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Dean: Obama, Clinton camps told to cool rhetoric

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  • Democratic Party chief predicts Michigan, Florida delegates will be seated
  • Howard Dean: Nomination process has worked "better than we have in the past"
  • Dean vows one of two Democrats will "end up being president of the United States"
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(CNN) -- Democratic Party chief Howard Dean said Friday that the party leadership has had "extensive discussions" with the campaigns of Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to cool down their rhetoric.

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Democratic Party chief Howard Dean says his party will not "implode" during the primary season.

In an interview with CNN, Dean denied his party's presidential nomination process was "a mess" despite the close, bitter battle between the two Democratic presidential candidates.

The chairman of the Democratic National Committee also said he's convinced delegates from Florida and Michigan ultimately will be seated at the national convention in August.

The DNC stripped the two states of all convention delegates after they moved up their primaries ahead of the party's approved dates.

"I don't think the party is going to implode," Dean said, writing off the most dire predictions about how this race might ultimately affect Democrats. Video Watch as Dean addresses concerns about the party »

Dean was asked to respond to remarks by Sen. Bill Nelson, the Florida Democrat who told CNN on Friday, "If ever we've had an example of a mess, it's this one, and I don't think there's anybody in America that is satisfied with this presidential nominating process." Video Watch as Nelson urges an overhaul of the electoral system »

"It's not a mess. It's actually done much better than we have in the past," Dean said. "Look, people are so excited in places like Texas and Ohio and Pennsylvania and North Carolina, where they've never had a chance in 30 years to say who they want for president."

In earlier election years, the party's nominee already had captured the nomination before those states voted.

"We've had African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian-Americans, for the first time, participate in an early presidential state that mattered," Dean added.

Some Democrats have said they're concerned that Michigan and Florida being left out of the process ultimately could leave Democratic voters in those states less interested in turning out for the general election in the fall.

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"I think the delegates are eventually going to be seated in Florida and Michigan, as soon as we get an agreement among the candidates how to do that," Dean said.

"The truth is we've had a great campaign season. Yes, it's tough between these two great candidates, but one is going to end up being president of the United States." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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