April 10th, 2008
04:15 PM ET
7 years ago

Dean: I feared Romney more than McCain

 Howard Dean says John McCain is a 'weak' candidate.
Howard Dean says John McCain is a 'weak' candidate.

(CNN)— Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said Thursday he feared his party's nominee facing Mitt Romney in the general election more than any other candidate.

“Frankly, Mitt Romney was the candidate I feared the most in the general because he’s got plenty of money, he’s wealthy,” Dean told reporters at a committee briefing. “He’s very articulate and he willing to say practically anything, and Republican voters want discipline.”

When asked if he'd fear a McCain-Romney ticket, Dean said the former Massachussetts governor was the best candidate the Republicans were probably “ever going to get.”

Romney dropped out of the presidential race last February saying that if he continued his campaign it would "forestall the launch of a national campaign…making it easier for Senator Clinton or Obama to win." His departure from the race essentially secured John McCain’s place as the presumptive Republican nominee.

Dean also characterized McCain, as a “weak candidate,” one who is very out of touch with “21st century Americans” on issues like the economy, Iraq War, and health care. He added that McCain has no plans to get out of Iraq or solve the mortgage crisis.

(UPDATED with RNC response after the jump)

Largely placing the blame of McCain’s “weak brand” on the Republican National Committee, Dean said what frightened him the most was, “the extent that the [RNC] were willing to brand John McCain as a wishy washy person,” without any pressure from their Democratic rivals.

While Dean expressed that McCain should be widely admired for his service to the United States, he said "that was 40 years ago," and doesn't mean he should be the next president.

 

UPDATE: The Republican National Committee responded to Dean's attack Thursday:

“Howard Dean’s delusions aside, John McCain is widely respected for being straightforward and honest with the American people, and he has a lifelong and distinguished record of service that has warranted the admiration of voters from all walks of life," said RNC spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson. "At the end of the day, Americans are going to elect Senator McCain as President because he has the judgment, character, and positive vision to strengthen our nation’s economy and win the War on Terror.”


Filed under: Howard Dean • John McCain • Mitt Romney
soundoff (190 Responses)
  1. intcamd

    Dean should worry about the Dems before shooting his mouth about the Rethuglican politics.

    The so-called elders of the party, including the "neutrals" like Pelosi have been so abominable in their transparent treachery against the Clintons, a whole bunch of us will revolt and either sit out or vote outright for McCain – the poll numbers in that other article are not lying.

    And typical, the Obama supporters in that forum were ranting and blaming Clinton for the poll results. They should look at themseves why 1/3 of Clinton supporters say they would vote McCain – it is not Clinton's fault, it is the disgusting behaviour of Obama campaign, his media pals, and his groupie supporters. When Nov comes, I bet more than 1/3 of CLinton supporters will be breaking the McCain way.

    April 10, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  2. DB, San Francisco

    Dean should worry about his own party first... The fact McCain is polling so well even though he is "out of touch" should raise serious red flags about what is happening with the Dems.

    April 10, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  3. jimmy velman

    DNC CHAIR HOWARD DEAN HAD BETTER THINGS TO DO THAN THINK OF MCCAIN AND A RUNNING MATE SUCH AS ROMNEY. THAT IS REALLY WAY OUT OF THE WAY OF HIS MANY DUTIES.ONE OF WHICH PESTERED SO LONG UNTIL IT WAS TOO LATE TO FIX IT TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE VOTERS.
    THAT NEGLECTED PROBLEM OF COURSE WAS AND IS THE SEATING OF THE MICHIGAN AND FLORIDA DELEGATES IN THE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION.. NOW THE PROBLEM REMAINS
    AND THERE DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE A SATISFACTORY SOLUTION....NONE THAT WOULD WOULD SATISFY BOTH CAMPS OF THE TWO CANDIDATES. THE SUPER DELEGATES ARE NOW STUCK WITH THE PROBLEM. AND THEY WILL NOT PLACATE
    THE VOTERS OF MICHIGAN AND FLORIDA

    April 10, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  4. Chuck in Oregon

    Sure Mr Dean, tell the republicans your weakness from the get go. Real smart move. My hat off to you.. laughing.

    April 10, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  5. david

    Mccain is a good guy. he doesnt run negative campaign but he is too old for presidency. he represents 50's america. he even doesnt understand what today's america wants.

    April 10, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  6. Rob

    all you freak Obama fanatics woulda loved to have seen Hillary last election, you woulda turned out in record numbers to vote for hillary. Your over obsessive nature is what is dividing the country not the fact that we have two canidates that will fix the Bush problems. Yes Obama supporters you will need the millions of clinton supporters believe it or not to win. Calling us all stupid, ignorant and best of all racist for not supporting your canidate is rediculous. At this time I will support which ever Dem is nominated but you guys are makeing it harder and harder everyday.

    April 10, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  7. AK

    For all of you blaming Dean for Michigan and Florida votes not being counted...lets remember who agreed to the rules and then broke them (Michigan and Florida). The Democrats of those respective states are the one's to blame for this mess.

    April 10, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  8. fair tax in la.

    HEY DEAN!!
    GOOOOO AWAY DUDE!!!!!!!!

    April 10, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  9. Doug

    Howard Dean is a stain on the reputation of the Democrats and an architect of the divisive Obama candidacy. The people want Hillary and the Dems better nominate her because we will desert the lemming leadership if they try to foist Obama on the people. We will elect Hillary, or we will return the Republicans to the White House. But we will not be ignored by a political elite that seems to believe it knows better than ordinary Americans who their candidate should be. Obama = McGovern. Don't do it , Dean and Pelosi and Kennedy.

    April 10, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  10. vic nashville,Tn

    Hi Dean your calculation always wrong Democratic party had best chance to win NOW in? If Hillary is not nominee I will vote for Mc Cain

    April 10, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  11. New Yorker

    I'm glad Howard Dean is offering Republicans his pearls of wisdom. After all, he knows so much about getting elected and how to run a political party!

    April 10, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  12. independent for Obama

    Folks I am here to tell you that McCain doesn't have a chance, no matter what the poles say! The poles only survey a mere 500-2000 people, and it is not a good representation of the true pulse of the American people. THE PRIMARIES TELL A MUCH DIFFERENT STORY. The republicans only grossed 12 million voters to the democrats 22 million voters. Obama claimed 11 million voters on his own, well doubling McCain's 5 million voters, and almost overtaking the number of all republican voters. Hillary also took way more than McCain. In fact if the 34 states go the same way in the primaries that they do in the elections, Either Obama or Hillary will oust McCain on a landslide victory of about 300-30 electors, either one of them winning not only the majority of the states, but also all the biggest states. Texas democrat primaries well over doubled in voter turnout than the republican primaries. These are all better indicators and much more representative of America as a whole than a couple of thousand poll takers!!!

    April 10, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  13. Sherrie

    He should fear McCain if he picks Romney as his running mate and Obama wins the Democratic nomination. A majority of the disenfranchised voters in Florida and Michigan, as well as many of the Democrats who support Hillary will end up voting for McCain/Romney, because Obama doesn't have a plan and was willing to sacrifice the voters in Florida and Michigan for his own gain.

    April 10, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  14. Carl

    mind you genevieve, it is utah not colorado that hosted last winter olympic.

    April 10, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  15. John

    A McCain/Rice ticket would blow out Obama and Clinton together.

    Put a smart educated African-American woman next to Obama or Clinton & they become just your average liberal candidate.

    April 10, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8