Tags: Barack Obama | Democrats | midterms | Senate races | Howard Dean

Howard Dean: Dems in Midterms Should 'Show Some Backbone'

By    |   Wednesday, 22 October 2014 10:48 AM

Democrats running in the midterm elections need to show some "backbone" and not shy away from President Barack Obama, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Though Obama was not running for re-election, Dean said he was indeed "on the ballot," and that "Republicans have done a great job putting him on the ballot."

"You've got to fight through for who you are and show some backbone, because that's what people want more than anything else in politicians," Dean, also a former Democratic governor of Vermont, said on Wednesday.

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Increasingly, Democratic candidates have been distancing themselves from Obama, whose popularity has fallen in polls. Senate candidates Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky, Sen. Mark Begich in Alaska, Natalie Tennant in West Virginia, and Michelle Nunn in Georgia won't say whether they voted for Obama in previous elections.

Candidates could not allow their races "to be about President Obama," Dean said, and maintained they couldn't get out of that by merely saying, "Oh, the president's not on the ballot."

He predicted Democratic candidates could lose unless they explained their stand on issues.

"I do think it's a mistake to run away from who you are in an election," Dean said. "If we don't win a week from Tuesday, which I think we may still — I'm not giving up on that — but if we don't, it will be because people didn't say who they were."

Dean said Democratic candidates should explain how they differ from Obama's policies, rather than run from the president.

"You can stand up for who you are. And you can say, 'Look, the president has done some things I like and some things I don't like. Here's what I believe.' That's what you've got to do," he said.

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Democrats running in the midterm elections need to show some "backbone" and not shy away from President Barack Obama, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Democrats, midterms, Senate races, Howard Dean
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2014-48-22
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 10:48 AM
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