Local News

Dean enters Twitter flame war with Sanders supporters

By Mark Johnson, VTDigger.org

In an Internet war of words over the weekend, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean defended his decision to vote for Hillary Clinton when he goes to the Democratic National Convention in July.

Dean, a superdelegate, aggressively pushed back against critics who said he should support Sen. Bernie Sanders after his landslide win in the Vermont primary.

Dean took heat for not representing the will of Vermont voters and being a “sellout” to the Democratic Party establishment. Critics said his decision to support Clinton in spite of the overwhelming Vermont vote was “arrogant” and “shameful.”

Sanders won the Vermont primary over Clinton 86 to 14 percent. He won all 16 pledged delegates, but half of the 10 superdelegates said they’re supporting Clinton. Superdelegates, party officials and members of Congress, can vote however they choose when they go to the convention.

One critic said: “You continue to bury what little reputation you had left with the Progressives.” Another said Dean “represented an elitist club whose days are numbered.”

The back-and-forth on Twitter was triggered Saturday when Dean responded to a follower who said his decision to support Clinton did not “represent the people.”

“Super delegates don’t ‘represent people.’ I’m not elected by anyone. I’ll do what I think is right for the country,” Dean tweeted. Dean’s answer set off a firestorm and was retweeted more than 550 times.

In later responses, Dean said he was supporting Clinton because she is “smart, fact-based, and can run the country well.”

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