April 18th, 2008
06:55 AM ET
2 years ago

Dean: I need a decision 'now'

,
CNN

Watch Howard Dean on CNN Thursday.

(CNN)— An increasingly firm Howard Dean told CNN again Thursday that he needs superdelegates to say who they’re for – and “I need them to say who they’re for starting now.”

“We cannot give up two or three months of active campaigning and healing time,” the Democratic National Committee Chairman told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “We’ve got to know who our nominee is.”

After facing criticism for a mostly hands-off leadership style during much of the primary season, Dean has been steadily raising the rhetorical pressure on superdelegates. He said Thursday that roughly 65 percent of them have made their preference plain, but that more than 300 have yet to make up their minds.

The national party chair, who has remained neutral throughout the primary process, said again it’s his job to make sure both candidates feel they are treated fairly – but not to tell either of them when to end their run.

soundoff (404 Responses)
  1. MJ

    Howard Dean has already caused enough trouble for the party. Looks like he is trying to pull a fast one! He needs to wait until the convention.

    April 17, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  2. Venus

    Dean – give me a break! You know the deal! You only say that because you were asked by Wolf!

    April 17, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  3. Binkis1

    Do not for a minute think that Dean's statements about superdelegates declaring NOW has anything to do with anything BUT MONEy AFTER numerous emails/ phone plees for donations to the DNC–I have given the same reply-NOT A DIME TILL WE HAVE A CANDIDATE ELECTED BY THE VOTES AND DELEGATES!!!!

    I am not alone--They are down to the last sheckle and no one wants to donate behind what clinton says she will take to a floor fight at the convention.

    April 17, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  4. Tennessee

    Obamanites are masters of stating the mundane and inconsequential in support of their candidate.

    April 17, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  5. Antonio, San Antonio TX

    Okay Dean who will you endorse?

    April 17, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  6. Brian

    Dean has the leadership skills of a turnip

    April 17, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  7. Independent

    I am starting to consider voting republican for the first time this year because the democrate party is showing the how divided they are within their own party + the number of superdelegates in the democratic party is outrageous! The superdelegate are showing the country how useless they are. They won't make a decision because they are afraid to hurt their own careers – no need to to have 800 of them. It's make you wonder if they get get anything done within their own party, never mind working with the republicans.

    April 17, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  8. Sue F

    Well it's about time he lit a fire under these people, this thing needs to end now, so Obama can take on McSame! Please delegates, it's been over a year, exaclty how much time do you need? I guess we could discuss obama's shoe size, or how many times a day he brushes his teeth, other earth shattering things like that. Because that's apparently all the media is going to discuss is slime and grime?
    Hillary's a DIVIDER and she will be toxic for this country, when Iraq is a mess, our economy in the toilet, homes foreclosed, jobs lost, prices through the roof. Get with the program people or leave!

    April 17, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  9. nick

    Go Hillary!!
    Shes got what it takes to win, her votes prove it,
    shes winning FLORIDA a state republicans always win. Shes 15 points above McCain and McCain is 4 points above Obama. WOW Obama is way behind, lucky for him Michigan's and Florida's votes don't count

    April 17, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  10. Mark

    What the hillary-bots don't realize is that when party members are forced to respond to political pressure, that is an example of democracy in action. It's isn't an example of repression of democracy.

    If hillary had the votes to win the nomination, she would get it. But, she doesn't have the votes, and she will never get the nomination. It's as simple as that! Get it through your heads!

    April 17, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  11. jd

    Good Dean, its about time. A bitter argument is the Clinton Campaign. We need unity or else McCain will win. Obama/08

    April 17, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  12. GCG - Austin, TX

    Hmmm, not sure if this is good timing on his part. Perhaps he should have waited until Tuesday to say something, or next Wednesday. Happening now smacks of partisan politics, for whomever has told him that the mind was made up. We can infer that he knows something with his statements that they need to "say" who they're for - not "pick" who they are supporting. I would, therefore, believe that a good portion of them are leaning for one or the other (i.e., not a direct split), which would put an end to this. But, doing it now, regardless of which candidate ends up with the bulk of them, would be inappropriate.

    I think naming their preferences after Tuesday's result are in would be appropriate, even given what it would do to Indiana/NC/PR,etc.'s votes.

    You hear a whole lot of people in these final states claiming that they're excited that their vote really means something, as in the past it just hasn't meant much anymore. Given that, I don't expect there to be any sort of "blowback" of angst by the remaining states and territories because it won't be any different than in other years.

    It *would* provide the party with two and a half months more of healing and coming together and getting things prepared - time that really is desperately needed in order to ensure victory in November.

    April 17, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  13. Margaret

    Tanya,

    Good for you! I am glad to see peoplel behaving sensibly. I am a firm Obama supporter, but if it were to work out to be Hillary, heaven knows I WILL vote for her in that instance. We cannot have four more years of Bush/McBush! All you people who are boo-hoo-hooing if your candidate doesn't win, SHAME ON YOU!

    April 17, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  14. jimmy vekmen

    ANYBODY LISTENED TO KARL ROVE'S STATEMENT ON TV
    LARELT?
    ROVE IS A VERY THOROUGH, AND BRILLAINT POLITICAL
    STRATEGIST.. HE HAS LATELY BEEN SPEAKING ON TV AND GIVING
    MILD BUT STILL SIGNICANT COMMENTS ON OBAMA.
    ANYOBODY WHO KNOWS KARL ROVE SHOULD BE AWARE THAT
    HIS INITIAL COMMENTS ARE JUST THE PROBING STEPS IN THE MCCAIN CAMPAIGN AGAINST OBAMA IF HE HAPPENS TO BE THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE.. tHE PRIMARY CAMPAIGN NEGATIVE ADS AND SPEECHES BETWEEN BOTH DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES
    ARE SOPHOMORIC AND RELATIVELY BENIGN tHE REAL FIRESTORMS WILL EMERGE FURING THE cAMPAIGN FOR THE PRESIDENCY BEGINNING THIS SUMMER AND INTENSIFYING IN LATE SEPTMBER AND OCTOBER. AND THEN THE rEPUBLICANS WILL THROW OBAMA UNDER THE BUS IF HE BECOMES THE NOMINEE.

    April 17, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  15. aliou salam, Jacksonville FL

    dl,
    Dean didn't say anyone should go for Obama or clinton. He simply said they have to make up their mind now.
    Why do you feel that if super D made their choice now it will be for Obama and against clinton?
    Does that mean that she is not ready now? Does she need more time to explain to Americans what she is all about or what version of her bosnian story is the truth?

    Don't worry. I am not a SD. but my mind is made up long time ago. SD or no SD I will vote for OBAMA and so will the majority of Americans.

    April 17, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  16. Antoine in TX from Chicago

    Yeah take control now. we need a front runner so we can focus and get everyone together. I'm for Obama...but we must come together as a people. otherwise US will continue sinking. All this pointing finger crap needs to stop. lets all just get behind whomever wins nomination and support our party. Otherwise all that negative stuff PLEASE save it

    April 17, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  17. Peter in Canada

    Smart move Mr. Dean! You know darn well where Hillary's campaign is headed and you must cut it off now!
    If somehow the remaining Superdelegates see a reason that despite a pledged delegate lead, that Obama should be denied the nomination, make them speak now. If Hillary's scheme to obtain the nomination were to somehow miraculously work it would be because they are obligated to provide the REASON for his unelectablity.
    It is comforting to know that Hillary feels "Yes, Yes, yes" Obama is electable!
    Since that would be the only reason for overturning the public will. I wonder who she is lying to now, the Superdelegates or the American public who watched the ABC "debate"??

    April 17, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  18. Mary

    And we cannot give up on an election process that is NOT YET OVER.

    48 states, indeed.

    GO HRC!

    April 17, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  19. dianne

    Pleeeease Super-delegates, use your common sense!!! Don't let the media's love affair with Obama sway you! There is no way he can win against McCain. Not with comments out there like "typical white person" and referring to an unwanted pregancy as "punished with a baby". He could barely hold his own under questioning at last night's debate, and that was nothing compared to what the Republican machine will do!! They will make mincemeat of him and he will look like a fool. Clinton is intelligent, competent, experienced and vetted, and she will win against McCain.

    April 17, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  20. A.

    I do agree with him, or at the very least I think we should start truly coming together. Let's put our pettiness aside and make sure the Democrats win back the white house. As much as I detest Hillary Clinton, I'd MUCH rather her in charge than John McCain. We need to stop fighting each other and prepare ourselves for the general election!

    April 17, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  21. FNJ in Pa

    HILLARY LOOSES ANOTHER SUPERDELEGATE!

    Susan Petro-PA ENDORSES BARACK OBAMA!

    Your time is up Hillary. Throw the towel in and bow out with the little grace you have left.

    OBAMA 08

    April 17, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  22. jd

    Dean: We needed a decision 2 weeks ago. Where have you been: With that 10 % that always dosen't get the word?

    April 17, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  23. Heidi from TX

    Why is this a "thinly veiled attempt to get Sen. Clinton out of the race". As Clinton supporters point out daily, neither one of them can get to 2025 without the super delegates so why should Dean's comment appear anti-Clinton to her supporters. Perhaps her supporters see that she might not be too popular with Democratic supers right now with all of the Carl Rove talking points she's been throwing at Sen. Obama.

    What are the Clinton supporters afraid of if Dean's calling on the supers now? Is it because her popularity ratings are so low? Is it because it's hard to tell which party she's running for from one day to the next? Is it because she's helping Republicans with their general election attacks? What are they really afraid of here.

    Howard Dean is right for once. Super delegates need to decide now before any more damage is done to the party, period!

    April 17, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  24. Jacqueline, NY

    This has got to end...I have had enough. I agree with Howard Dean.

    April 17, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  25. PA Democrat

    Tanya K: Im an Obama Supporter and I would vote for Hillary if she is the nominee.
    You are a TRUE democrat!!!!
    Can I give you some facts that might change your mind :)

    Obama 08

    April 17, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
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