Howard Dean: Older Dems need 'to get the hell out of the way' in 2020

Howard Dean says older members of the Democratic Party need "to get the hell out of the way and have somebody who is 50 running the country."

"I don't think [Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersKamala Harris receives new Iowa endorsements after debate performance Wasserman Schultz makes bid for House Appropriations Committee gavel Overnight Health Care: Crunch time for Congress on surprise medical bills | CDC confirms 47 vaping-related deaths | Massachusetts passes flavored tobacco, vaping products ban MORE] is going to be the next nominee. But he could be. But I'm very much for somebody who is younger," said Dean, a former Democratic National Committee chairman and MSNBC contributor on "Morning Joe" Thursday.

"Morning Joe" guest co-host Willie Geist noted that meant big party names such as former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenKamala Harris receives new Iowa endorsements after debate performance Watergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Deal on defense bill proves elusive | Hill, Holmes offer damaging testimony | Trump vows to block Navy from ousting officer from SEALs MORE, who has hinted at running, as well as Sanders, who has strong grassroots support from the party's left after his run against Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocratic strategist laments 'low bar' for Biden debate performance Wasserman Schultz makes bid for House Appropriations Committee gavel Trump to hold campaign rally in Pennsylvania next month MORE, would be out. Biden is 75 and Sanders is 76.

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"I think my generation needs to get the hell out of politics. Start coaching and start moving up this next generation who are more ... fiscally sane," Dean continued. "Neither Republicans or Democrats can claim they are fiscally responsible anymore.

“This young generation is going to pay for that if we don’t get the hell out of the way and have somebody who is 50 running the country.”

He also highlighted some potential younger contenders.

"I'm going to support someone who is young and in the next generation," said Dean, naming Sens. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott Murphy2020 hopes rise for gun control groups after Virginia elections Dem senator says Zelensky was 'feeling the pressure' to probe Bidens Lawmakers spar over upcoming Sondland testimony MORE (D-Conn.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisKamala Harris receives new Iowa endorsements after debate performance On The Money: Trump signs short-term spending bill to avoid shutdown | Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 | California high court strikes down law targeting Trump tax returns Democratic strategist laments 'low bar' for Biden debate performance MORE (D-Calif.), and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandBooker hits fundraising threshold for December debate after surge of post-debate donations Maloney primary challenger calls on her to return, donate previous campaign donations from Trump Senate confirms controversial circuit court nominee MORE (D-N.Y.) as well as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the son of former L.A. district attorney Gil Garcetti, as possible contenders.

"I wouldn't be surprised if 17 people run," Dean said.

"Like the Republican primary the last time around," Geist said.

"Hopefully there won't be people in it for the fun of it," Dean added.

"And end up winning it anyway," joked panelist Sam Stein, in a shot at President TrumpDonald John TrumpWatergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump In private moment with Trump, Justice Kennedy pushed for Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: book Obama: 'Everybody needs to chill out' about differences between 2020 candidates MORE.

Dean also said he thinks "progressives are in the process of informally taking over the Democratic party" and that "the country has moved to the left."

Dean, 69, led the field at one point during the 2004 Democratic presidential primary.

His comments come as cable news programs have run segments previewing the upcoming midterm elections and also the 2020 presidential race.