Howard Dean: Obamacare Ruined Democrats' Chance to Win House

Image: Howard Dean: Obamacare Ruined Democrats' Chance to Win House

Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 09:10 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Democrats could have won back the House this fall if it wasn't for the botched Obamacare rollout last October, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean says, but now the battle is "a struggle" for his party.

"We would have won the House had the website not collapsed," Dean, a onetime Democratic National Committee chairman, told The Washington Post on Tuesday. However, he does believe Democrats will retain its control of the Senate in this year's midterm elections.

The HealthCare.gov website's flawed rollout took away momentum Democrats had last fall, Dean said, because "we had [Republicans] on the run after the government shutdown."

On the same day the website went public Oct. 1, the U.S. government partially shut down for the first time in 17 years, as a standoff between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans over healthcare reforms closed museums and national parks and slowed everything from trade negotiations to medical research.

Meanwhile, Dean, who ran for president in 2004, told The Post he supports the idea of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton running for the presidency in 2016.

Earlier this year, Dean said he expects Clinton to face a challenge in the primary election, despite her early standing as a front-runner among all potential candidates, Democrat or Republican.

Dean said he is not planning to run again, especially "as long as Hillary's in."

Dean spoke to the The Post on Tuesday while in Arlington to campaign for former Virginia Lt. Gov. Don Beyer's campaign for the House seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Rep. James Moran. In 2004, Beyer served as Dean's presidential campaign treasurer.

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