updated 6/9/2007 4:05:17 PM ET 2007-06-09T20:05:17

The high hurdles faced by congressional Democrats in their efforts to end the Iraq war make electing a Democratic president in 2008 the best way to finish the conflict, Democratic party chairman Howard Dean said Saturday.

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He noted his party has made little progress toward ending the war, the cause, he said, that returned them to power.

“The American people hired Democrats last November to ensure that we end this war,” Dean said during the weekly Democratic radio address. “So let me be clear, we know that if we don’t keep our promise, we may find ourselves the minority again.”

Dean put the blame for the lack of progress squarely on the White House and congressional Republicans for blocking his party’s attempt at tying war funding to deadlines for troop withdrawals.

“We have to face the reality that Republicans in Congress are standing with President Bush as he stubbornly wields his veto pen,” Dean charged. In response, he proposed that the “one way to truly ensure we end this war” was to elect a Democrat as president in 2008.

A former presidential candidate himself, Dean contrasted the field of Democratic and Republican candidates who participated in separate party debates earlier this week, saying only Democrats would end the war.

Democrats also seek to shift troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, restore damaged relationships with other countries and provide the military with “the resources they need,” Dean said.

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