Former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean said Friday on MSNBC that Barack Obama's return to the political stage would actually help President Donald Trump.
"Morning Joe" earlier interviewed a young guest New York Times op-ed writer, Caroline Randall Williams, about her piece, "President Obama, Where Are You?" Williams showered Obama with praise in the piece, confessed "panic," and expressed a profound need for Obama to speak out against Trump's policies.
"You raised us," she wrote of her generation, referring to Obama.
After she discussed her piece, host Willie Geist turned to Dean and asked if a re-emerged Obama speaking out against Trump would be "helpful."
"From a political point of view, no," Dean said. "You only have one president at a time, and to violate that would actually give Trump a target at which he could carry on—Trump loves to have a convenient whipping person, and that would be—that would be Obama. There is a way to do this, but you have to really thread the needle."
Dean praised Williams' millennial generation but added they "have to make their own way now."
"It's our job to coach. It's our job to lift up. I think the former president is trying to do that, as are a lot of us," Dean said. "I'm hoping the next presidential candidate is under 50, at least under 55 in our party. We have got to transfer this over to the next generation."
He said Trump's election was the millennial generation's "Edmund Pettus Bridge," referring to the civil rights landmark in Selma, Ala.
"They're going to have to fight through this by themselves," Dean said. "Obama can't do it. He is not the president anymore. You only have one president at a time, and I think if he gets into this big-time, he makes it easier for Trump, not harder."
Obama has issued public statements in defense of Obamacare and the Paris climate change agreement; the former the Republicans have failed to repeal and the latter Trump withdrew from in June.