Video: Howard Dean admits labor unions are "Super PACs that Democrats like"

Does this qualify as a “gaffe” when defined in classic Washington terms?

Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean sat down with Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC to talk about the New Hampshire primary and seems to have lost control of his better partisan senses for a moment. Mitchell was quizzing him about all the money that Hillary Clinton has taken from special interest groups though her Super PACs and her paid speaking engagements, relating these bits of history to recent attacks coming from Bernie Sanders’ campaign. Dean is one of Clinton’s most vocal (and frequently incomprehensible) supporters and he didn’t take kindly to the suggestion. (From David Rutz at the Washington Free Beacon)

Hillary Clinton supporter Howard Dean called labor unions “super PACs that Democrats like” during an interview Friday where he angrily defended Clinton from he called a “double standard” about big money in politics.

The question of Wall Street’s hold over Clinton, given the high-cost speeches she has given to the financial industry, has been a divisive issue in the campaign, and MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell brought it up during their interview in New Hampshire.

“Was it a mistake politically to show herself to be so closely tied financially to the Wall Street interests?” Mitchell asked.

Rather than defending Clinton against the Sanders broadsides, Dean makes the classic mistake of failing to say Clinton did nothing wrong, but rather saying that Sanders was just as bad. His example, as you’ll see below, confirms everything conservatives have known about labor unions for as long as I can remember.

Let’s go to the video. The specific comments in question come at around the 1:30 mark if you want to skip ahead.

“Why does Hillary Clinton have to put up with a double standard?” Dean said. “I don’t hear anybody asking Bernie Sanders for his transcripts for some speech he made with a labor union. Frankly, for Bernie to say he doesn’t have a super PAC, labor unions are super PACs. Now, they’re super PACs that Democrats like, so we don’t go after labor unions, but this is a double standard.”

You know, Howard, I don’t think you understand what “double standard” really means. That implies that one person is being judged more unfairly than the other. In reality, we’re just agreeing with you and saying that both of them are corrupt and beholden to well funded special interests. Oh, and for the record, Clinton has gotten plenty of endorsements from the labor unions herself. The only reason the subject is notable this year is that Bernie Sanders got some of them also.

Keep this one in your pocket for the general election no matter who winds up getting the Democrat nomination. The labor unions are nothing but massive piggy banks for the Democrat Party and have been for as long as most of us can remember. I’ve never heard of them being referred to as Super PACs before, but Howard Dean has really hit the nail on the head here. Voters should be reminded of this at every opportunity.


Jazz Shaw Jun 22, 2021 6:01 PM ET