March 28th, 2008
05:35 PM ET
7 years ago

RNC calls on Clinton, Obama to denounce Dean comments

DNC Chairman Howard Dean.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean.

(CNN) - The Republican National Committee called on both Democratic presidential candidates Friday to denounce recent comments from Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean who called John McCain a 'blatant opportunist.'

Dean made the comment earlier in the day in a statement issued by the DNC on McCain's new television ad that features footage of the Arizona Republican as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

"While we honor McCain’s military service, the fact is Americans want a real leader who offers real solutions, not a blatant opportunist who doesn’t understand the economy and is promising to keep our troops in Iraq for 100 years," Dean said.

RNC Deputy Chairman Frank Donatelli called the comment a "character smear," and said they are the "latest in what has become a troubling pattern where the chairman of the national party has questioned Senator McCain’s character and integrity."

"Howard Dean owes John McCain an immediate apology and both Senators Clinton and Obama should unequivocally denounce this disgraceful attack," Donatelli added.

Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama are battling for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Responding to Donatelli's comments, DNC spokeswoman Karen Finney said the RNC is "cherry picking the facts."

"Clearly the RNC recognizes that the biggest threat to John McCain, as we heard loud and clear from voters in our recent focus groups, is the damage he inflicted on his 'independent' image and reputation for 'straight talk' by shifting his positions to make them more acceptable to the right wing of the Republican Party," she said.

"The truth is that most Americans would likely agree that while we honor Senator McCain's service, America cannot afford another Bush Republican who doesn't understand the economy and who wants to keep our troops in Iraq for up to 100 years," she added.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Howard Dean
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Tex

    Let's get it on with the Republicans! The party of dirty tricks and chads needs to get real!

    March 28, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Does Dean know what he is talking about?
    I think not.

    March 28, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  3. chris

    Howard Dean along with Nancy Pelosi have led the Democratic party down hill. We had a chance to take it all, but greed and a failure to realize its the Democratic people they are working for.

    They do not see us people.

    I for one am leaving the democratic party. A party that I have been apart of for years, over 40, but right after I vote for McCain in November I am going to change my party affiliation and send my voided Democratic party registration card to Nancy Pelosi.

    Nancy Pelosi because of your low ratings and the direction you have lead the House "You need to step DOWN, oh yea take Obama with you.

    March 28, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  4. Jody Reno, Nevada

    We hear you screaming Howard, but if you people at the top put pressure on Hillary to quit, I guarantee you it will be more than the predicted 29% of her supporters that will rally for McCain.

    Let this process play out without you mucky mucks putting your two cents in in an attempt to jip the American people of their right to choose!

    The militant Obama-ites are already trying to shove him down our collective throats, and that ain't gonna happen.

    So, shut up and quit trying to pressure Hillary into submission!

    Clinton/McCain 2008!

    March 28, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  5. Allen in NC

    Call um like you see um I say......

    March 28, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  6. JC

    The DNC is misusing its power to determine the executive branch
    They already nullified Florida and Michigan ruining this race.

    Dean needs to keep his thoughts to himself. Hillary has the right to stay in the race as long as she pleases.

    March 28, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  7. Just Wondering

    Well...maybe Hillary and Bill should be the ones to apologize. Hillary is McCain's friend...thinks so much of him...thinks he would be better than Obama.

    At least Hillary won't get to beat him up too much since the writing is on the wall for her right after Pennsylvania.

    Good Lord, will she stay in even after Obama gets the that would be scarey.

    March 28, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  8. Grif

    The People who should be worrying the most, are the same

    One's who will, be looking for support of their own positions come.

    next year. Obama is a Guaranteed Loser...

    He was, Born to Fail....
    He just can't see it Himself...

    He's a 100 -1 outsider But a Favourite to them Stupid..

    March 28, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |

    There aren't two political parties in the US because DNC is a part of GOP. The reason why DNC exists is to take oppnent role for GOP.
    DNC has been doing really good so far. This is the game that is completely fixed. It is really doesn't matter Clinton or Obama.
    GOP is the winnwer.

    March 28, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  10. Shannon, Charlottesville, Virginia

    Republicans, until you apologize for ruining the country, I think you all had best just shut up.

    March 28, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  11. Saad

    This guy is so funny.... he cracks me up.... he makes me cry... he makes me wonder went wrong at the time of his birth....and blah, blah and more blah ::))

    March 28, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  12. Mike

    Howard Dean had better concentrate on fixing his own parties problems. For him to address Republican issues at this moment while his own party is in turmoil is a joke. By the way Democrat's is Dean the squeaker the best you could come up with? He is the great white hype.

    March 28, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  13. Doug from Cali

    Why is it the GOP gets up in arms when someone cites the obvious. Of course McCain is a blatant opportunist. Look at how he has shifted positions to be acceptable to the Religiously Intolerant Right. Pretty funny considering the lies the RNC was o.k. with in regards to John Kerry and his heroic war experience.

    March 28, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  14. vic nashville,Tn

    Aha ! Good news now new show starts

    March 28, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  15. Venus

    You know – with gas being so high – and in Seattle it is still winter – I am happy I got a computer! Wow! What a year for the election!!!
    Now we got the RNC fighting with the DNC! Well........... Let's get it on!

    March 28, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  16. Its True

    Yeah Sure...They will apologize to McCan't when you apologize to Senator Kerry for Swift Boating.

    March 28, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  17. mimi de la cruz







    March 28, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  18. bad idea

    Well.the other comment is closes so I have to write here.
    Why is all the democratic leaders/elders whom is Obama supporters asked Hilliary to quit?This election has their on due process,Howard Dean and the rest of the superdelegates need to let our voices to be heard and let all the states votes before they shafted anything on our throats or they will loss many democratic supporters.Furthermore,are we the party of democracy or DICTATORSHIP?Seems like the party wants to tie a string on the candidates and Im havent even make my mind yet who to votes and look more like Im going to vote for Mccain.At least I know where he stand and RNC did not even asked their candidates to quit.This is what I called RESPECT of the RNC to their candidates.Let the process goes as it intend.As Huckabee used to say unless someone has that magic number to nomination,both candidates have equal rights to run.

    March 28, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  19. kathleen

    Well, it is true. John McTrick is a blatent opportunist.
    The Republican Party has no right to call anybody for anything.
    Go on another trip with Lieberman and Graham with our tax money
    John. Around the world and before you left you were screaming and
    putting Democrats down for "pork barrel spending!!! I trust that the
    Democrats will deal with those issues but not in YOUR WAY.

    March 28, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  20. Dan Illinois

    Who really cares what the RNC wants?

    March 28, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  21. Jan

    Wow... now the DNC and RNC are joining in on the "Denounce Dance." Denouncing people seems to be in vogue as of late.

    Does anyone have a pool going as to how many people will have been denounced, and how many apologies will be demanded, by Nov.??

    What was it that Bill Clinton said the other day.... if you don't want to get beat up, stay out of politics? I forget his exact words. I never pay much attention to what Bill Clinton has to say anyway, unless, of course, I want to know what the meaning of "is" is. I just thought it was funny that he would say something like that; All things considered.

    March 28, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  22. edd


    RNC we are sorry that your candidate for President isn't awre that we live in 2008. Please inform him that America has moved on 40 years; and if he wishes to join us we welcome him. Also, please let him know that the War in Vietnam has ended. Our current war in located in the Middle East and most American are ready to move on. We hope he accepts our apology.

    Flowers are under way.

    March 28, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  23. ynw

    The real opportunist in this primary is Bill Richardson. Period.

    March 28, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  24. deb

    Howard Dean is a joke – and I'm a Democrat. The man should focus on saving FL and MI in the fall. 50 state strategy (or is that 48 now?) LOL. He can't even keep the Democratic base together. He should settle for the tried and true Blue States + a couple of swing states for now. I highly doubt those red states are turning blue at this point.

    March 28, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  25. zina

    Democrats: It looks like the Republicans are trying to unite us.

    Let's give them what they want...

    March 28, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
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