Howard Dean Accidentally Calls the Republican Party the “White” Party

By Dotcomabc

Aug 16, 2008 12:20pm

In an interview with National Public Radio on Friday, Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, referred to the Republican Party as the white party, seemingly accidental.

"If you look at folks of color, even women, they’re more successful in the Democratic Party than they are in the white, uh, excuse me, in the Republican Party," Dean said, chuckling, "because we just give more opportunity to folks who are hard-working people who are immigrants and come from members of minority groups."

Listen to it HERE.

The GOP jumped on the comments. "Howard Dean’s comments on race and gender today are disappointing and wrong," said Republican National Committee chairman Mike Duncan in a statement. "His efforts to divide Americans are an insult to all our nation’s citizens and have absolutely no place in the national dialogue."

Journalist Mike Kinsley’s aphorism about a gaffe being when a politician accidentally tells the truth — the truth as Dean sees it, at least — comes to mind.

- jpt

UPDATE: DNC spox Stacie Paxton notes that Chairman Dean "misspoke and corrected himself immediately.”  She also provides the full exchange:

NPR: Another bit of news that caught our eyes this week, the U.S. Census Department released a report projecting that whites will become a minority in the US by the year 2042, that’s about 8 years earlier than expected. How do you think it would affect your approach to building the Democratic Party? You famously declared that Democrats should pursue voters who had confederate flags in their cars, meaning that Democrats should continue to court culturally conservative southern whites.  Do these new numbers suggest that perhaps that strategy doesn’t really make sense? 

Dean: I think we should court all voters and we haven’t courted Southern conservative working class folks and we need to do that. But you know our Party has been a no majority party for a long time. The fact is that the Democratic Party is made up of lots of different people and we’re all minorities in our party. That’s the way it’s been for a long, long time. We’re the party of opportunity. The demographic trends favor the Democrats because we are an inclusive, accepting party. And if you look at folks of color, even women, they’re more successful in the Democratic Party than they are in the white, excuse me, than in the Republican Party because we just give more opportunity to folks who are hardworking people who are immigrants and come from members of minority groups.   

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