March 28th, 2008
09:44 AM ET
10 years ago

Dean wants Clinton-Obama fight over before convention


Watch Howard Dean on CNN's American Morning.

(CNN) - Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean told CNN Friday his party's system for choosing presidential candidates is "not a mess," despite the maze of complexities exposed by the close, bitter battle between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

He also gave his clearest indication to date that he would like the fight wrapped up before the official nominating convention in August - as well as a guide on how to end it.

He said the undecided superdelegates - party officials who can choose whom to back - should weigh in once the voters have had their say.

"I'd like the other 350 (superdelegates) to say who they're for at some point between now and the first of July so we don't have to take this into the convention," he said on "The Early Show" on CBS. He made similar remarks on ABC.

Dean told CNN he's convinced the delegates from Florida and Michigan, who are currently not being counted, will ultimately be seated at the convention.

And he told CNN that party leadership has had "extensive discussions" with the Clinton and Obama campaigns to cool down their rhetoric.

"I don't think the party is going to implode," he said when asked about that possibility.

Full story 

(Udpates with Dean's comments on Superdelegates)

- CNN's Josh Levs

soundoff (163 Responses)
  1. Tom,des moines

    Howard Dean count those vote for Hillary.

    March 28, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  2. Kim, PA

    what's not a mess is NOT the system, but the people running.

    now Obama says he would have left his church if the pastor didn't retire.

    now Clinton says to vote for Obama if she doesn't get in.

    i've been a democrat for one year and i'm so ready to go back to being a republican or go independent, but i'll stick it out for Hillary.

    March 28, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  3. Edana Popp

    Dean's right: we can tough it out. Everybody's who's predicting the end of the Democratic chances in November, go read some history and get some perspective.

    March 28, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  4. Bobby

    Okay Dems. Let's end this matter and vote Obama so we can defeat McCain in November!

    Go Barack Obama 2008

    March 28, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. Alonzo Demetrius, FL, USA

    What in the world do you mean, Dean, when you say people in some areas of the US haven't been able to express their votes for the last 30 years? All of us know that all we need to do is properly register and then go to the polls. What in the world are you talking about anyway?

    March 28, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  6. Wally

    As a Democrat, I'm ashamed by what is going on. For a party who claims Al Gore lost in 2000 because "votes were not counted", it is shocking they are willing to disenfranchise two of the most populus states in the union. The Democratic party is losing me, and it is not because two good candidates are duking it out; it is because the leadership of the party is alienating citizens.

    March 28, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  7. Spirit of America

    The Primay process is not only a mess, it is, to date, undemocratic. The will of the people in Michigan and Florida is clear from the January vote, a fair and official one. Just because one candidate doesn't like the outcome (and even vehemently refuses to hold a re-election) is no reason to reject the stated will of the people.

    March 28, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  8. tim

    Mr. Obama should get out of the race immediately following more
    news from the crazy church and Rezko. He dosen't have a chance
    in the general election and would not have half the delegates he now
    has if ANYBODY in the press had done reasonable research on this
    guy. I wonder how Governor Richardson feels today.

    March 28, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  9. Jeff

    Perhaps my comment belongs with this article instead.

    On the topic of the Clinton/Obama race I dont understand the argument with Florida and Michigan. Both states knew going in that the DNC was not going to recognize their votes. Clinton and Obama both signed the agreement. How is there a dispute here. Because Clinton is behind? Thats foolish.
    And enough of this talk that "everyone should be heard". The only reason this race is still going is because Clinton wants to go to convention because she is banking on Superdelegates. Primaries have been going for years and the late states never count. I live in Kentucky and use to live in Indiana and we pretty much accepted the fact that the primaries would not get to us. The best way to solve this problem in the future, DNC, is to have primaries on one day. That way there is no single state campaigning where the candidates say how much they care about the state until they lose the state then they say "well, those states dont count".

    March 28, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  10. Rick in Florida

    YOU SHOULD BE FIRED!!!!!!!!!!!! What a complete balls-up, and because you, personally, are in the tank for Hillary she's allowed to
    flagrantly change the rules as she goes along, to suit her needs.

    When MI and FL moved their primary dates you stripped them of
    their delegates....but ALLOWED Hillary to keep her name on the MI
    ballot (when the others removed theirs). Now she claims a "victory"
    in the state. YOU should have removed ALL candidates names in BOTH of these states, to aoid just what has happened.

    Now you allow Hillary to float her plan to SCAM + STEAL as many of Obama's "pledged" delegates as she can. YOU ARE A JOKE. Just go into the corner and give us a SCREAM, will you???????

    March 28, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  11. kenneth tewel

    Howard Dean is living in the same fantasy land as Hillary Clinton and George Bush.

    For Bush everything is going fine in Iraq, for Clinton it's to ignore the numbers of pledged delegates that makes it impossible for her to fairly win the nomination and for Howard Dean, it's to ignore the carnage of the Democratic Primary Process.

    With roughly 40% of the Democrats (roughly 20% of Clinton supporters and 20% of Obama supporters) so alienated from their commitment to the party that they indicate they will not support the opposing candidate, only a fool would suggest that everything is going well.

    And where is Screamer Dean now that he is needed?

    March 28, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  12. Independant-Voter

    Dear Howard Dean

    You have a minor opinion on a Major delemia
    The Democrat Elite has created the problem
    And they need to clean up the Act
    And by the way just maybe the party has already imploded
    We will know by August

    March 28, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  13. Dan, Washington DC

    The leaders of the DNC are the only people in America who think this nomination process makes sense. The entire thing should take place over a one month period, at most.

    March 28, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  14. julie

    Howard Dean needs to step down, It's obvious he supports Obama , So if Obama gets the nod, we would have to wonder about the whole race being fixed from the beginning,

    March 28, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  15. june hall

    Bill Nelson is right !All these Primaries and Delegates,super delegates,and all that money being spent{could feed all the hungry people in the world} seems like a lot of "hog-wash". Why is everyone so concerned about the Democratic party all of a sudden?It's no more split than the Republicans!The whole country is split and has been for almost eight years now.We need a new system{the popular vote},and do away with all this fol-de-rol!! June Hall

    March 28, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  16. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    Yes, it IS a mess. Why must the American people endure months of advertising, campaigning, arguing, finger pointing and manure throwing, in addition to months of caucuses, primaries and sometimes both (Texas). Why can't all the primaries/caucuses in all the states be held during one or two months? We're sick and tired of having everything get strung out so interminably long.

    March 28, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  17. April Garlow

    I thought that the super delegates had no role to play unless the candidates get to the CONVENTION and neither has enough to win. Having them step in early will only further prove the dysfunctional /corrupt workings in the DNC. It will only serve to disenfranchise the rest of the Democratic voters, good job Dean. You think that if the candidates kiss and make up everyone will fall in line. Mark my words you are so wrong. No one can convince me that a Terrible Democratic Candidate is better than a Terrible Republican Candidate. They are only better for you and your future not America.

    March 28, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  18. Zoi

    I am a Flroida voter and I WANT MY VOICE HEARD.

    The power of One do not want my primary vote, you will NOT get my general vote.

    I AM tired of supporting a party that does not listen to its members.

    March 28, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  19. Walt, Belton,TX

    Only an idiot like Dean could consider the Democratic primary not a mess. I hope he continues as the leader of the party, that will help ensure devisiveness and bitterness, ad infinitum. Howard's got to be the ultimate doofus!

    March 28, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  20. Jeanette

    If the American people would of known of Obama judgement in the church he chose to go to , he would not be in the lead . I believe he chose to go to that church to get ahead politically. That church still has believes that is not good for the leader of our country to belong to. Obama not wanting a revote in Mich. and FL. will hurt in the general election. I do not believe he will win in the general election if he get the nom. I believe his judgement and trust and character has been hurt. I will not vote for him in the general election. I hope the democratic party wakes up and makes Hillary Clinton the nom.

    March 28, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  21. SS in ND

    The "media" is just now looking at Obama (after it is almost too late) and we may get what we voted for!

    IF HE DIDN'T SIT IN THE PEWS, he certainly received the church bullitin all of these years! He used the folks at that church to propel his candicacy to the presidency. That is a shame regardless of what he really stands for.

    AND we won't know that until he invites his pastor to his inauguration. All of these endosements are being swayed by the media coverage and bias against the Clinton family. It seems that Obama owns MSNBC and that station will relish four more years of bashing Bush 2.

    March 28, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  22. elain

    Is anyone concern that the Elton John concert is illegal....Foreign Nationals are not allowed to contribute money to any political campaign candidate directly or how can he raise that money and give it to Hilliary's campaign with directly or indirectly getting involved in the US elections...does anyone out there have the answer to this...

    March 28, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  23. Southerner

    The Democratic primary system is not a mess, and Howard Dean is not a nutjob. Orrr......

    It still baffles me that Dean is head of the Democratic party. What a loon.

    March 28, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  24. cc, Chicago

    Negativity ratings for the candidates and the democratic party are going up. McCain in the meantime is acting presidential and raising money while the democrats are burning through it and negating their money raising advantage. New voters to the process are being turned off by the negative tone. One candidate is saying if you don't vote for her, vote for the republican candidate because he would be better than the leading democratic candidate. There is talk of ignoring the popular vote and pledged delegate vote and nominate the candidate who is losing in all measurable categories, thus negating the whole point of the indignation of the 2000 presidential election loss by Al Gore. How is that not a mess??? The biggest problem right now is less Hillary Clinton and more Howard Dean for his almost complete silence on the primary process and lack of leadership and direction.

    March 28, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  25. Curtis

    If you do the math Wyoming has 4 times the Electoral Vote to Person Ratio than Texas and more then 3 times more then 26 other states. Why are people from Wyoming so important? "One Vote, One Person" is not just a good idea, it should be an american right!!!!!!

    March 28, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
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