Former DNC chair won't challenge Obama in 2012
December 13th, 2010
10:42 AM ET
3 years ago

Former DNC chair won't challenge Obama in 2012

(CNN) - Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean dismissed talk Sunday that he will challenge President Obama in 2012, and he predicted the president will avoid a primary fight.

"I don't think he's going to face an opponent in the Democratic primary," Dean said in an interview on CBS. "I think that would be a bad thing for the country, and I think it would be a bad thing for the Democratic Party.

"The history of people running against presidents in their own party is the challenger loses and then the president is weakened and loses," said Dean, who also is a former Vermont governor.

Obama's senior adviser David Axelrod said that while he "can't predict" if a primary challenger will surface he noted "I see strong support among Democrats for this president."

"They understand that he's fighting hard, trying hard to move this country forward," Axelrod said in an interview on CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley. "They understand what we've accomplished already. The biggest lament I hear from Democrats is, 'You've done so much, how come people aren't responding better?"


Filed under: 2012 • Howard Dean
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. GOP = Greed Over People

    While I too, do not want a primary challenger, as it would do more harm than good to the party, I hope the President does decide to step aside and let someone else pick up the banner in 2012.

    December 13, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. Eric in RTP

    Howard Dean for President 2016! BeYah!

    December 13, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. stufit

    Howard Dean? You are kidding? I guess you could think on some level that if an idiot like Obama can be president any idiot could make it, but Screamin Howard??????

    December 13, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  4. Gordon Shumway

    Perhaps Dean finally realized nobody would vote for the likes of him............

    December 13, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  5. dubupthatswhatsup

    Of course he won't run. Howard "EYAAAHH!!" Dean wouldn't stand a chance.

    December 13, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  6. ELIZABETH

    LOL! Looks like the looney left is running out of options.

    December 13, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  7. Emile Zola

    I do see a tad, or a big, contradiction here. Obama doesn't deserve another four years. He was lucky that blacks and a lot of Hispanics gave him the presidency and then how Obama rewards progressives, blacks and Hispanics? By throwing them under the bus. When the cold war died, most people saw this as a good omen for the world, but appearances, as always, deceive. If we had the old USSR, I'm sure that Bush couldn't have claimed "Mission accomplished", even if the statement has been proven wrong from the day those words escape from those criminal lips. If Russia had come out in favor of Saddam, the criminal "allies" still be at the border trying to get into Baghdad and the over 4,000 war G.I.s casualties would have been Viet Nam numbers or even more. I hope that for the good of this country someone has the "cojones" to take down Obama. We, or at least, my family and I didn't vote for another Bush term, which is what we got. If we wanted to continue on the path of electing the worst of the worst, McShame would have been a shoe in. I left the republican party upon arrival of the Bushes and I was forced out of the democratic party by Obama. Now, I'm an independent through no fault of my own, but for standing for our frail democracy and for our exiled Constitution. Paging Mr Sanders, please come to the rescue of the middle class, the poor and minorities. Please? Pretty please?

    December 13, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. Eric in RTP

    Um... Obama will be re-elected in a landslide.. sorry to burst your bubbles

    December 13, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. Jaime

    Emile Zola:
    I am with you. This country needs the head of Obama with the heart of Bush. Bush was an idiot who was easily manipulated, but after you got done spinning him around and sent him off in a direction – he would charge and he'd keep going, come hades or high water. That's strong leadership. Obama seems to say all of the right things and promise the right direction – you can spin him around all you want, and he'll right himself... but then he'll just plop down on the floor an write a few notes and then pontificate, all the while we are here screaming clamoring for some freakin LEADERSHIP.

    Get someone with the crourage of the ignorant along with the judgement of the wise and THEN we'll have something.

    December 13, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  10. Fair is Fair

    Eric in RTP

    Um... Obama will be re-elected in a landslide.. sorry to burst your bubbles
    ________________________________

    Um... you think so? Just curious – what "accomplishments" that the majority of the electorate agree with will he run on? Obama is so weak and the democrats are so splintered that even a mediocre republican nominee could beat him.

    Lucky for Obama, the election is still almost 2 years away.

    December 13, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. Jayden,FL

    LOL I think Mr Dean will be proven wrong.. didn't Mike Gravel ( yes tht dude with the awkward throwing rocks ad back in 2008) says he's going to run for President in 2012 under the democratic ticket lol..

    December 13, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  12. Four and The Door

    Axelrod said in an interview on CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley. ..." The biggest lament I hear from Democrats is, 'You've done so much, how come people aren't responding better?"
    __________________________________________________________________________________________
    How come people aren't responding better to what Obama has done? Really?!?! That's easy. Because none of it has worked. American people are funny in that they like to see actual results. It's tough to see 9.8% unemployment 2 years after approving $850 billion to keep it below 8% and respond like it was the right thing to do.

    The greatest hope for Obama is that he gets past the failed liberal economic ideology and works with the Republicans to make some common sense changes to help the economy. Not raising taxes on anyone right now is a good start.

    December 13, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  13. jeff, alabama

    Well...how gallant of Dean not
    to challenge Obama.......
    considering he couldn't
    win a job as dog catcher anyway.

    December 13, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  14. Name king

    Obama had done some some of the greatest policy making that any president had ever done, I know the dems that are leving next january are bitter with obama because they're thinking he led them under the bus to get slaughtered by the people, I thought you guys sacrifice alot, and you shouldn't measure success by what the people think, look who they put in power, you should measure success by your legacy, of bring back the country from the abyss. You should be be proud of the incredible feet you guys have done. Don't be bitter and slam the rest of the country.

    December 13, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  15. Democrats Class Warfare - Destroying the economy and country

    The country has seen enough of the destruction of the Progressive DemocRATS. No mastter who runs for the DemocRATS the American people are going to REJECT your government knows best philosophy. If you thought Nov. 2010 was a "shellacking", wait until 2012! Does the term "beat down" mean anything to you?!

    December 13, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  16. DIANA

    Even though I pray Hilary would run, I hope nobody challenges him in 2012, that would hand over a victory to even the likes of Palin. Right now, there's not a single Republican who could beat Obama, I hope it stays that way without a Democratic challenger.

    December 13, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  17. Marty, FL

    President Obama will continue to do fine in 2012. The alternatives simply do not seem appealing enough for many Americans to lead our diverse country during these challenging times:

    Palin quit on public responsibilities; Romney-care has flip-flopped on too many positions; no more Bushes please; Newt/Santorum have to be kidding; Huckabee is not appreciated by many corporate conservatives, etc.

    December 13, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. Purnell

    Obama will be fine in 2012 – he's a highly intelligent man playing a deep and subtle game.

    December 13, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  19. GOP Taliban Victim

    Was that a joke? As if the Dem's or Republicans have anyone even remotely more qualified to beat Obama? Obama is doing just fine....especially considering the horrible cards he was dealt before even walking in the door.

    December 13, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. Positive

    Sarah Palin is an opportunist. The churches contributed to Samritan Purse and packed the gift boxes for the children to and
    give funds to ttransport it to Haiti. And she riding onthe back of Franklin Graham and Us. It is a shame and Mr. Graham should
    be ashame of himself. His Dad would never have done that. This woman is a shamles pretender and an hypocrite. I pray that the news will stop talking and about her. She is not worthy of all that praise. America is looking weak and ingnorant
    because of her.

    December 13, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. John

    Hoping for Sanders or Feingold. Flubbing the tax cut compromise was just the latest in a long string of disappointing surrenders by Obama.

    December 13, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |