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 SandersWarren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack trillion tax hike the opposite of 'good investment' Progressive groups call for Puerto Rico Fiscal Control Board to be abolished 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 BidenOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Democrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Democrats advance tax plan through hurdles 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 ClintonPennsylvania GOP authorizes subpoenas in election probe We must mount an all-country response to help our Afghan allies Biden nominates ex-State Department official as Export-Import Bank leader MORE, would be out. Biden is 75 and Sanders is 76.
"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 MurphyTell our troops: 'Your sacrifice wasn't in vain' Sunday shows preview: Bombing in Kabul delivers blow to evacuation effort; US orders strikes on ISIS-K White House seeks to regain control on Afghanistan MORE (D-Conn.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisLive coverage: California voters to decide Newsom's fate Florida woman faces five years in prison for threatening to kill Harris Australia's COVID overreaction could come to US MORE (D-Calif.), and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandHochul tells Facebook to 'clean up the act' on abortion misinformation after Texas law Democratic senators request probe into Amazon's treatment of pregnant employees The FBI comes up empty-handed in its search for a Jan. 6 plot 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 TrumpFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right 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.