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. Drew

    The idea of focing Hillary out of the race weeks before a state PRIMARY (the way all votes should be), a state that she will probably win by a double digit margin, is ridiculous. Of course the Obama camp would like supporters not to see that he cant win a swing state, much less states that traditionally vote democrat. Stay in through ALL OF THE VOTES, and then make the decisions. Who knows, Hillary may be ahead in popular vote by that time.

    March 28, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  2. For Obama

    I know both "campaigns" have slewed dirt back and forth. More so on the Clinton Campaign. But what makes me sick more than anything about Clinton is the fact that words of smear on personal attack and discrimination type talk has came straight out of her, and her husbands mouths. Obama has only attacked on issues and things she has said on issues. Her false accounts of bosnia, her saying one thing about an issue then saying another. Not personally. Might be someone on the campaign that said something but straight out of his mouth... It has not happened.. Unlike clinton.

    She can keep it up though as far as I am concerned. I dont like the woman and I will never vote for her if on the ticket. I am so dead against her. Its not out of spite.. Its how I know she is, her lies, her deceit, and her history of blaming all the wrong on someone else instead of taking the accountablity herself for her own mistakes.

    I wont vote for that to be in charge of a nation where I live and have to depend on her to make things right. Because I just cannot trust her. Obama might make some mistakes who knows. But he will take accountablilty for them. Clinton lies too much and has such a huge history of lying. That to me is another bush... weapons of m destruction.. what kind of lies will Clinton make for issues?

    Also the big money donors in her party that wrote the letter to Peloski? That is political favor stuff. You do and follow what we say because we donated money to your campaign and etc... No way!! That is not right at all. That is the Political Favors the clintons are famous for. Obama all the way here! No Political favors! Typical Washington Business... just like Obama said... Clinton is right in the middle of it. TIme for that to stop!!

    March 28, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  3. jp/michigan

    The entire DNC supports Obama. Obama does not want states like Michigan and Florida to do a re-vote, they state that we need to follow the rules. The same rules Obama campaigns follows, distort, take from others words, ideas and solutions and claim them for themselves. Wee, this 46 yr. democrat will not vote for Obama because he doesnot use good judgement and is not trust worthy.

    March 28, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  4. Typica latina n proud

    Howard Dean, our children deserve better. It is wrong to encourage that a misspeak , which is a lie, is acceptable, it is wrong to encourage our young people when they see the democratic party being threatened with bribes and money refusal unless they comply with money mongers from Clinton campaign. Hillary and her team and supporters are making unethical behavior too public and are hurting our democratic party.

    March 28, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  5. Chris

    Everyone needs to take a deep breath. Maybe you don't like Clinton or maybe you don't like Obama...fair enough. However, do you really want another republican prez? I certainly hope not...I know it can be frustrating at times, but regardless of the outcome we can still make a change regardless of which D wins it. It may not be the person you had hoped for, but I certainly hope you realize the D alternative is much better than the R alternative.

    March 28, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |

    Dr. Dean:
    You are in denial. Hundreds of thousands of Democrats in Florida have left the Democratic Party in the last few months. YES, WE NEED A COMPLETE ELECTION OVERHAUL. All the incredible support both these candidates have been able to gather and the financial backing from regular people, the new voters and young people, all for nothing… I hold you Dr. Dean responsible for loosing the election in November. The damage is done and you and the rest in DNC should had been working to solve the situation but NOTHING has been done and the clock clicking. BLAMING AND PENALIZING THE VOTERS IN FLORIDA WAS COMPLETELY WRONG. Thanks for nothing and for all the frustration you had caused. I can wait until you are no longer the president of this party if it survives you.

    March 28, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  7. Republican

    Dems are worhtless i do hope they are the end of each other

    March 28, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  8. JET

    Howard Dean telling anyone to cool down.

    Now that's funny.

    March 28, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  9. g.penn TX

    Hillary will win the nomination because of her experience in health care, international diplomacy, and the Clinton's record for fairness and equality for all groups!
    Let's face it; with her qualifications and experience in public service, if she was a MAN, she would have won it all in February!

    March 28, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  10. Swalker327

    "tim" - get a grip - OBAMA didn't write the things his pastor said - he wasn't even in attendance. Obama said he only attended services once every 6 weeks or so because he was so busy!! Nor He didn't order copies of semons to listen to and analyze!! I have no idea what my own pastor is said last sunday because I didn't go to church last sunday - should I ask for a copy of the tape to analyze????


    March 28, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |

    Thank YOU!! Talk about issues, not gossip!!

    March 28, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  12. MPG

    Unfortunately, Americans aren't suffering enough or are too complacent, otherwise they would not have the time to debate the merits of a candidate whose pastor practiced freedom of speech and religion......would be less concerned about the sexual practices of a candidates spouse, the race, gender and age (I'm old therefore I'm not valuable).............whose more "American" or "Patriotic"..............

    These are silly schoolyard arguments that grown ups should not waste valuable time, energy and money. I confess that until recently, I was one of those who "blamed" the media, but I realize that the responsibility for the environment and vibe of this campaign lies directly with me/us as the people. And as long as WE feed into this type of low-brow stuff, media makes money (ask Faux News) and the politicians continue to keep it going because we lead them to believe thats ALL we care to sling mud and be entertained by who can be scandalized next.

    I doubt this will be posted, but, at least I had the ability to share my humble opinion.

    March 28, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  13. Sharon

    Michigan and Florida NEED a re-vote....Obama's people are blocking this.....if they don't vote, only 48 states had a one wins.

    March 28, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  14. chris jones, iowa

    I know Truth and pastors make for messy discussions, but we are dealing with individual people whom we are to choose to run our country. You cannot avoid or place on the back burner that which we need to find out who to elect. Messy or not it's a process the voter has to go through as well as the party. Iraq, the economy, health care..sure those are common topics shared and if discussed keep the tone controlled, and the front page news more acceptable. The ONLY issue that would hurt myself within this party is if something happened which illustrated an UNFAIRNESS to the process. Mr Dean, that falls on your desk of do your job and let the two candidates fight it out for us. They both want the job, a little heated discussion now is better than placing the wrong person in the office.


    March 28, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  15. Glenn

    Dean,another person who knows the Clinton's, is worried. He knows that the only option open to Hilliary is to attack & destroy Obama. He knows she will lie to do this. It shows that she isn't qualified to be president of anything. To seek power for power sake wrong. More people are see the Clinton's clearly & that hurts the democratic party.

    March 28, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  16. Mama4Obama

    i agree. let the loser go. bye bye hillary

    March 28, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  17. Rich

    Howard Dean has officially told Florida Democrats that since they defied HIM, he's going to make sure their primary doesn't count! If this is true Howard Dean is on the way to rob citizens their legal right to vote. This man is a real divider.

    March 28, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  18. Blayze Kohime

    Its almost a pity that Dean isn't running himself.
    People that are harping on these little things on both sides are too stupid to realize that in the end they are hurting the party of the person they want to win. Haven't you wondered why McCain hasn't gotten dirty yet? He hasn't had to! Democrats are doing his work for him.

    March 28, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  19. d

    "Personal attacks demoralize the base…we need to focus on Iraq, we need to focus on gas prices, on mortgages, we need to focus on the economy," Dean said. "These are the things the American people care about. They don't care about people bickering over pastors, over who said what in Bosnia."

    Thanks Dean!!!!

    March 28, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  20. Troy

    Dean just needs to step down..... I think he's biased anyway. Let the votes in Michigan and Florida count! Then which ever candidate is on top after all the states have been accounted for is the winner. Its simple as that...Hillary or Obama... Its doesn't matter as long as it is not McCain/Bush.

    March 28, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  21. John

    Dean is in the tank for Obama, because the Cinton's didn't support his bid for the presidency in 2004. Talk about someone being childish: Christ would not have backed him after that crazy scream. He is from Vermont, and even Vermonters are trying to distance themselves from him.

    March 28, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  22. lois

    Primary season is a mess for Dems and Howard Dean's leadership is less than acceptable.

    March 28, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  23. Jack

    Does anyone remember what Saddam's spokesperson said as the US troops were entering Bagdad? Something like "The enemy is on the run. We are defeating them at every turn. We are driving them out of Iraq!
    Dean says "It's not a mess. It's actually done much better than we have in the past,"
    OK then.

    March 28, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  24. mike

    I agree, no one should quit the race, let everyone get a chance to vote. All polls show they are iin dead heat, so why should anyone quit!

    March 28, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  25. SCC

    Spirit of America wrote:
    "The will of the people in Michigan and Florida is clear from the January vote, a fair and official one. "

    Obama's name was NOT ON THE BALLOT in Michigan. Obviously you like Hillary. But that aside, do you really think that's fair? The Florida win for Hillary was obviously based on name recognition. I know several people who didn't know who either candidate was so they voted for Hillary because they recognized her name. Neither candidate had a chance to campaign or get their message out. Once again, do you really think that's a fair election?

    Both states broke the rules and have been penalized for it. Rules are rules. Hillary completely supported the decision to not allow the election results in either state to be counted back in the Fall. Now that she's loosing, she's changed her mind. Allowing a candidate to steal an election is, in my opinion, undemocratic. I think a fair solution would be for both states to split the delegates evenly between the candidates.

    March 28, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
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