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. Lonnie

    Obama is the nominee, I lone your insite!

    May 6, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. HSNP

    Hillary Clinton won Florida without campaigning.

    Barack Obama lost Michigan after HE pulled his name off the ballot.

    If the DNC alienates MI and FL, the Dems lose in November, no matter who the nom is.

    May 6, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  3. shannonL

    You look at this guy and it is painfully obvious why Kerry was nominated in 04.

    Can you imagine this fool as President? Almost as bad as Bush...but not quite.

    May 6, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  4. xtina

    you'd better believe Democrat politicians made a mess of this; I can't believe the voters in the Democratic party didn't notice (or care) when their leaders set up an elitist system where one small group can override the votes of many people to chose whomever they want as the nominee.

    May 6, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. hmmmmm.....sounds fishy

    why do all the ladies have so much to say for Hillary like she hasn't said enough..........Obama supporters are taking up the slack .....Hillary has an ex-president campaigning for her....he should have been an ex-husband......after monica relations in the house while Hillary was home..........but Rev Wright is not on the campaign trail for Obama to all you Hillary supporters that think Wright is such a big was Hillary and the right wing that pulled him from the archives.......Obama has denounced Wright so is Hillary going to denounce Bubba

    May 6, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  6. Orange, purple collar, working male not for Dems

    “It was politicians that made a mess of this — not the voters,”
    Let's see.... It was the Democratic Politicians that made a mess of this.

    But now those same Democratic Politicians are Flip Flopping on their own Rules and Governances.
    The Cut and Run Party. The No-Backbone Party. The Democratic Party. Wooohooooo!!!!

    May 6, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |

    Well Mr. Dean I am certainly glad to hear you say, but most importanly I want ot know and believe is that you REALLY mean this!! The fact that you have allowed this whole process to continue on and on long after it has been known that there is no possible way for Clinton to win without the SD giving it to her after she has discredited Obama and Party, allowing the nominee Obama to be scared and bruised to the point that it will take much todo to rally his own party behind him now that party has been unnecessarily torn apart by Cinton, who by the way has proven time and time again why she should not even be still in this race. Why you are allowing ALLOWING THIS MAKES ME WONDER WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON. YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO PROTECT PARTY'S NOMINEE, EVEN FROM THOSE WITHIN THAT THREATEN TO MAKE HIM UNELECTABLE!! OF ALL THINGS UNELECTALE, HOW ON EARTH DO YOU REASON SOMEONE IN YOUR OWN PARTY BEING ALLOWED TO PUSH THAT THE LIKEY CANDIDATE IS UNELECTABLE. AFTER SAYING THIS HOW WILL SHE BE ABLE TO SUPPORT HIM? HOW WILL SHE BE ABLE TO CONVINCE OTHERS TO SUPPORT HIM? IF YOU ARE NOT ABLE TO SEE THAT SHE IS ACTING AS A DESTROYER FOR THIS PARTY THEN YOU ARE BLIND, IF YOU ARE AWARE OF IT AND DOES NOTHING THE ONLY REASONABLE QUESTION TO YOU WOULD BE WHY?? WHY?? WHY??

    MAN UP!!

    May 6, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. Bayou Joe

    Dean is wrong on everything. Mich and Fla will not re-vote. If they do all the other states that voted before, Obama was exposed, should re-vote too.

    Go Hillary

    May 6, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  9. Venus

    Thank you again Howard Dean!

    Shame on Hillary and some of her cheating supporters! I bet if this was the other way around and Obama and his supporters would want to change the game – you people would be up in arms!

    Go Obama!

    May 6, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  10. Texican

    Yeah Dean, let's change the rules so Hillary can be the nominee. you know that Obama is damaged goods. He will not win against
    McCain. Where were you two months ago, when Obama stopped the Michigan Legislature from voting on a re-vote in Michigan.

    May 6, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  11. Whose Elitist Now

    >>> While Obama JUST paid off his student loans

    With the $4 million he made from his books last year or the $20 million he might make from them this year?

    May 6, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  12. Sam in MN

    Exit polls from IN and NC:

    If Clinton doesn't get nominated, only 48% of Indiana Democrats and 45% of North Carolina Democrats would vote for Obama.

    If Obama doesn't get nominated, fully 59% of Indiana Democrats and 70% of North Carolina Democrats would vote for Clinton.

    What that proves is that Obama supporters are much more loyal Democrats than Clinton supporters are.

    May 6, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. Tyrone


    Watch out for these results. There was a huge controversy in Guam. (Ballot Tampering). I won't put anything past the Clinton Camp, so watch the polls as they come in and see if you agree with the final count.

    May 6, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  14. NOMAD

    How can people situp and listen to Hillary's lies...Everytime she talks it is a strategic lie. First she agreed to no vote in Florida and now she is for it. Don't stop the people from FLA from voting, what a witch! Obama is worth 2 million dollars, and Hillary is worth 100 million, but yet the average red-neck will vote for her. White people wake up! VOTE FOR CHANGE, VOTE FOR OBAMA, NOT CRIMINALS.....

    May 6, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  15. Kevin

    Mr. Dean,

    Don't forget the 4th principle: respect those voters who thought their vote wouldn't count, so they didn't go to the polls.

    May 6, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  16. Sharon Minnesota

    I wonder if Wolf Blitzer's ears are on fire. The Obama camp is going nuts with the suggestion of a re-vote in Florida and Michigan in the blogs. I just have one more thing to say: DON'T KILL THE MESSENGER. I for one, think it's a great idea.

    Clinton will be our next president.

    May 6, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  17. Viet Nam Vet

    See Tim's Post – – -Split the delegates 50-50 and seat them!

    See how easy that is?

    May 6, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  18. Donovan

    Howard Dean,

    He is sooo snake bit, and its pitifull that he would allow the Republican led Florida legislature to determine a democratic outcome. Of course, as with his own run for office, he is simply
    doing to the Democratic Party the same thing he did to himself,
    that is, Political Suicide...


    May 6, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  19. Jack in ND

    ""If the DNC alienates MI and FL, the Dems lose in November, no matter who the nom is.""

    So be least it will have been legitimate.

    May 6, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  20. Rene D, Bel Air, MD

    Just as Obama has that habit of tilting his head back, seeming to be looking down his nose at everyone, here he goes again, looking down his nose at Florida and Michigan voters. The "rules" were laid by a small group of politicians and businessmen looking for some of the income that accrues to NH and Iowa due to their early primary/caucas roles. They were not vote upon or otherwise "accepted" by the voters.

    Do we really want an administration that is so fickle as to block the input of 15 million citizens?? Nice start, Barack. Go back and get some more experience; don't rely on your staff/handlers so much-they are not always right, are they.

    May 6, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  21. Lisa

    For all you Obama supporters that are trying to rig up the election so that Obama can win, it's not going to happen without Florida and Michigan votes. We are already starting off on a bad note with Obama. He's refusing to allow a revote in Florida and Michigan so he can steal the election just like George W Bush in 2000. Poor Florida they just can't seems to get a break.

    May 6, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  22. maria Mtl, Can.

    He knows well that both clintons face a trial in november 08...

    May 6, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  23. get real

    I love how if Republicans and Independents are voting for Obama, he attracts all kinds of new people to the party.

    If Hillary has Republicans and Independents vote for her, its just the Rush Limbaugh influence.

    I can tell you right now where I sit that I have heard several Republicans rooting for Hillary today. The Republicans have been watching FOX for the last two weeks and what they have seen is scaring the crap out of them. If Obama thinks he will get one Republican vote now that Ayers, Wright, Farrakan, etc keep popping up, trust me, Republicans are now paying attention and don't think there is a snowballs chance they will vote for him in the general.

    Good Luck Hillary.

    Hillary 08

    May 6, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  24. Obama 08

    What about the voters who did NOT go to the polls as the rules said the vote didn't count?

    What about the fact that only one candidate was on the ballot in Michigan? Isn't that what they do in a communist country??

    Cl;inton agreed to the rules> How can someone support or believe a person who bends, changes the rules constsntly to her benefit.

    May 6, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  25. John C.

    The DNC and RNC have their rules, the Clintons have a different one.

    So does Obama!!!!!!!!!!! Apparently, he feels he can campaign and run television ads and urge Michigan voters to vote "uncommitted" without being held accoutable for any of these CLEAR RULES VIOLATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Dean should be fired for not even investigating these two states.

    The DNC is charged, under its rules, to determine whether Democrats in a noncompliant state made a "good faith" effort to abide by the party's electoral calendar. The rules also demand that the DNC's 30-member Rules and Bylaws Committee conduct "an investigation, including hearings if necessary," into these matters. A DNC spokesman could not point to any real "investigation" the party conducted. All that happened, with Florida for example, was two representatives of the states party made a pitch for leniency immediately before the Rules Committee voted for sanctions.

    May 6, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
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