Howard Dean: Sanders 'Not A Fringe Candidate'
Former Gov. Howard Dean says Sen. Bernie Sanders is a strong presidential candidate.
Dean, who has already endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, says he told the Clinton campaign not to underestimate Sanders' strength in the Democratic presidential primary race.
Dean has some practical experience in Democratic presidential politics. In 2004, he was viewed as one of the front runners until his campaign fell apart in the Iowa caucuses.
Dean says Sanders has a lifelong message of supporting economic equality issues and that he's well suited to bring these issues to the presidential campaign.
“It turns out that economic justice is probably the largest domestic issue that we're facing right now,” he says. “Underlined by the riots in Baltimore, underlined by the polls, which tell us that 80 percent of the American people don't think the economy is working for them anymore, and so Bernie's sort of in the right place at the right time."
Dean says having Sanders in the Democratic presidential debates ensures that these economic issues will be discussed. “You have to confront the issue of income inequality if Bernie Sanders is up there. He's a good debater. He doesn't get personal and make personal attacks. He sticks to the issues. I have counseled the Clinton folks to take him very seriously," says the former governor.
"You have to confront the issue of income inequality if Bernie Sanders is up there. He's a good debater. He doesn't get personal and make personal attacks. He sticks to the issues. I have counseled the Clinton folks to take him very seriously." - Former Gov. Howard Dean
Sanders hopes to raise between $40 and $50 million in the next eight months. In the first week, he raised more than $2 million from 35,000 people. Dean thinks Sanders will have enough money to be a competitive candidate. "I think he can raise it and I would not write him off. He is not a fringe candidate," he says.
A recent Iowa poll showed Hillary Clinton with a huge lead and Sanders in second place well ahead of several other potential candidates.