She declined to comment on the apology request or on whether Democrats should ask Mr. Dean to apologize.
This week in San Francisco, Mr. Dean — who has faced some recent criticism for his harsh statements about the Republican Party — said Republicans are “a pretty monolithic party. They all behave the same. They all look the same. It’s pretty much a white Christian party.”
Last week, Mr. Dean said Republicans had “never made an honest living in their lives.” He later clarified his statement to indicate he was talking about Republican leaders.
“The Democrats can dish it out but they sure can’t take it,” Mr. Zak said of Democrats’ silence over Mr. Dean’s comments while calling for Mr. Steele to apologize.
Mr. Zak said Mr. Leirman’s letter “slammed together disparate quotes … to portray me as a racist.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Walker said Mr. Dean’s comments were not “divisive and deceitful hate speech,” though he did not personally back the party leader’s views. He declined to say whether the Maryland Democratic Party supports Mr. Dean’s remarks.
“I think the point Howard Dean is trying to make is that the Democratic Party has a large tent, so to speak, and that we are a more diverse party,” Mr. Walker said.
Other Democrats, including Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, also have admonished Mr. Dean for his remarks and distanced themselves from them.
Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan declined to comment on the state party’s apology request. Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley did not return calls seeking comment.
Both are likely Democratic contenders in the governor’s race next year.
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