May 6th, 2008
02:00 PM ET
15 years ago

DNC Chair on resolving Florida, Michigan stalemate


Watch Dean's interview with CNN's Don Lemon.

(CNN) – Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, set forth three principles that he thinks should govern any effort to reach a compromise regarding seating the Michigan and Florida delegations to his party’s nominating convention.

First, “we want to respect the voters who went to the polls,” Dean said. “It was politicians that made a mess of this - not the voters,” he told CNN’s Don Lemon Tuesday.
“Secondly, you have got to respect these two candidates,” Dean said of Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. “You cannot change the rules at the end of the game and change the outcome.”

“Thirdly, you’ve got to respect the 48 states that followed the rules they way they were supposed to,” the former presidential candidate said.

“So there will be some sort of compromise in the Rules Committee on the 31 of May, I hope,” the DNC chair said. “But we don’t know what that compromise is going to look like right now.”

While Clinton and Obama have continued to battle for the Democratic nod, the DNC has run ads targeting Sen. John McCain, the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee, and Dean took the opportunity to take a shot or two at McCain Tuesday.

“He’s wrong on the courts. He’s wrong on Iraq. He’s wrong on the economy. He’s wrong on healthcare,” said Dean.

Filed under: Florida • Howard Dean • John McCain • Michigan
soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. Sam in MN

    “"You cannot change the rules at the end of the game and change the outcome.”"

    That's exactly right.

    So that being said, what's the point?

    Other than changing the outcome, which is unacceptable on its face (and Howard Dean just said as much), what is to be gained?

    May 6, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  2. Oh Dean

    The compromise should not be in Hillary's favor since she cheated. What about the voters who came out to vote for Barack, but couldn't since his name was not on the ballet in Michigan?

    What about the voters who wanted to vote for Barack but didn’t' know anything about him, since he couldn't campaign in Florida? I understand they both had ads, but that was it.

    May 6, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  3. Edward Taylor

    Dr. Dean is so full of nonsense at this point. Follow the rules?? Like running ads in Florida? Like other states moving the dates (NH, Nevada)?

    The DNC is now nothing more than an extension of the Supreme Court in 2000. Shame on them.

    May 6, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  4. carlo

    What about respecting the voters that didn't go to the polls? What about the people who didn't think their votes would count? What about the people in Michigan who couldn't vote for candidates because they actually keep their words?

    It boggles the mind that the media, the pundits, and yes, the DNC, even gives Hillary a platform to constantly change the rules. You cannot be a player and the referee at the same time.

    May 6, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. Michigan

    I live in Michigan and I believe that THE RULES SHOULD BE FOLLOWED.... I have to follow rules, my teens have to follow rules... why make the rule if it's going to be over-turned to satisfy political advantages. FOLLOW THE RULES OR QUIT MAKING THEM. I want a few rules bent for me at work, too.....

    May 6, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  6. Irish Gram

    If Obama is the Democratic Party candidate, I will be voting for McCain.I simply will not vote for a Marxist who does not have the needs of the average American family at heart. I do know that both Cinton and McCain love this country but the terrorist love Obama.

    May 6, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  7. John W., Milwaukee, WI

    “Secondly, you have got to respect these two candidates,” Dean said of Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. “You cannot change the rules at the end of the game and change the outcome.”

    Howard Dean, you are WRONG, WRONG and still WRONG!

    The votes from MI & FL BELONG to Hillary (PERIOD)! Anything that takes them away from her is STEALING! (PERIOD)


    You, Pelosi, Reid, OBAMA and the other party ELITES should just go somewhere, and it is NOT heaven!

    May 6, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  8. Obama IS the Nominee

    It's irrelevant now....exit polls show Obama taking both Primaries today!!

    May 6, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. Bitter - New Orleans, LA

    “He’s wrong on the courts. He’s wrong on Iraq. He’s wrong on the economy. He’s wrong on healthcare,” said Dean.

    No U! what a moron...

    May 6, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  10. SLO Bear

    Let's hope the fishy smell is just my imaginations. Democrats of all ages, genders, and ethnithicies are going to be permanently upset if the DNC is complicit in allowing the Clintons to game the system and steal the nomination. You can repeat "respect" forty-two times, but you had better mean it.

    May 6, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. Erin

    We can't decide because we love them both.

    Just put Hillary as Pres/Obama as VP for 2009 and 2010. Then have them switch and put Obama in as Pres/Hilalry in as VP for 2011 and 2012.

    Then we can figure out who will do what in 2012.

    Don't you get it? WE CAN'T DECIDE and the other 50% will be PO'd if their candidate doesn't win.

    Howard Dean needs to broker this and make this happen!!!

    May 6, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. Venus


    Way to go Howard Dean!

    Now – I HOPE Hillary and her thugs get this freaking picture!

    And,to FL and MI – do like the rest of us and follow the rules and laws and stop trying to change the game in the middle of the game!

    Go Obama!

    May 6, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. wolfsbane

    John W, you are clearly unhinged.

    Let's find a fair solution to MI and FL.

    Although, even with the MI and FL votes, Hillary will still be behind.

    May 6, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  14. HYPOCRACY 08


    The true leader of the Democratic Pary!

    May 6, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  15. Jeff Radun

    Dean better find a way to have actual revotes in Florida and Michigan like CNN is saying in August as these to states have votes and all it would cost is the price of re-printing the ballets and adding Obama and Hillary
    Have this approved and do not allow any of the candidates to advertise or campaign in those states
    Just have the voters choose between the 2 of them.
    Make it a winner takes all in deligates

    May 6, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  16. Sandra

    She didn't cheat. Get your facts straight. She did not go to FL until the voting was over. The media have led us to believe she cheated.

    May 6, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  17. Jason from Colorado

    Clinton supporters are not very good at math.... she's done people, it's over, stick a fork in her and let's be done with this debacle.

    Irish, that is a ridiculous comment. I hate Hillary, but as much as I hate her, I still have the common sense to pick her over McCain if she buys her way into the nomination. No matter if you back Hillary or Obama, you must realize that McCain would be far worse than whichever one you're against currently.


    OBAMA 08!

    May 6, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  18. Only one option

    You can't give them another election, or set it up so Florida decides the contest in the middle of the convention (as Wolf suggested). That rewards Michigan and Florida for breaking the rules. They broke the rules so they would be more important to the results. Now you want to give them 1,000,000% of what they wanted ??

    You can't seat the delegates as is because that rewards Hillary and punishes Obama. This would be seen as the party stealing the nomination form Obama.

    The only option is to seat them in some way that discounts the value of their vote and/or awards the delegates according to the delegate count once all of the other primaries are finished. This doesn't change the outcome, allows them to participate and doesn't reward them for breaking the rules.

    May 6, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  19. Tim

    You see the sign that says speed limit 65 MPH. You decide that doesn’t apply to you and you want to get home earlier, so you drive 80 MPH. You get pulled over for speeding. You tell the State Trooper that you knew that the speed limit was 65, but you decided that those rules don't apply to you. You are now appalled that the State Trooper now has the gall to give you a ticket just because everyone else obeyed the rules. You go on to say that the State officials were wrong in the first place to dictate how fast you can drive. And finally you question the State Trooper’s ability to enforce such an unfair law and demand that he tear up the ticket and apologize for hindering your driving right. Sounds silly? So does allowing FL and MI to do a revote.
    Yes to seating the delegates, but no revote!!!

    May 6, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  20. Obama 08

    John W of Milwaukee....What's wrong with following the rules?

    Eletist????? McCain and Clinton are the multi gazzilionaires. Hillary hasn't pumped her own gas in 18 years. She's had secret service protection since 1992.

    While Obama JUST paid off his student loans

    May 6, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  21. mommagirl

    So the politicians decided there would be no voice for FL and MI because of a stupid date requirement. Why aren't more Floridians and Michigan voters screaming about this since THEY obviously didn't get a vote in the "punishment" decision. Sounds like the voters need to be figuring out a way to overturn the powers that be.

    Howard Dean is the biggest egomaniac of the Democratic party with Nancy no backbone Pelosi kneeling next to him. All I know is if I took the time to go to the polls, stood in line to cast my vote only having it NOT count, I'd be pissed!!!!! Why vote??? Both Dem candidates were on the ballot. I'm still confused.!! Let Barack take the nomination but let him do with dignity and without fear that Hillary is going to take it from him. You do him no service by treating him with kid gloves. He's going to have go up against someone on the other side of the floor. Give him something to fight for not treat him like a mama's boy who can't go up against the Clinton machine!!!!

    May 6, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  22. Dennis, NY

    So even though Clinton agreed to these rules before she needed FL and MI that shouldn't matter ? Also even though you voters were told that your votes wouldn't count if they changed the dates and instead of having an uprising against your local leaders you just let it happen we should just throw out those rules too?

    I don't know about the rest of the parents in this country I teach my children to respect the rules and live with the consequences if you break them. This lack of integrity worries me more than the possibility that FL and MI will revolt in the general. I would rather the party stick to their word and lose voters that can't take responsibility for their actions than cave in to the demands of them.

    May 6, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  23. Obama 08

    The Clintons will cheat there way back into the whitehouse!

    May 6, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  24. TM in Sacramento

    The results in Michigan and Florida are as invalid as the context in which they came about – people knew up front that the votes would not count and acted accordingly – not voting, voting for a 3rd party or less popular candidate not in the running, not bothering to switch parties for the vote, etc. In what kind of crazy Dr. Suess world can someone argue that we should now take the results from that and treat it as if people knew they woud count? Is that really fair?

    May 6, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |

    dean the screaming leader what a great party this is.

    May 6, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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