March 13th, 2008
11:00 AM ET
10 years ago

Dean: We need to find a fair way


Watch Dean on American Morning Thursday.

(CNN) - Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean wouldn't say Thursday if he supported the Florida Democratic Party's proposal of a combination mail-in vote and in-person election, saying only that the best option is whatever he can get Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to agree to.

"The best option is whatever we can get the candidates to agree with, which puts a vote back in the hands of the people of Florida and Michigan," Dean said on CNN's American Morning Thursday. "That's going to be not so easy to do. Once you're three quarters of the way down the track as we are in this race, to go back and change something, that makes - that's a big deal."

Dean's comments came shortly after the Florida Democratic Party released its plan in a memo sent to party leader's Wednesday night. The estimated cost of the proposal would be between $10 million and $12 million.

Earlier this week the Obama campaign expressed strong reservations with any mail-in vote, noting Florida has no history conducting such an election. Speaking to CNN Thursday, Dean said he is seeking a proposal that both candidates consider fair.

"When you change the rules in the middle of the game, which is what's proposed here, you've got to do it in a way that both campaigns agree is fair," he said.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (195 Responses)
  1. Paul

    Why would you allow them to a redo? Didn't they break the rules on purpose?

    Clinton should be punished for giving McCain ammunition to use against the Democrats by endorsing him as the most qualified Commander in Chief. What was she thinking? I thought she's supposed to be the "Smartest Woman in America". She definately proved that theory wrong. That is about the stupidest mess up the Democratic Party could have ever asked for. INSERT FOOT IN MOUTH!

    Also, what is this I hear abour Governor Rendell and Hillary Clinton both being accused of ELECTION FRAUD when she was running for New York Senator? Is this true?

    March 13, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  2. Pearl

    The last I knew Florida and Michigan still are a part of the United States. They voted, don't pay for a redo. Now just seat the votes..You would be changing the original vote. Its wrong.

    March 13, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. Jim in FL

    The DNC reminds me of an old Laurel and Hardy clip, where Oliver Hardy turns to Stan Laurel and says "Well ! This is another fine mess you've gotten us into !" Keep up the good work ... LOL !!

    March 13, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  4. Rebecca

    Let's have a redo in Michigan.

    I know many, including myself, who did not vote because we knew it didn't count and Obama was not on the ticket. He will do well here just like he did in Wisconsin. Michigan is much different than Ohio. We have much higher standards.

    Michigan for Obama

    March 13, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. Rebecca

    Obama was not on the ticket the first time around. Hillary almost lost to "none of the above" the first time around. We have alot of people who do not like Hillary . We also have alot of people who did not vote because our great government leaders told us it would not count anyway. More people will come out this time around for Obama. Let Govenor Granholm support Hillary. Nobody likes either one of them.

    Michigan for Obama

    March 13, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  6. Denise

    I agree with Michael from Michigan, you broke the rules live with it. The Democratic party has damaged itself. We are being ridiculed for our inability to stand up and say no re-vote. Howard Dean must be replaced. It is a matter of principle. I do not want to seem negative, but the Democrats are going to loose the November election. They have no focus on developing a tangible plan for a solid victory. Unfortunately, they did it to themeselves.

    March 13, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. Pelosi

    Why don't you ask Pelosi what to do – she is Ms. know it all.

    March 13, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. Angela

    To all of those who hate Obama and distort his record, READ MY LIPS: He said he will abide by whatever the DNC decides. And you have a problem with that? Rember that all candidates agreed to this. Obama did not make the rules. Who is whining here? Blame your state officials!!

    March 13, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. Chido Williams

    The mail-in option is out and everybody is aware why-we won't go into details. Consistency is what we require of the DNC to stick to-mark my words.

    March 13, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. Dre

    This is the worst election I ever wittness, why would someone do a mail in vote in Florida look what put Bush in office. Obama should fight for not having mail in vote because if they do you know they going to steal the election. Hillary is for this because the republican is helping her to win in Florida and Michigan. I advise all African American to stay home if Hillary win the demoncrate nonimee let just leave the demoncrate party completely and join the republican party.

    March 13, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. America

    Wake up! The world is watching and laughing at America. Race is an international issue. Why would it be different in America. Only because Americans are so full of themselves they can't see what is so obvious to others. Obama is JFK all over. And for those of you who can't remember "one of the worst Presidents in American history", any book will remind you. As for Hillary, she is Maggie Thatcher all over. And for those of you who can't remember Maggie Thatcher, then the number one issue besides the economy should be education.

    March 13, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. Do Your Job Dean


    Just do your job and keep the management to yourself. We don't want six more weeks of this inhouse fighting. If we do there will be one party standing in November, and I'm afraid it will be the GOP.

    Get on with your job, and don't announce everything to the media.

    March 13, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  13. beebop

    My God. If you ever wondered what a Dean presidency would have looked like, here it is. The party could not have done worse ....

    1. No incumbent Republican on the ticket.
    2. Least favorable ratings for a president nearly of all time.
    3. Historical moment for Democratic party - woman and minority.
    4. Historical opportunity blown by DCCC
    5. Way to go, Dr. Dean!

    March 13, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  14. Kim

    Michigan voters are not holding their local parties responsible because they are too busy working 2 or 3 jobs trying to keep a roof over their heads.

    March 13, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  15. CC

    Anon – You might want to learn about the process a bit more. MANY states APPLIED to change their dates. BUT – they did it FOLLOWING the process. FL and WI did what they wanted to – because the did NOT follow the process. If they had done things the RIGHT way – then we would not have this issue to begin with. I agree – too much power is given to the first states to vote. However, there is a reason to follow the PROCESS and change the date in the RIGHT manner.

    March 13, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  16. Dave

    Dean must resign. What a mess. He should have imposed the same penalty the RNC did. To penalize all of the delegates is undemocratic. No there is no chance of a fair way to seat delegates without compromising principle. Dean must go!

    March 13, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. Abe

    I don't know how anyone can vote for Obama when he is trying to keep two key states out of the primary process. His campiagn says they want what is best but they are really afraaid that they will lose badly there. Hillary is actually trying to find a soultion. I won't support Obama if he beats Hillary by not letting two states have a voice. It would just be unfair and there would be none of that change Obama is talking about.

    March 13, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  18. DL

    OK, maybe THIS sort of fuster-cluck is the reason the "old guard" smoky-back-room Dem party insiders used to handpick the nominee regardless of the primary results.

    March 13, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. simple thought ?

    I'M FROM MISSOURI... and unless dean and the dnc find a fair way to count fl. & mi., i vote republican.
    this is America.....
    50 states, don't whine about there moving up there election.
    FIX IT.


    March 13, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  20. Right

    Good for Michigan Jim. Why can't we all rise above the chaos and find higher ground a.k.a. the truth?

    March 13, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
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