He criticized the party for allowing Republicans to control the conversation:
“The Republican message was, ‘We’re not Obama.’ No substance whatsoever. What was the Democrats message? ‘Oh, well we’re really not either.'”
“You cannot win if you are afraid!” He told Todd.
He explained that even when he was chairman of the DNC with his 50 state strategy that took back both houses of Congress and won the presidency, he was not able to keep the Democrats in Washington to “stay on message.”
“You’ve got to stand for something if you want to win,” he said.
Todd asked if the party was in danger of seeing state Democratic parties fall apart to which Dean responded that “we’ve been there before and we know what the solution is.”
“You’ve got to strengthen the state parties. It requires discipline, accountability, but it also requires money to go to the state parties and we have to trust the state parties,” he said.
Watch the conversation in the video below from NBC News.