August 16th, 2008
12:46 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain backer takes on Howard Dean over 'white' remark

DNC Howard Dean, pictured here with Sens. Clinton and Obama and former Sen. Edwards, said Friday that people of color and women have historically been more successful in the Democratic Party.
DNC Howard Dean, pictured here with Sens. Clinton and Obama and former Sen. Edwards, said Friday that people of color and women have historically been more successful in the Democratic Party.

(CNN) – Carly Fiorina, a supporter of Sen. John McCain and the chair of the Republican National Committee’s Victory 2008 campaign, took aim at Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean over racially-tinged comments Dean made Friday.

“If you look at folks of color, even women, they’re more successful in the Democratic Party than they are in the white, uh, excuse me, in the Republican Party,” Dean said Friday in an appearance on NPR’s “Tell Me More” program.

Fiorina, a prominent female supporter of McCain, fired back at Dean. “It is disappointing to see Howard Dean trying to use gender and race to divide voters," Fiorina said Friday evening in a statement released by the McCain campaign. "His comments are insulting, inappropriate and have no place in this election.”

McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, is set to face off in November against Sen. Barack Obama, who is about to become the first African-American to garner the nomination of a major political party. Obama beat out Sen. Hillary Clinton in a long, hard-fought primary race that galvanized many women behind Clinton’s candidacy and many African-Americans behind Obama’s.


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soundoff (579 Responses)
  1. Bob Trent

    Howard Dean is so unstable he likely needs mental help. The guy is sometimes completely out of control in his actions and comments. Barack Obama can have him. While Barack's supporters are more vocal (most of them have time to go out to rallies since many don't actually work and pay taxes), the silent majority of Americans that keep plugging away in life may very well surpise the arrogant Mr. Dean come November.

    August 16, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  2. Rastas Barques

    Wow. And I thought liberals had lost *their* sense of humor. Chill out people, it was a joke. I guess it would help if the press would stop covering non-stories like this.

    August 16, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  3. Dennis, Amarillo Texas

    Howard Dean is a man with a little mind, a little body, and a big mouth.

    August 16, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  4. Butch

    So what! CNN tries to make an issue out of everything – getting
    reactions from people is their bread-and-butter.

    August 16, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  5. paul

    Clearly my party of choice, the democrats, have discovered how to use race to get what they want and i am truly disappointed. (believe me I think the republicans are great at it).

    In this election where a half white/half black nominee is being tauted as ONLY black, where a woman can called sexist names on tv everywhere without female reporters calling the name callers out, where even the mention of color by a white man brings up the RACE card, I am just disgusted by politics right now. I would love to see McCain take the high road now and start telling us what he has accomplished in his career. That will be the true telling of how UNready Barack Obama is to lead.

    August 16, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  6. Larry

    Who the h*ll is Carly Fiorina and why does anyone care what she thinks?

    August 16, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. eyesWIDEopen

    I don't get what all the fuss is about. The Republicans are the party looking out for the interests of rich, old, white men. The only thing surprising is that this is actually news to somebody.

    August 16, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  8. GOP We see through you

    Libby Dole, Fiorina, Powell, Clarence, Condi, Alberto Gonzales, Women and minorities can join the GOP. As long as they are good boys and girls and do as their told. The republican party is the party of corporate America. The only color that matters is green. So what Corporate America is run by White Men and Chinese men.

    August 16, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  9. Aida, CA

    Well........it is true ...except for those that can't see or don't want to admit reality. Go Howard Dean!

    August 16, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  10. June

    It seems the Democrats cannot get away from the race or gender issue. They want to direct the campaign away from looking into Obama and his role in Chicago politics. Race isn't why most whites are against Obama. He has stood with the most corrupt political people from Illinois and those people are of all colors! Why would anyone want the pay to play politics of Illinois in our federal government? Our government is already corrupt enough!

    August 16, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  11. independent

    I wonder how many members of the KKK are Democrats and how many are Republicans???

    August 16, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  12. SomePerspective

    Okay look,

    He obviously didn't mean to say that and he immediately stopped himself as the word slipped from his lips. But really. Why is there outrage ? Look at the Republican Party and compare it to the Democratic Party. There's not a lot of people of color in the Republican Party , people. Let's be real.

    Come on now. Come on.

    August 16, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  13. Dennis, Amarillo Texas

    How is this?

    Howard Dean is a man with a little mind and a big mouth. Nothing untrue about that.

    August 16, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  14. pc

    McCain and his cohorts are so negative. They are looking at anything to throw at the Democrats. They can't stay on policy because it would be pushing George Bush's policies. It's a sad day when the Republicans think that the only thing that interests the American people is their negative attacks. We are sick of it! Obama and the Democrats are decent and they don't need to stoop to these tactics to win. The republicans are pathetic!!!

    August 16, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. Steve K.

    It's hard to tell from the transcript whether Dean's comment was an intentional jab at the Republican Party or merely a slip of the tongue. In either case, it's hard to argue that blacks and women have been "more successful in the Democratic Party," as Dean stated. What are the chances of an African-American or a woman getting the nomination from the Republican Party? Pretty slim, if you ask.

    Maybe in another 50 years the Republican Party will be ready to relinquish it's white male domination, but it doesn't appear ready to that today. Considering that reality, Dean's comment (or slip of the tongue) is not that offbase.

    August 16, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  16. Dave in Chicago

    Does Dean mean that only "folks of color" belong in the Democratic party? Probably not, but it's another underhanded way to remind people that race is an issue and that if you're a person "of color", you should vote for the candidate who's a person "of color".

    I guess Obama will now have to disown Howard Dean as the crackpot (or is it crackhead) that he's always been and add him to the others he's had to throw under the Obama for President bus.

    August 16, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  17. Aaron Williams

    Sorry the truth hurts. These venomous, old rich, families, all use Uncle Tom and photo opportunities with poor kids for votes. Somebody with their own ideas and vision wouldn't have a shot with either party. If you aren't born into American Aristocrcy, you don't exist. Hell Obama is kissing cousins with Dick Cheney, and Bush and Kerry are cousins. Bill Clinton, they say his daddy is a Rockefeller. It's a club folks, and you or I aren't in it. Fooled time and time again, by a fresh face ever four years. It's sad how gullible we really are.

    August 16, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  18. Chris

    This is not surprising, i mean this is Howard Dean we are talking about.. This man hasn't ever been relevant and blew his own presidential campaign out of the water by exposing how much of a wack-job he is. Maybe he should start looking for UFO's with Kucinich.

    August 16, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. Marcus Hopkins

    Isn't it convenient that the only times when Republicans seem to cry "FOUL!" is when honesty, truth, and reality are involved. While I'm not a big fan of Howard Dean, being straight forward and honest are two things that the Republican party seems to have a serious issue with being. The only things garnered from the "Straight Talk Express" are those of John McCain turning into an ENTIRELY different politician than he was eight years ago when he actually engendered the concept of straight talk, and failed to pander to the Religious Wrong.

    August 16, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  20. Denise

    Spare me. The Republicans ALWAYS inject race when the opponent is not white. Who cares what the McCain camp think!

    August 16, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. Obama supporter:White, 60 year old woman

    Look at who ran for the nomination of the Republican party. Enough said.

    August 16, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. the voice of reason

    When are people going to realize that the Dems are playing the race sympathy card. They are trying to make the "whities" feel like they should vote for Barack Hussein Obama because he is black. If you do this you are ignorant. Vote for policies and leadership, not because of some perceived guilt about something that happened a hundred years ago.

    August 16, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  23. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    Why would John allow someone who got fired as CEO of Hewlett Packard speak for his campaign. That is poor judgement and has to be corrected.

    Instead of following the advice of your campaign John start talking about your policies as the continual negatives are making you look like a sure loser.

    August 16, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  24. Nicolette

    I'm surprised someone finally said it. All I have to say to Howard Dean is congrats for telling the truth.

    August 16, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. Nicholas

    Okay, I do think that it's a bit, tasteless, to say the least. I also agree, it is quite divisive. However, with that being said, he isn't exactly wrong now is he? Republicans are basically full of older caucasion males. That's it. You've always got an outlier here and there like Colin Powell, but besides that Dean is exactly right. If you are upset at his comments, I emplore you to ask yourself if it is actually true or not. I think you will find the comment withstands that test.

    August 16, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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