July 23rd, 2007
06:59 PM ET
9 years ago

Dean: All candidates should be welcome to debate

(CNN) - Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that presidential debates should include as many candidates as possible, not just top-tier candidates.

Dean, a 2004 presidential candidate, was in fourth place among Democrats at this point in the race in 2003.

"As you may remember in 2004, if the debates had been focused on the top-tier candidates, I probably wouldn't have been on the stage until about June. I think we want to include as many as possible," the former Vermont governor said.

In 2004, Dean was one of the most effective candidates in raising money via the Internet. He praised the format of the CNN/YouTube debates and offered advice to the Democratic candidates.

"This is a big deal. This empowers ordinary Americans to get into what we call a two-way campaign, so you get to hear from candidates, ask them questions directly, all in front of a national audience," he said. "So we're delighted. The only advice I have is, answer the questions that people ask. This really is the no-spin zone, when ordinary, real Americans get to ask the questions on YouTube."

–CNN Associate Producer Natalie Apsell

Filed under: Howard Dean
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. James, Phoenix AZ

    I think Howard is right – ALL candidates should be welcomed to the debates. You never know when a front-runners campaign will come to a "screaming" hault, eh Howard?

    CNN didn't report... but I would very much enjoy hearing if the Clinton or Edwards campaign has any comment?

    July 23, 2007 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  2. Lizabeth, Dallas TX

    I'm kind of disappointed with the format of this debate. It seems to me like 1-2 candidates have gotten about 90% of the airtime. Hillary has definitely got shorted on airtime. Edwards has gotten a boatload. Dodd & Kucinich seem to be next.
    And Dodd is starting to get on my nerves! Is this man just mad at everybody & everything!

    July 23, 2007 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |