He didn’t let go with a rebel yell like he did in 2004 when he was the Democratic outsider candidate looking to shake up the world, but in Ohio’s capital city Thursday, former Vermont Governor and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Dr. Howard Dean, did let go with a blistering attack on Donald Trump, the Republican presidential primary winner who’s expected to leave Cleveland next week with the GOP nomination in-hand.

At a presser event held at a phone banking event near downtown with former Democratic Governor of Ohio Ted Strickland, Dr. Dean didn’t hold back his high-profile fire on Donald Trump, a candidate he labeled “lunatic” and “insane” who shouldn’t be elected president this fall.

Howard Dean spoke to reporters today, describing this election as one about money. “You can’t trust Republicans with your wallets, because they run up enormous deficits, they cut taxes for wealthy people and raise yours, they take your jobs and send them to Mexico.”

One day after new polling by Quinnipiac University showed Ted Strickland trailing Sen. Portman by seven points after once leading him, Dr. Dean said, “You can’t afford to have Rob Portman represent you in Ohio unless you want to lose your job.” Meanwhile, other polls show the race much tighter.

Sen. Portman, elected in the Tea Party wave election of 2010, was whipped by Dean for supporting the privatization of Social Security when Mr. Portman worked for President George W. Bush. On that topic, Dr. Dean called out Rob Portman as someone who is no friend of people who need Social Security, since he tried to privatize it, and attacked Medicare.

“After working, you’ll be dependent on Social Security and your pension,” he said, noting that “Sen. Portman is no friend of unions, and if you’re in union and your pension is protected because you’re in a union, you ought not to be voting for Sen portman. “This state had a tough time and it’s not going to get any better by hiring people as a U.S. Senator who work against the people of O,” he said to applause and cheers from Strickland volunteers.

Dr. Dean said this election isn’t about ideology but about what’s good for working people of Ohio. He cited familiar Strickland talking points about Rob Portman voting to give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires. “We don’t need that. We need help for average working people, we need decent schools and opportunities to send kids to college and not have to pay big loan companies,” he said, calling for those loans to be negotiable which at the present time they are not.

About $32 million in attack ads against Ted Strickland in the past weeks have come from big banking corporations and “the biggest, richest people and richest corporation in America.” For Dr. Dean, that proof enough that Rob Portman is “bought and paid for.”

While Howard Dean was in full attack mode against Trump today, he actually had a kind word for Ohio’s lame duck governor, John Kasich. “I disagree with Kasich on a large number of issues, but one thing I do not disagree with him on is that supporting a lunatic for president is not a good idea.” Dean said, adding, “Gov. Kasich has the ‘guts to stand up to a guy not capable of being president.'”

He said lots of people are mad at Washington, including him. “But that doesn’t mean you have to elect a crazy person. Trump is a serial liar, he’s a dangerous guy,” Dr. Dean said, going as far to suggest Trump  as president would “get us into a war.” He cited the example of Trump’s comments Japan and South Korea as nuclear zones.

“Is this guy insane, I actually think he is insane,” Dean said with characteristic energy.

Dr. Dean thinks a responsible, thoughtful person should be president, not a lunatic. That presidential person, for the former DNC Chairman would be Hillary Clinton.

Dr. Dean withheld any psychological analysis on Rob Portman, but did say Ohio needs a senator “who’s going to stand up for the people of Ohio, and not for the fat cats in the Republican Party who support Donald Trump. Rob Portman is on the wrong side of the issues for Ohio.”

Ted Strickland has lashed Sen. Portman to Donald Trump for endorsing the New York billionaire and businessman folk hero while simultaneously having nothing to do with the nominee. In remarks prepared for the occasion, Team Strickland said Portman isn’t following Gov. Kasich’s script on Trump that the reality TV show star needs to undergo a major overhaul before any endorsement can even be considered.

“Senator Portman has gone all in for Donald Trump – and during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland there will be no rock that Portman can hide under to avoid answering for his endorsement of the most toxic and divisive presidential nominee in modern history,” Strickland said. “Portman is backing Trump because they share the same agenda — pushing the interests of the rich, the powerful and the well-connected at the expense of Ohioans who actually work for a living. The truth is that if Portman can’t stand up to Donald Trump, there’s no way hardworking Ohioans can trust him to stand up for us in the Senate.”

Watch the presser video [10m.10s] to hear what Ted Strickland had to say today.

 

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