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Dean: 'We have just begun to fight'

Howard Dean addresses supporters after finishing third in Iowa.
Howard Dean addresses supporters after finishing third in Iowa.

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(CNN) -- Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, once considered the early front-runner among Democrats for the presidential nomination, spoke to supporters after finishing third in the Iowa caucuses.

This is an edited transcript.

DEAN: ... I'm sure there are some disappointed people here. You know what? You know something? You know something? If you had told us one year ago that we were going to come in third in Iowa, we would have given anything for that.

And you know something? You know something?

Not only are we going to New Hampshire ... we're going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we're going to California and Texas and New York. And we're going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan. And then we're going to Washington, D.C. To take back the White House. Yeah!

We will not give up.

We will not give up in New Hampshire. We will not give up in South Carolina. We will not give up in Arizona or New Mexico, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan.

We will not quit now or ever. We'll earn our country back for ordinary Americans.

And we're going to win in Massachusetts. And North Carolina. And Missouri. And Arkansas. And Connecticut. And New York. And Ohio.

Let me -- wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait.

There are some polite things we have to do here. [Dean thanks Iowa campaign workers and supporters.]

But most of all, let me thank you from all over America, coming to change this country. We haven't seen this in 30 years.

Now, in my generation was the last time I saw all this stuff going on with people your all age, under 30 years old.

Now, when I was your age -- when I was your age, we did change two presidents and change the foreign policy of the United States of America.

Now, the only difference is it took six years. And we've got six months to go before we're going to do it here.

This is the changing of the generations, the passing of the torch to the new generation. It is your generation. And it's your generation that's fueling this campaign because you know that the half trillion-dollar deficit this president is piling up [is] going to be billed to you and your children, because of the terrible damage this president is doing to the environment are going to be things that you're going to have to live with.

And we're going to change that. And you have the power to change that. And we are starting right tonight.

We have just begun to fight. We have just begun to fight.

And we're going to fight and fight and fight until this country becomes a place where we'll put more money into small children and their families than we will into prisons.

Where, instead of giving $16 billion worth of tax breaks to oil companies and gas companies, we'll put it into renewable energy and ethanol and biodiesel.

Where, instead of giving $200 billion to the HMOs and insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies, we'll give seniors a real prescription benefit.

I would have liked to come in first tonight, and so would you. But you know what? I want to thank the people of Iowa. I do. I have spent two years here. I've gone to all 99 counties. This is a wonderful, wonderful state with wonderful, wonderful people, and I appreciate very, very much.

I have called Sen. Kerry and Sen. Edwards and congratulated them and told them we would see them around the corner on the other side of the block starting tomorrow morning.

I have called Rep. Gephardt and thanked him for a courageous run. I worked for him in 1988. I still feel some loyalty to him. He did the best he could, and I appreciate his long career of service for the United States of America.

And now I want every single one of you who can do it, to go to New Hampshire. And if you can't go to New Hampshire, I want you to go to Arizona or New Mexico or Oklahoma or Delaware or South Carolina or North Dakota.

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