Ex-DNC official: I’m ‘neutral’ in Wasserman Schultz’s race
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Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardRepublicans call on DOJ to investigate Netflix over 'Cuties' film Hispanic Caucus campaign arm endorses slate of non-Hispanic candidates Gabbard says she 'was not invited to participate in any way' in Democratic convention MORE (D-Hawaii) is not endorsing either Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz or Tim Canova in Florida's 23rd Congressional District Democratic primary.

“I’m staying neutral in that race,” Gabbard, a former vice chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), said on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”


Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Sanders tells Maher 'there will be a number of plans' to remove Trump if he loses Sirota reacts to report of harassment, doxing by Harris supporters MORE (I-Vt.) endorsed Canova last weekend amid growing tension between his presidential campaign and the DNC.

“Well, clearly, I favor her opponent,” he said on Sunday when asked about Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chairwoman. "[Canova’s] views are much closer to mine than Wasserman Schultz’s.”

Gabbard on Tuesday said Sanders’s decision is not unusual, arguing that the independent Vermont senator often backs progressive political candidates.

“I think Bernie’s endorsed a few different candidates who are running for Congress,” said Gabbard, who is backing Sanders’s Oval Office bid. "People who reflect the values and ideas that he has raised in his campaign."

“I have not made that endorsement,” she added of supporting Canova. "I haven’t met him yet.”

Canova’s campaign on Monday announced it had raised more than $250,000 after receiving Sanders’s blessing.

“Like Bernie, we are running a campaign that is funded by working Americans, not corporations or wealthy elites,” Canova said in a statement. "I am proud to have his endorsement and support in our campaign.

“Together, we are building a coalition of nurses, teachers, students, seniors and more who overwhelmingly believe that our political and economic systems are rigged in favor of the billionaire class and establishment politicians like Wasserman Schultz.”

Wasserman Schultz last weekend said she is remaining impartial in the Democratic presidential nominating contest between Sanders and front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Trump furor stokes fears of unrest Bloomberg rolls out M ad buy to boost Biden in Florida Hillicon Valley: Productivity, fatigue, cybersecurity emerge as top concerns amid pandemic | Facebook critics launch alternative oversight board | Google to temporarily bar election ads after polls close MORE.

“Even though Senator Sanders has endorsed my opponent, I remain, as I have been from the beginning, neutral in the presidential Democratic primary,” she said in a statement. "I look forward to working with him for Democratic victories in the fall.”

Gabbard stepped down from her position with the DNC in February so she could publicly back Sanders.

Clinton remains the Democratic presidential front-runner nationwide, boasting 1,768 delegates and superdelegates to Sanders’s 1,497, out of at least 2,382 needed to avoid a contested convention.