August 22nd, 2010
11:02 AM ET
4 years ago

Dean: Obama political advisers have 'misjudged'






Washington (CNN) – Former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean said Sunday that President Obama's political advisers are suffering from an inside-the-beltway mentality, but that Democrats will retain majorities in the House and Senate.

"I think the people around the president have really misjudged what goes on elsewhere in the country other than Washington, D.C.," Dean, also the former governor of Vermont, said on CNN's State of the Union. "I don't think this is true of the president, but I do think his people, his political people ought to go out and spend some time outside Washington once in a while."

Dean has, at times, been a voice of dissent within the Democratic Party and has disagreed publicly with the Obama administration on key issues, including health care reform legislation, the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy and, most recently, the construction of an Islamic center and mosque near ground zero.

But despite his criticism of Obama's political team, Dean told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that Democrats could retain control of the House and Senate.

"I'd bet money on the Senate for sure. The House is much tougher, I think at the end of the day, we are going to win in the House, and we are going to have a majority. It'll probably be reduced ... perhaps as small as a five or ten seat majority. We simply have better candidates," Dean said.

With the November midterm elections now just months away, Dean said the time has come for Democrats to put aside their policy differences and focus on electoral success.

"We've got to win this election, and after the election is over we can go back to having our policy fights. But this is about winning. You can't get anything done unless you have a Democratic president, a Democratic Senate and a Democratic House," Dean said.


Filed under: 2010 • Howard Dean • President Obama
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. ajAmerica

    It's not just the advisors you see but the ones you don't see that are hurting him and this country the liberal base is the minority of the population yet they want us to share their ideas and if not jam it through anyway. It makes me sick to think how far in the wrong direction we have gone. I just hope we can turn things around to make this country great once again it all starts in Nov. lets vote out the liberal base and put some conservative Americans in there so we can get back to our roots. God Bless America!!

    August 22, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  2. william

    Bernice, you are wrong. The most intelligent Pres ever was Nixon. His IQ was just short of genius. This Pres is intelligent the way Hitler was: Keep talking about something long enough and people will believe it even though they know better. This Pres will probably take Jimmy Carters number 1 ranking as the worse ever.

    August 22, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  3. Dennis

    I think a 50/50 Congress will be a good thing. It will force compromise. If there is no compromise, nothing gets done, and clearly that would be better than what is getting done now.

    August 22, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  4. Rush Goebbels

    Maybe they havent Dean.Maybe they work for the Federal Reserve and Department of Commerse,like the rest of the republican party do.

    August 22, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  5. HNIC

    Dear Dragonfire
    Can you please tell me how healthcare reform has affected the majority of Americans in a negative way? All I know is now I don't have to worry about going to the doctor if I am sick (no longer fearing that my insurer will think I am going too much), I don't have to worry about losing my insurance if I or my family gets gravely ill, I don't have to worry that my neighbors will go into foreclosure and further bring down home prices if they get sick, and on and on and on......

    August 22, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. jim

    actually, dragonfire, your president has done a very good job of representing the people while, at the same time, upholding the constitution. because you are one of the minority doesn't mean he hasn't. perhaps you should move somewhere that doesn't tolerate diversity ... somewhere like south korea.

    August 22, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  7. mamacoo

    Oh for goodness sakes. Democrats in Congress are part of the problem. What the heck have they done during the past 17 months besides allow Republicans to punk them. There are some Democrats who are thinking only of themselves and getting reelected. There are some who want this President to fail. None of them have backed the President the way they should. They have allowed Republicans to disrespect him and say very little about it but they are the first to whine that the President hasn't done enough. So, quite frankly until I see Democrats support our President I could care less what they have to say. How about the Democrats do their jobs and send up decent bills for the President to sign rather than sending BS bills that they allow the Republicans to gut. Democrats need to grow up and become a part of the solution.

    August 22, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. rgray222

    Obama's political advisers have misjudged about everything.
    Never passing a bill with earmarks
    Cut unecessary spending
    Never passing a bill that will increase the deficeit
    Hiring lobbyist in the white house
    Posting bills on the internet for 3 days
    Never signing a bill into law for 5 days
    Stopping the war in Iraq
    Closing Gitmo on day one
    The list simply goes on and on and these are not really misjudgement the are out and out lies!

    August 22, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. GR

    The GOP has no platform.
    The GOP has no ideas.
    The GOP has no leaders.
    The GOP engages in obstructionism which does nothing to demonstrate leadership.

    The GOP only has fake controversies.

    Meanwhile the Democrats have saved the economy from going over the cliff into the abyss from the massive GOP economic meltdown of 2007. The economy is rebounding slowly, and jobs are always the last thing to come back but these too will return slowly.
    In 2014 thanks to healthcare reform over 95% of Americans will have access to some form of affordable healthcare insurance. Under Bush the country went from No.1 in education to No.12 in the world. The Democrats are restoring funding for education and science so that once again America can be a leader in education and science.

    August 22, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. Keith in Austin

    With Obama it's always someone else's fault! Never HIS arrogance in going against the will of the American People.
    Healthcare, Arizona immigration case, Stimulous spending, Foreign Policy, Big Government, Socialism vs. Free enterprise, Taxes Mosque controversy... Just to name a few.

    Cya in November!

    August 22, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. Stephen

    This just proves what I believed before. Dean is a very prejudice man. He is prejudice against blacks and Muslims. The only ones he seems to have unchanging support is the gay community. He is a whiner and is mad because he is one of the unemployed in the nation.

    August 22, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. ruty

    Republicans SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 22, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. Elle

    Thank you Mr. Dean!

    President Obama needs advisors who understand what's going on at the ground level. He absolutely needs to get control of the packaging/marking aspect that is required for any contemporary president. A comprehensive approach that includes simple message points like, "I'm not selfish, I belive in health care for everyone". or "Why keep the best tax cuts for the rich? What did Wall Street do for me?". Along with simple, declarative slogans/points, there needs to be a direct and definative respons to reveal of the paranoia and spitefulness and poisonous agenda of FOX (so-called) news. They are running unchecked, making up lies and fanning flames about our President's birth legitimacy, his supposed Muslim religion, despite the facts of his life-long Christianity. Rupert Murdock, the owner of FOX News (he is not an American citizen) uses addictive fear and he is knowingly undermining American values to make himself a very, very rich man

    The time is NOW for the White House to get control of the messaging, to be pro-active, not re-active. There are plenty of expert companies who can help. We urge this!

    The President is doing a great job and important legislative actions are somehow miraculously getting passed-in spite of the rabid Right Wing and Republican "Party of NO" who deny him at every turn.

    August 22, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  14. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    Glad to see that others think that the Dems will maintain control of Congress. However, they must take a more aggresive stance in making sure the 'true conservative' right does NOT gain control. Moderates are OKAY radicals are NOT OKAY.

    August 22, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. ST

    Bravo Dean say it as it is. It will be all way through for Dems. How can anyone who is thinking right, vote in GOP while they have not come up with new ideas at all. They were voted out or rather rejected, because of their poor performance, and have not done anything so far to convince anyone. Why should people give them a free ride!!!

    August 22, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. patrick

    You know you are doing a good job when you draw fire from both sides.

    August 22, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. w l jones

    One thing somebody standind on the outside looking in and somebody on the inside can see the whole country at one time which can make a whole lots different when making decision. Seem like I can see Russia(Canada) from where I live.

    August 22, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  18. HNIC

    Hey William
    "W" already OWNS that title.
    And his "offspring" are trying to take this country backwards 50 years to a time of intolerance built upon a culture of fear.

    August 22, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  19. Michael from Ventura

    Dean is Correct........AGAIN. Many of us want to see staffing changes in the White House- while we continue to fully support the President. The wish to be bipartisan or to appear to be so- should have been dropped LONG ago!

    August 22, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  20. vernis robertson

    Once again , what is the GOP agenda ? They don't have one. They keep talking about higher taxes the same argument for the last 30 yrs. What they won't tell ,the higher taxes onlt apply to the wealthy americans. Name one thing , that the GOP has done good for the american people when they were in control of both houses. They only thing they can offer is criticism and NO SOLUTIONS .

    August 22, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  21. MikeH

    I like Howard Dean, and Senator Alan Grayson, they both put FEAR into the evil hearts of the RepubliKlan Facists.

    I think Howard's right about Obama's advisers. They are an insipid group of spineless wimps. Obama's attempt to lead with consensus has failed, the RepubliKlan Facists want to bring Ameircan Representative Democracy down and replace it with Coprporate Plutocracy. Obama needs to jettison his jellyfish advisors and replace them with resolute men and women who have a backbone, and beging the process of reversing the destruction of America for corporate greed.

    The RepubliKlans are committing treason, are attacking the Constitution. Obama has sworn an oath to DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION AGAINST ENEMIES FROM WITHIN. It's time he go after the real enemies of America.

    August 22, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  22. Spoon

    Hey Jim, do you know the difference between North and South Korea?

    August 22, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  23. Mr Joshua

    @HNIC,
    Dragonfire has a point. What he was trying to say is that Obama constantly votes against the will of the majority on legislation and matters such as the Ground Zero Mosque. Health Care has not had a negative effect because it is not in place oddly until after he thinks he will be reelected (I don't think he will). Remember America is NOT a Democracy, It is a Representative Republic. Obama's stances are NOT with the majority of voters.

    August 22, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  24. kelly

    9.5% unemployment after nearly 19 months in office says it all.

    August 22, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  25. vernis robertson

    The same way that Dick Chaney said that ,if you vote for Obama they country will be attack in the first 6 months of his term. If heatlhcare passes the world will end. Take our country back. What make the GOP thinks ,this is their country.

    August 22, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
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