I think the fact we've got somebody like Mr. Rubio running, who has this really amazing story, quite honestly, who's Cuban American, has come up from – basically in the classic American tradition – of coming up from very humble means to be a leader in his state, shows that we've got a pretty broad tent and we have a lot of diversity and a lot of good people running for office.
Here is a full transcript of Hall's exchange with Dean about the race:
TAMRON HALL: Well, Florida Governor Charlie Crist will make it official this afternoon, or is expected to make it official at 5PM Eastern Time that he's going to run for U.S. Senate as an independent. Now this comes – would become a three-way race with Democrat Kendrick Meek, Marco Rubio, and Charlie Crist. And for more on that and some of the other top political news of the day, I say it like you're a correspondent now, of course, we know former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, he also served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. I love that being a possible segment Governor Dean, you coming on and talking about the top political news of the day. But you're making news with Charlie Crist. There is a story online that's being picked up by conservative blogs that you offered to contribute to Charlie Crist's campaign if he left the Republican Party. What happened there?
HOWARD DEAN: That was a joke between me and Joe Scarborough which some enterprising staffer for Crist picked up and pushed it around. It's not true. I'm supporting Kendrick Meek, as you would expect. It's a very interesting race, though, because I actually think that the two big winners out of this are the United States, who are hopefully going to get a real senator instead of a far-right person, and I do think, of course, it helps the Democratic Party and Kendrick's candidacy as well. So this is going to be a hot three-way race, and I think any of the three of them could win it.
HALL: What does this say about – and I do want to talk about the impact this could have on Kendrick Meek – but I want to get your thoughts on what this means for the Republican Party. Is this a sign that people, perhaps centrists or moderates, like Charlie Crist, have no place in this new emerging Republican Party?
DEAN: Well, it's a really interesting question because we're going to be asking ourselves this question a lot over the next several months. And we've already been asking it. What effect does the tea party have on the Republican Party? And this is a really good example. They've driven another moderate out of the Republican Party. Charlie Crist is the kind of republican we badly need in the United States Senate so we can actually get something done there and not have this nonsense of filibustering the finance reform bill and all this kind of thing that's going on. And yet the Republicans actually pushed him out of the race is what they did. You had all manner of people endorsing Rubio, who used to be thought of as mainstream Republicans. And there just apparently is no place in the Republican Party for moderate, thoughtful people anymore. So Charlie Crist runs as an independent. You now have a hot three-way race that could be won by Kendrick Meek, or Charlie Crist, or Rubio.
HALL: Well, Politico is already predicting that this is going to be a very ugly race, that, in their words, 'it's going to get personal.'