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. Jo

    What Dean said is true and Fiorina's comment is comical. I'm a woman and considering the Republican party has gone out of it's way to cater to the religious right who is run by a bunch of male control freaks – who do not believe in a woman's right to choice

    August 16, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  2. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    Republicans....the truth hurts doesn't it? I guess that explains why you so often resort to lies via. Swift Boat, hateful books about Obama, WMDs in Iraq and more. Truth and the Republican agenda just aren't compatible since wealth and power seem to be your top priorities vs. the general welfare of the citizens you seek to control and send off to wars of choice and profit. The Founding Fathers would weep with rage over what you've done to America the last eight yeas...shame on you, whatever your color or "faith of the day" happens to be.

    August 16, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. Johnathan Miller, Moultrie, GA

    Dean's comment, albeit inappropriate, is still VERY true!!

    August 16, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  4. whitefences

    When every word is under the microscope, this didn't need to be said. Shame on him, again, for opening his big mouth. He just divides us further.

    August 16, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  5. Dave in Chicago

    Just noticed the picture that accompanied the story. Instead of the usual rants, let's have a contest to see who can come up a better caption than CNN did.

    "Snow White and the 3 Stoogies"
    "Howard Dean Accepts DNC Town Idiot Award"

    August 16, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. Karl

    Race and gender are not simply weapons to be used by either party. Dean was wrong here. And IMO minorities and women have seemed to hold more visibly high positions within the republican party as of late.

    August 16, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  7. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    Republicans....the truth hurts doesn't it? I guess that explains why you so often resort to lies via Swift Boat, hateful books about Obama, WMDs in Iraq and more. Truth and the Republican agenda just aren't compatible since wealth and power seem to be your top priorities vs. the general welfare of the citizens you seek to control and send off to wars of choice and profit. The Founding Fathers would weep with rage over what you've done to America the last eight years...shame on you, whatever your color or "faith of the day" happens to be.

    August 16, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  8. the voice of reason

    What's going on with the Dems? Let's talk about energy independence, national and world security, economics etc. Why won't Obama debate? He doesn't know enough about any of these things to debate. He is a hell of a speech READER though.

    August 16, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  9. DJ

    Seriously, Howard Dean needs a muzzle. He has done nothing but muddy the waters and cause distractions in the last 4 years. He has hurt the Democratic party and its candidates more than any other prominent Dem that I can think of. Is he a plant by the Republicans? Howard, go away!

    August 16, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  10. Obama/Clinton

    Howard 'YEEHAW' Dean strikes again!. Unfortunately this biggot is more of a male soveinist that a racial reject from the 60's and that's why he ran Hillary out of the picture.

    Attention Howard, this is the 21st Century and this country is now Color and Gender blind!. We have the Future at our door steps and you are trying to re-write history.

    YOU MUST RESIGN NOW – at the Convention,ans that single act will automatically UNITE Hillary and Obama voters.

    You have NO PLACE in the 21st Century Democratic process. LEAVE!

    August 16, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  11. T. Doff

    If Howard Dean's comment is representative of the official opinion from the Democratic party, then the whole premise of that party is now racist. PS – The DNCC officials are all 'White-Only' – go look at their site.

    Oh, by the way – when a non-white Republican makes a serious run for office – the Democrats are the first ones to make it known that that person isn't non-white enough for them. Apparantly they also own the melatonan meter that determines if being up to 1/16th White makes you diverse enough.

    August 16, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  12. Ken, LA California

    Dean is right Rethuglican party is full of white old tired men, no woman, youth or people of color should be involved with them. How symbolic you cant teach an old Dog (MacCOld) new tricks.

    August 16, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. Lourdes

    Right....how dare Dean point out the *facts* (supported by *numbers*) that minorities are more likely to vote Democrat, and that more minority and women in office are Democrats not Republicans. And when you look at the issues that affect minorities and women the most: abortion rights, birth control, equal pay, affirmative action, immigration, the Republican position is always in opposition to them. So...shame on you Dean, for pointing out the truth.

    McCain supporters are ridiculous.

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

    Memo to McCain: Stop race baiting.

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

    Whats wrong with telling the truth?

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

    Show me some Republicans of color in the Senate/House, then I might be outraged at Dean's comments.

    August 16, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  17. celene

    Nit picking..It is sort of discusting that everybody has to dance around the issues and be so careful to not step on anyones toes and spend more time searching for the right words, the ones that will go over with everyone rather than just open their mouths and speak whats on their minds..
    This race is not much more than a slow dance, dancing around the obstacle of race and color.
    Ridiculous..Obama is black, others are white. Hillary is a woman and blah blah blah,,,GET TO THE ISSUES THAT EFFECT THE PEOPLE OF THE USA..I am sick of the total need for political correctness thats keeping the real issues sidelined

    August 16, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  18. Joe Kiloz

    D E A N + O B A M A = R A C E & V I C T I M P O L I T I C S

    August 16, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  19. unfair politics : Dean and Obama

    What Dean uttered is the basics of Obama campaign, nothing new. They have played RACE card silently and will keep playing, and calling others RACIST. Unfair game !

    August 16, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. JP

    What about condi rice? what about colin powell? The only democrat minority i see is Obama.....and he is only a senator.

    August 16, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  21. concern

    Now! mr. Dean, don't make them mad by telling them the truth!!
    There use to hearing things from GWB and Karl and Dick!

    August 16, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  22. I toldyouso

    Fiorina, another elitist, give the country away, Republican.

    August 16, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  23. Rob in NY

    Yet again, the Democrats are playing the race card.

    In 2004, 11% of BLACK voters supported Bush (shocking, but true). This year, over 97% of black voters are supporting Obama. It's starting to look like the Democrats are the more racist group, doesn't it.

    August 16, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  24. Reasonable Observer

    There go those darn Republicans again – injecting race into the election process. Oh, wait. Dean is a Democrat. Sorry.

    August 16, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  25. Anyone but these 2

    Both of these campaigns are disgusting. They'll do anything to get elected. It's time to pick a third party candidate and tell Washington that we REALLY want change. If 30 percent of us vote for candidates other than the Dems and Repubs, they'll have to wake up and take notice that we're tired of all this. The Repub president has a horrible rating, the Dem congress has an even worse one. Wake up people. Vote third party. We'll lose, but we're going to be stuck with a bad president for the next 4 years anyway, so let's work towards changing the landscape by 2012, and at least make these disgusting "big party" politicians clean up their act if they want us to vote for them.

    August 16, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
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