May 31st, 2008
10:34 AM ET
7 years ago

Dean slams media coverage as he opens meeting

Democratic National Committee members at Saturday's meeting.
Democratic National Committee members at Saturday's meeting.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean had tough words for the media on Saturday, saying that the presidential race had been plagued by "blatantly sexist comments, particularly by some members of the media - and blatantly racist remarks."

"The media will...look for conflict," he told members of the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee gathered to resolve the impasse over seating the Florida and Michigan delegations. "They will not talk about your energy and your passion for your candidate, and your enthusiasm."

Supporters of Hillary Clinton's presidential bid have increasingly targeted reporters and other members of the Democratic Party for what they say is unfair treatment of the New York senator because she is a woman. As he spoke, hundreds of Clinton supporters rallied outside to press for the full seating of both the Florida and Michigan delegates.

Dean seemed to direct his comments at these angry voters, many of whom carried signs Saturday that threatened to withhold their vote in November if both states were not seated in full in accordance with the results of their January primaries, as Clinton has urged.

As he stewed over the demise of his own presidential bid in 2004, he recalled, he received a call from Al Gore. Dean said he spent several minutes "ranting and raving" about the way he felt he had been mistreated by the party. He said that Gore responded: "Howard, this is not about you - it's about your country."

"I'm not going to gloss over the challenges of an extended primary," said Dean, who has faced criticism for not weighing in on the conflict early in the process. "We are strong enough to struggle and disagree - and still come together at the end of the day and be united."


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • DNC • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. GERALD STROTHER

    3 MORE DAYS AND IT IS OVER GO OBAMA MATH 101 HAS IT !!!!

    May 31, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  2. Marc PDX

    You gotta love Howard Dean. He's more or less saying "stop looking at the facts!" since they are unbecoming to the Democratic Party. Not surprising but certainly amusing. Mr. Dean is not used to getting the same kind of media scrutiny that Republicans have been getting for years, and he thinks it's unfair. All I can say to Mr. Dean is "what goes around comes around".

    May 31, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  3. Newly Independent for Hillary

    In my opinion, Campbell Brown is the mouthiest CNN "journalist."

    She is constantly saying provocative things, apparently to get her guests to say more than they normally would. She is often just rude.

    Maybe this is a good thing, but it is too East Coast for me. I like more polite conversations.

    May 31, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  4. California Independent

    Dean thinks the protestors and Clinton are wrong to protest the sexism because it's not about them, it's about the country? Is that what he really said? Suck it up and get over it? uh yeah, that's going to go over real well. Did the protestors say 'ok, that sounds great'

    What a bunch of jerks. I have absolutely no respect for Dean and Gore can stuff his award where the sun don't shine.

    May 31, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  5. NO OBAMA

    Mr. Dean and other DNC members, I don't know what it's going to take for you people to understand that alot of people,including myself, will not vote for obama because they don't believe he is good for the country. We will not vote for him. Don't you understand? This has nothing to do with the party. This has nothing to do with his color or her gender. I feel Hillary Clinton will make the best President. If not her, then I will vote for John McCain because I feel that he too will make a great President. I will not vote for obama because I know him to be a liar and a cheat. I don't trust him or his friends as far as I could throw them.

    May 31, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  6. What if?

    Hillary Clinton's presidential bid have increasingly targeted reporters and other members of the Democratic Party for what they say is unfair treatment of the New York senator because she is a woman.....................If Clinton find this to be such a bad thing with the media but at the same time she invite them to a drinking party she held on her so call campaign.

    May 31, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. cathy

    Maybe Al Gore should call Hillary and remind her.

    May 31, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  8. Pepou

    Hillary C. : It is not about you, or your huge ego, or your blind ambition or your thirst for power, it's about the country.

    May 31, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. Gary Dombouy

    Just want to take an opportunity to thank CNN for covering Gloria Borger etc (The Best Team) instead of providing a live feed from the DNC Committee. You never do know if Chicken Noodle News is covering what is happening or what they want to tell you is happening. Bravo

    May 31, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. Tom

    If these voters want to stay home, and not vote in November because Hillary wants all FL, and MC seated 100% even though Obama`s name was not even on the ballet shows how unfair, and selfish on Hillary`s part.

    She does not care nor want Obama to have any delegates cause she wants them all to herself. What a hypocrite.

    I`m sorry i have no respect for this women.

    OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT MEANS FAIR:)

    May 31, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. murphy

    I am shocked by the prejudices this camapaign has brought out from "under the jAmerican bed" and it seems the strongest "ism" is sexism. Are American men so insecure as the male dominated media coverage of Hillary seems to indicate? Considering she had less money that the other candidate, has had nothing only negative coverage from the media and has to carry the burden of her husband's indiscretions, she had done amazingly well. Obama has had a free ride, raised more money from probably 18 year olds with no life experience and rich educated liberals who see his election as a way to wrong the transgressions of the past and salve the American conscience for past treatment of blacks. The country is in a mess and we need the person best able to restore it to some semblance of what it was. The person who has earned that right and who will work her heart out for America is Hillary Clinton. Women of America show your support and don't take this without protest. America needs to evolve. Obama for next time, Hillary for now!!

    May 31, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. California Independent

    Delegates don't have the right to vote according to the rules? What!!!! Well, I'm sure the rules don't give them the right to vote. How does it make sense that you delegate people to represent the voters and then don't allow the delegates to represent the voters.

    What a manipulation of the viewers. This is disgusting. They are throwing the voters under the bus. It's getting crowded under the bus.

    Get your legal guy on rule 11.

    May 31, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  13. KC

    Al Gore, hit it right on the head when he told Howard Dean "this is not about you it is for your country! I knew before this meeting started the this is all for Hillary Clinton, the selfish – self serving person she is!
    The DNC is never going to settle this situation with Florida and Michigan because Hillary thinks she is entitle to it all. So we all can Blame Howard Dean and Hillary Clinton along with Bill Clinton for this mess. It is 2000 and the election is being stole by Hillary Clinton. It is not even the general election yet!

    If Hillary is handed the nomination – will vote for Nader or go republican to vote for Ron Paul.

    May 31, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  14. Alexander

    How on earth can he bash the liberal-agenda pushing media?

    May 31, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. NoHillary

    This dog and pony show should be called, "The Delegate Debacle."
    They made a movie about the 2000 "Recount," so there will be a movie about this mess too.

    May 31, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  16. Bubba

    Mad Dog Dean has always been, is now, and always will be a fool.

    May 31, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  17. Sara

    Hillary is no better than Bush – stealing the election all ready.

    May 31, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  18. paul

    If Hillary had won big on Super Tuesday, she and her campaign would've been the first to go around scolding other candidates for not quickly dropping out "for the good of the party". And "do you want to be responsible for another Bush term, just because of your ego"?

    And if someone else had won Florida, she would've said, "You agreed that they broke the rules and so they won't be counted. End of story. What the heck is your problem?"

    But now, apparently it is about enfranchisement, the 2000 election fiasco, civil rights, sexism, Zimbabwe, Bobby Kennedy, etc.

    Send this woman back to Arkansas already, and make sure she takes Bill.

    May 31, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  19. McCain in '08!

    I am so sick of Howard Dean... this man should have gone away after he blew the presidential election. He can rant and rave all he wants, but McCain is going to win this November.... sorry Dean!

    May 31, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  20. Hilary no place ....

    What ever the number seated each gets half that is the fair thing to do why should Hillary get the Lions share she is cheating ............. Is cheating the way to gain points what is so great about Hillary she broke the rules Obama never.
    She agreed to these rules but each time changes her mind and breaks the rules to suit herself.
    She is disgusting either play by the rules or drop out.

    May 31, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  21. Rave

    It just shows how evil Hillary is...... If by any chance Hillary becomes the nominee, forget about the polls that mislead people – But most of Obama supporters will not vote for her.
    McCain will win with a whopping majority over Hillary, if she is the nominee and I think he is far more better than her. Atleast he doesn't lie like her.
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    May 31, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  22. karen charlottesville, va

    I agree. They have completely overlooked the earmark issue, where Hillary Clinton got $2.3 Billion in earmarks for New York while speaking out of the other side of her mouth in SD about fiscal responsiblity. They have ignored the real issue about how these people have voted and behaved and instead, focused on shots and beers, Rev Wright and redneck voters. I wish we could go back to the real newscasted of old who actually focused on the issues.

    May 31, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  23. Helen, GA

    Howard Dean is a far left-wing liberal and he will always slam media because he is always wrong. It shows how far Democratic Party has gone to make him the leader of the party. I am sure American people will teach them a lesson int he coming election. Perhaps Dean does nto remember what he did in Iowa when he was standing for preseidential election last time.

    May 31, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  24. Ellis Tibbett

    Those who are urging Sen. Clinton to go Independent so as to have a better chance against McCain in the General Elections must be devoid of any brains. Should she do that the votes of those supporting the Democrats would be split between Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama while the votes of those supporting the Republicans would all go to McCain. If Sen. Clinton really goes Independent neither she or Obama would win, quite obviously. McCain wouldn't have to campaign any more but start getting ready to move into the White House next year.

    May 31, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  25. Tammy - KCMO

    To Dean

    The DNC would not have this mess to contend with if you had been doing your job.

    If Clinton is allowed to steal the nomination because you and the DNC don't have a backbone, you have no one to blame but yourselves if a Democrat isn't voted into office.

    Now I'm off to review 3rd party candidates since I obviously need a backup plan for who I will vote for.

    May 31, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
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