Election 2020

Howard Dean Thinks One Declared 2020 Dem Should Never be President

Howard Dean participates in "The Contenders: 16 for 16" panel during the PBS Television Critics Association summer press tour on July 29, 2016, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean says it’s “a very confusing time” in his party headed toward the 2020 presidential election “because you’re seeing a generational shift in the Democratic Party, which is inevitable.”

“There’s a whole new set of rules that are being written. And it’s not just Trump that’s writing them. It’s — more importantly, for the future of the country, it’s the under 30s and under 35s that are rewriting these rules,” he told CNN today. “And that honesty and public rumination is very attractive to people.”

Dean, who unsuccessfully ran for the presidential nomination in 2004, said that, as more and more Dems jump into the 2020 race, “all the people who were writing a year ago and two years ago that the Democrats had no bench are now — should be embarrassed, although I’m sure they’re not.”

“It’s going to be a very lively season,” he said. “I think the DNC has already anticipated this by scheduling early debates and multiple debates so you don’t have the spectacle of 17 people on one stage.”

In December, the DNC announced a dozen primary debates, with half in 2019 and half in 2020.

“I’m interested in a younger, newer candidate. But, you know, I’m going to support whoever we nominate,” Dean said.

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) benefited from weathering “the second toughest race in the country” — his unsuccessful bid to topple Sen. Ted Cruz (D-Texas) — and is “a little like Obama in the sense that he has enormous personal charisma and ability to organize from all over the country,” but has to consider his three small children in his decision, Dean advised.

The former chairman said that “Joe Biden is a good guy and people like Joe Biden a lot,” but “he’s run before and hasn’t been able to win.”

“You know, maybe he will this time. I don’t know. I mean I’m really not going to take sides in this. There are no candidates, with one exception, that I really don’t think should be president,” he added. “Tulsi Gabbard. I don’t think she knows what she’s doing and I don’t think she should be — is qualified, and she’s not qualified.”

Dean based that assessment of the Hawaii congresswoman on “her dalliances with Assad, her statements about gay people.”