Washington (CNN) – Former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean said Sunday that President Obama's political advisers are suffering from an inside-the-beltway mentality, but that Democrats will retain majorities in the House and Senate.
"I think the people around the president have really misjudged what goes on elsewhere in the country other than Washington, D.C.," Dean, also the former governor of Vermont, said on CNN's State of the Union. "I don't think this is true of the president, but I do think his people, his political people ought to go out and spend some time outside Washington once in a while."
Dean has, at times, been a voice of dissent within the Democratic Party and has disagreed publicly with the Obama administration on key issues, including health care reform legislation, the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy and, most recently, the construction of an Islamic center and mosque near ground zero.
But despite his criticism of Obama's political team, Dean told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that Democrats could retain control of the House and Senate.
"I'd bet money on the Senate for sure. The House is much tougher, I think at the end of the day, we are going to win in the House, and we are going to have a majority. It'll probably be reduced ... perhaps as small as a five or ten seat majority. We simply have better candidates," Dean said.
With the November midterm elections now just months away, Dean said the time has come for Democrats to put aside their policy differences and focus on electoral success.
"We've got to win this election, and after the election is over we can go back to having our policy fights. But this is about winning. You can't get anything done unless you have a Democratic president, a Democratic Senate and a Democratic House," Dean said.