- who was attending the Democratic National Convention -- on the July 26 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly asked Jett, “Howard Dean is a pretty off the wall guy as far as some of the things that he wanted -- pull out of Iraq immediately, give the terrorists a win there. Are you that liberal?”
The truth is that while Dean opposed the decision to invade Iraq, he believed that the United States had to commit the military force necessary to stabilizing Iraq. Here's what Dean said on MSNBC's Buchanan & Press on September 1, 2003: "I think it was a mistake to go into Iraq in the long run. Now that we're there, we're stuck there ... and we cannot leave because losing the peace is not an option. We cannot leave Iraq."