NEW YORK, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean has reached out to the Democratic national chairman after rebuking him for not stopping attacks by his Democratic rivals.
At the same time, those rivals have seized on Dean's complaints as so much whining, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
The flap started Sunday when Dean publicly knocked DNC head Terry McAuliffe for failing to tone down criticism from other Democratic presidential hopefuls.
On Monday, Dean phoned McAuliffe for a "talk," presumptively to reconcile -- but details were not revealed.
The same day, Dean's opponents simply turned up the heat with even more vigorous criticisms.
"What does Howard do now that he is being substantively challenged about his policies and his judgments and various misstatements and retractions?" Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., asked. "He goes to the Democratic Party leadership and complains we're being mean to him."
Richard Gephardt agreed.
"I didn't scream and yell and say, 'Terry McAuliffe has to save me from these discussions.' That's what you do in elections," Gephardt said.