Howard Dean: Progressives Who Criticize Kamala Harris Are Part of the 'Whiny Party'

August 7, 2017

Former Vermont Gov. and Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean on Saturday morning criticized what he referred to as the "whiny" section of the Democratic Party.

Dean, who ran for president in 2004, made his accusations during an appearance on MSNBC in response to progressives who are denouncing the possibility of Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) running for president in 2020.

"There has always been a section of the left, which I call the 'whiny party'—the party that doesn't really want to win, they just want to be pure—and if they go down swinging purely, then that's fine," Dean told host Joy Reid on "AM Joy." "Well the problem with that is it leaves behind people who really need their help."

These comments followed two different articles, one from Mic and one from the Week, which both discussed why supporters of former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) have concerns over presidential hopefuls.

Dean says that those who have criticism of hopefuls Harris, Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.), and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D.) are "basically turning their back on the very people they pretend to represent."

Dean said the "whiny party" has to join the rest of the Democratic Party to accomplish any agenda.

"If we're going to have a single-payer, or Medicare-for-all, or whatever we're going to have in health care that covers every American as every other industrialized country have, then we all have to pull together," Dean said.

He blamed much of the party's divide on the media.

"Look, a lot of this is a media creation," Dean said referring in part to the two aforementioned articles. "The media sees conflict and creates this to-do. There are not a lot of people that feel the way that you all described about Kamala Harris."

The former DNC chair said that they need to get a "life" and "pull together" so they can get things done.

"[We] have to do what's right for the country instead of having these silly fights among ourselves," Dean said. "Which I have to say, are perpetrated in part by the media."