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 SandersSanders to call on 2020 Democrats to reject money from drug, health insurance industries The hidden connection between immigration and health care: Our long-term care crisis Harris tops Biden in California 2020 poll 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 BidenHouse unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Sanders to call on 2020 Democrats to reject money from drug, health insurance industries Harris tops Biden in California 2020 poll 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 ClintonTrump thanks 'vicious young Socialist Congresswomen' for his poll numbers Will Trump's racist tweets backfire? Democrats fret over Trump cash machine 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 MurphyDemocratic Sen. Chris Murphy announces book on gun violence Lawmakers join Nats Park fundraiser for DC kids charity Democrats look to demonize GOP leader MORE (D-Conn.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris tops Biden in California 2020 poll The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Democrats fret over Trump cash machine MORE (D-Calif.), and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet 'Game of Thrones' scores record-breaking 32 Emmy nominations The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet 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 TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist 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.