Hillary Clinton probably wishes Howard Dean would stick to messing up his own presidential campaigns.
Clinton received high marks for her debate performance Monday, but Dean — the former Vermont governor and vanquished Democratic presidential contender — offered some unhelpful help from the sidelines. Noting Trump’s sniffing throughout the debate, he tweeted:
“Notice Trump sniffing all the time. Coke user?”
Notice Trump sniffing all the time. Coke user?
— Howard Dean (@GovHowardDean) September 27, 2016
Even people on Clinton’s side noted that lowering the level of discourse — lower than Trump has already lowered it — probably wouldn’t help anyone, including Clinton. It hands ammunition to Republicans looking to prove that Democrats are fighting dirty, too.
Clinton’s debate performance didn’t give critics much to work with: She avoided getting in the muck with Trump, for the most part, and kept her temper in check despite his insults and interruptions. Trump messed up by saying she had fought ISIS her entire adult life — an impossibility. He lied about his past stance on global warming. Clinton made no similar unforced errors.
And then Dean — he of the famous scream gaffe during the 2004 Democratic primaries — decided to weigh in with a baseless and silly personal attack.
Clinton’s campaign can’t even claim that Dean is some weirdo far outside the party’s mainstream, because he’s the former chair of the Democratic National Committee. As he helpfully points out in his Twitter bio.
Twitter was not pleased with the governor, as the tweets below illustrate:
@GovHowardDean this is the most educated tweet you can form? Do you take this election seriously? There's a problem here
— Spencer Mattix (@SpencerMattix) September 27, 2016
@GovHowardDean notice your teeth are very yellow. Crack user?
— will ???? (@willygetsilly) September 27, 2016
@GovHowardDean Not a Trump supporter but do you have evidence for this Governor or is this just a Clinton/Brock/Dean smear?
— pmcall (@pmcall) September 27, 2016