Dean had a warning for his fellow Democrats.
VIENNA, Virginia (CNN) – Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean opened the party’s fall meeting with a warning to his fellow party members.
“The worst thing we can do right now is be complacent .. and take things for granted” Dean told the crowd. He said “Republicans may not know” how to run the country but “they know how to win elections … we better work harder than they do.”
Dean credited the crowded field with having plans to get U.S. troops out of Iraq, but said “we now know it’s not enough to have a majority in the house and the senate, we have to have a Democratic president to change course in Iraq.”
The former Vermont governor ticked through the Republican field and accused many of them of continuing to engage in the “culture of corruption.” Dean also touted the current crop of Democratic presidential candidates, saying they reflect America because the group includes a woman, a Latino and an African-American. He compared the all white male Republican field to a 1950s flashback, drawing a hearty laugh from the crowd.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Senators Joe Biden of Delaware, Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois are scheduled to address the meeting later on Friday. Earlier, Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut announced he would not attend the event, instead remaining in Iowa to campaign.
– CNN Senior Political Producer Sasha Johnson