August 16th, 2008
12:46 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain backer takes on Howard Dean over 'white' remark

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="DNC Howard Dean, pictured here with Sens. Clinton and Obama and former Sen. Edwards, said Friday that people of color and women have historically been more successful in the Democratic Party."]
(CNN) – Carly Fiorina, a supporter of Sen. John McCain and the chair of the Republican National Committee’s Victory 2008 campaign, took aim at Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean over racially-tinged comments Dean made Friday.

“If you look at folks of color, even women, they’re more successful in the Democratic Party than they are in the white, uh, excuse me, in the Republican Party,” Dean said Friday in an appearance on NPR’s “Tell Me More” program.

Fiorina, a prominent female supporter of McCain, fired back at Dean. “It is disappointing to see Howard Dean trying to use gender and race to divide voters," Fiorina said Friday evening in a statement released by the McCain campaign. "His comments are insulting, inappropriate and have no place in this election.”

McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, is set to face off in November against Sen. Barack Obama, who is about to become the first African-American to garner the nomination of a major political party. Obama beat out Sen. Hillary Clinton in a long, hard-fought primary race that galvanized many women behind Clinton’s candidacy and many African-Americans behind Obama’s.

Filed under: Howard Dean • Popular Posts
soundoff (579 Responses)
  1. Sheople yes, people not so much

    Glad Hillary is allowed the same rights as previous democratic candidates.

    Her name NEEDS to be placed in nomination. Anything else is discrimination and illegal and undemocratic.

    Other candidates have been put in nomination who had far fewer delegates then Hillary. This is the way it should have been done in the first place. There should never have been any doubt but that her name would be put in nomination.

    The fact that this was the closest primary in history should have left no doubt in anyones mind.

    Hillary is expected to unite the party as if she is in control of what the voters feel. Obamabots obey Obama. Hillraisers are as independent and free thinking as HRC herself. She is no puppet for the DNC or the media.

    Her supporters will not be puppets marching for Obama.

    August 16, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. Ken

    Truth hurts huh, Carly?

    August 16, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. ANDROLOMA, Commerce City, Colorado

    Mighty smarmy, Mr. Dean. How does your shoe taste?

    August 16, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  4. Sammy

    Hey in some ways the Republican party is the white party simply because of demographics and the political leanings of minorities. So what? Maybe Dean really shouldnt say such things because of his position but it did get people talking. The first thing that comes to mind is what happened to 'you gotta have a sense of humor'?

    August 16, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  5. White person in Virginia

    It's oh so true Ms. Fiorina! The republican party is dominated by racist white americans who seem to all have the opinion that "I've got mine so screw the rest of you."

    August 16, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  6. scooter

    Waiting on the outcry from our activist brethren.....Jesse? Al? Where are you?

    August 16, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  7. Ad Nauseum

    Howard Dean has shown himself to be the 'win at all costs' kind of person he is. What a stupid comment for him to make, as if there are no women of any color, nor brown, yellow, or black-skinned men in the GOP. Talk about playing the race card AND the gender card! I guess I gave Howard Dean more credit for being smart than he deserved. I was a Dem until I heard this comment. Now I'm voting GOP just to spite him.

    August 16, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  8. aware

    Race has been the name of the game for Obama and the Democrats from square one!

    Too bad the obfuscating Obama is not really interested in helping the very people who give him 90% plus of their votes. He is just interested in Obama!

    Former Democrat for McCain 08! 🙂

    August 16, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  9. Tom

    Jeez...and I thought Obama was the only one who got in trouble when he opened his mouth!

    Dean would be the perfect running mate for B.O.

    August 16, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. The T

    Howard Dean just spoke the truth...Why we keep trying to say that race and gander don't matter when it does...Ms. Fiorina just two weeks ago was out trying to get the woman votes, why were she doing it, because it matters...And I agree, the face of the Rep party is white, it's a fact.

    August 16, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  11. Anonymous


    August 16, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  12. Tess

    This is absolutely sickening, pitting races against each other in the name of political campaigning. Is they how to "unite"? Is this how to reach out to Independents? People ought to be calling for Dean's resignation. Can you just imagine if someone on McCain's staff had said the reverse?

    August 16, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. Monte Brown

    If you are a white Democrat and you should vote for McCain simply because he is white, that is good. Your vote is your right and you can vote for whomever you want. You don't have to answer to anyone. Black people voted for Obama because he is black, and they even joined the choir of haters, liars, demagogues and sexist white men. Our society accepts sexism more than racism and in my opinion sexism is more undignifying and uglier than racism. I am a black man and I voted for Hillary. In November I will vote for John McCain and I hope he wins.

    The hypocrites in the Democratic Party will learn a very valuable lesson when Obama punts the ball back to the Republicans: you can't call people haters then turn around and reciprocate the same hatred.

    August 16, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  14. Gene

    The question is... is his comment statistically true? Because quite honestly... the vision that comes to me when I think republican is primarely Older, White, Male.

    Of course there are exception... Condi Rice, Bobby Jindal to name a couple. But... statistically, I'm pretty sure Dean is right. Just because it's not politically correct to say something doesn't mean it shouldn't be said, especially if it's a statistical fact.

    August 16, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  15. RMH

    As they have said this is the Democrats election to lose..
    They are trying.

    This long time female Democrat now has second thoughts.
    Just what is the DNC trying to do to the Party this year?

    August 16, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. former democrat

    It's obvious that Dean propelled Obama to the nomination at all costs so he could boast color in the democratic party. He is the worst Chairman the party has ever had, and will need a big towel in November to wipe the egg off his face.

    August 16, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  17. Josie Everett

    Oh, come on-where's that sense of humor they're always talking about. Big deal -a slip up. McBush, slips up all the time and can't hear either!

    August 16, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  18. Walt

    LOL, the comments were extremely inappropriate. But, let's be honest, the Republican Party is rather white...

    August 16, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  19. Patrick Peavy Plano,TX

    It's sad that the Democratic party aren't as tolerant as they like to seem.

    August 16, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  20. Sam

    It's not about who is best for the country, it's about color and gender by Dean's standard? How then is it Dean, a "white person" holds the Chairmans position?

    This is what the Democratic Paty has become? How sad..

    August 16, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  21. Joyce in Florida

    As we have seen from Howard Dean's previous actions during the primary season, this should not come as a surprise. He started this whole divisiveness process within the Democratic Party. Then others followed suit and the story continues..........

    August 16, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  22. CNN loves McCain

    The GOP IS the white party.

    August 16, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  23. JfromNC

    The truth hurts!

    August 16, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  24. Jeffer -N.M.

    Wow. I don't know how any Republican could say that without looking above for the coming lightning bolt.

    August 16, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  25. Chicago Jim

    Oh please, the Rethuglican (OOPS!, I can't spell well) Party lately has been lily-white and it's no secret. It's just the elephant (OOPS, a pun) in the room that noone talks about! Howard Dean is only speaking the truth. I love the Democrats' diversity, but I'm still sceptical of the claims each party makes.

    August 16, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
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