May 31st, 2008
10:34 AM ET
13 years ago

Dean slams media coverage as he opens meeting

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Democratic National Committee members at Saturday's meeting."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean had tough words for the media on Saturday, saying that the presidential race had been plagued by "blatantly sexist comments, particularly by some members of the media - and blatantly racist remarks."

"The media will...look for conflict," he told members of the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee gathered to resolve the impasse over seating the Florida and Michigan delegations. "They will not talk about your energy and your passion for your candidate, and your enthusiasm."

Supporters of Hillary Clinton's presidential bid have increasingly targeted reporters and other members of the Democratic Party for what they say is unfair treatment of the New York senator because she is a woman. As he spoke, hundreds of Clinton supporters rallied outside to press for the full seating of both the Florida and Michigan delegates.

Dean seemed to direct his comments at these angry voters, many of whom carried signs Saturday that threatened to withhold their vote in November if both states were not seated in full in accordance with the results of their January primaries, as Clinton has urged.

As he stewed over the demise of his own presidential bid in 2004, he recalled, he received a call from Al Gore. Dean said he spent several minutes "ranting and raving" about the way he felt he had been mistreated by the party. He said that Gore responded: "Howard, this is not about you - it's about your country."

"I'm not going to gloss over the challenges of an extended primary," said Dean, who has faced criticism for not weighing in on the conflict early in the process. "We are strong enough to struggle and disagree - and still come together at the end of the day and be united."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • DNC • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. dee

    The only reason we are having a situation with Florida right now, is because Hillary Clinton is being a sore loser.

    May 31, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. Tom, Boston MA

    CNN, grow a pair and fess up who your masters are!

    May 31, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. Tom H

    A few hundred Clinton supporters ? Pretty underwhelming.

    May 31, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. Loretta from California

    Hillary made no attempt to deflect racial bias. She did not speak out after being informed that many of her supporters were voting for the white race, and not for a unified and diverse democratic party,

    She has lost my support.

    Obama 08

    May 31, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. albert kapustar

    What Dean said is a statement of fact.The news media refused to let the candidates debate in the early primaries.Nobody knew what Kucinich,gravel or the other candidates thought,the news media conc entrated on who they wanted to elect and that was Hillary and Obama.The news media even refused to let some of the minor candidates debate.You can"t have a free country when corporate news media decides who it wants and then refuses to let the others talk.Now i see the medias conservative bias,all we get are Republican blast at obama and Hillary,which means the corporate media want their corporate Republicans to represent them.

    May 31, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  6. Vicki

    We Dems will unit to fight on for better and honest government. It is hard to see your nominee fall to the side as John Edwards did. It does no one any good to rant and have a fit if you don't get your nominee. It is for everyone good to accept the nominee that is chosen and support them 1000%. That I will do to see a Democrat restore our nation to honor.

    May 31, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  7. Southron_98

    I have seen very little about her comments that she was thinking if not chosen she'll run as an independent. This is the worse group of candidates I have ever seen we would be better off with Ron Paul or Nader than any of the three. Obama shows us more every day that he is not qualified; if elected he'll blame all of his failures on whites. McCain will have us in Iran and Clinton the lesser of three evils. At she'll understand we cannot afford to leave Iraqi, we should never have been there but with a Saddam Hussein at the helm Iran or Al-Qaeda will have access to the oil. Yes, if she runs as an independent she'll get elected.

    May 31, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  8. caroux

    It is amazing to me that you can even consider at this point NOT counting all the votes that were cast, or even consider changing a vote from "uncommitted" to a specific candidate. In even considering taking these anti-democratic actions, you have lost my trust. Wo is the party that loses the trust of its voting constituency.


    May 31, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  9. Relevant

    It is my sincere hope that the DNC will find, as it should, that Clinton violated party rules by leaving her name on the ballot in Michigan. All candidates were instructed to remove their names, and all candidates did except for Clinton. ANY claim to any sort of "victory" in Michigan is fraud and larceny.

    May 31, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  10. dee

    The only reason we are having a situation with florida right now, is because Hillary Clinton is being a sore loser. She should grow up and take her lost like she did when Bill got caught with his pants down.

    May 31, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  11. bob in LA

    Dean and his fellow committee member are the problem – not the media. If they had not gotten so cute and let states vote when they wanted to, this would not be an issue.
    It was his going on television that caused the media circus that has ensued.

    May 31, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  12. Kell Ca

    Obama is the winner. CNN shame on you for making this more then it is. I use to love your news storys..but after this election..i have seen not so good reporting.

    very bias.

    Shame of you

    May 31, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  13. Donna

    Dean, show a backbone and end this now! Abide by your own rules!!

    May 31, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. Barbara-California

    Oh for God is another Democratic EGO to deal with.....what is wrong with these people?!

    May 31, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  15. Loretta from California

    If the DNC should change the rules for Hillary Clinton, it will only complicate things further. I would become a Independant voter.

    Loretta-A former Clinton supporter. Obama 08

    May 31, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  16. Tim

    Sorry Dean, you are definitely wrong about the party coming together. I am one life long Democrat that will vote for a Republican this year. I'm tired of the Obamabots that trash all for the sake of being loyal to their candidate and I'm tired of the Democratic leadership ...if you can call it that.

    May 31, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  17. Tyler in Raleigh, NC

    So Obama needs to call Clinton and remind her its not about her, its about the party.

    But plenty have already made that call, and they have been called traitors, Judas, sell-outs and worse by HillBilly. They get the 3 AM phone call with the "shame on you" and the wagging finger.

    Hillary does not care as others have about the party.... the Clintons care about one thing, winning.

    May 31, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  18. bah

    Hillay ,is time for u step aside,in the intrest of your party

    May 31, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  19. one nation under god!!!!

    How can you cry about media coverage.Its so blantantly biased towards the liberal fascists.What he meant to say is try harder media americans arnt bying it yet.Good god.

    May 31, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  20. bah

    Senator clinton, there is no chance for u in winning the nomination,is better to step aside.

    May 31, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. Yes, it IS about our country!

    THIS time, I don't vote party — this time I vote for the country I love and have ALWAYS been proud of.

    I happen to live in So. Cal., and yesterday I visited the Reagan Library here, which I’d planned to do for over year. And seeing and watching Reagan in action in film and photo, I remembered why I voted for him.

    He was a moderate politically, but he was a REALIST and packed a punch when it mattered: He simply WALKED OUT of discussions where the Soviets (then the perceived "terrorists") were trying to sabotage his defense strategies to protect Americans.

    He refused to merely "talk" to those wanting to tear down or impede democracy. And after he made sure that America was strong miliarily — only then was he able to shout: "MR. GORBACHOV, TEAR DOWN THIS WALL! " And down it came!

    Suddenly I remembered why I voted for him— Unlike Obama, Reagan HE WAS A PERSON OF SUBSTANCE — A REALIST — NOT FULL OF EMPTY RHETORIC.

    Only Clinton and McCain come even remotely close!

    May 31, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  22. neverobama

    I don't understand why such hatred for Senator Clinton. She's a brilliant politician and her intelligence was so apparent when she debated Obama, who could not keep up with her. Obama is extremely arrogant, he is also a hypocrite and a traitor, and oh yeah a sexist too. I can only imagine if MacCain would have been the one to call a female reporter "sweetie" like Obama did.... Obama's supporter's treat Obama as he were the long awaited Messiah. I mean, COME ON!!!! All Obama does is talk talk talk, blah Change, blah blah, change, blah change BLAH BLAH BLAH.......I am so sick and tired of the word "change" Who said "change" is always a good thing??????? Obama, through his arrogance and inexperience has the huge potential to "change" this country's dire situation from bad to worse.
    And please, don't call me a racist because of this. That is another thing that Obama's supporters love to do: Call one a racist just because one does not see Obama as a suitable candidate. PLEASE DO NOT blame Senator Clinton for Obama's apparent weaknesses. I, along MILLIONS of voters do not trust Obama and will NOT vote for him in the presidential election. How can I possibly trust Obama after how he betrayed his Pastor? Reverend Wright was like family to him, his close friend and mentor, his spiritual adviser, the guy he listened to on Sundays for 20 years, the guy that married him and his wife, the guy that baptized his two daughters. Obama ditched him simply to get more votes. Although I don't agree with Reverend Wright's views, I did feel sorry for him when Obama totally dropped from his life. Now with this priest incident, it proves that Obama is not the person he presents himself to be. I DON"T WANT someone like that for the most important job in the US, if not the world.

    HRC or McCain 08

    May 31, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  23. VINCIE


    May 31, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  24. pam Eugene OR

    It is not sexism. It is who she is! I would love to see a woman president just NOT this woman! She lies and can not be trusted. Any other woman would not have been a problem. I resent her calling it sexism and using that as an excuse. Over half the country hates her personally.

    May 31, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  25. kevin from alaska

    We have 12 women Senators out of 100 and 1 black Senator.

    Yes, sexism and racism are alive and well. This is America after all.

    May 31, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
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