Presidential races

DNC chairwoman chides Sanders

Bernie Sanders, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC

Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz chided Bernie Sanders on Tuesday night, saying his response to chaos at the Nevada Democratic convention over the weekend was unacceptable.

“Unfortunately, the senator’s response was anything but acceptable. It certainly did not condemn his supporters for acting violently or engaging in intimidation tactics and added more fuel to the fire,” Wasserman Schultz said on CNN.

{mosads}“The Sanders campaign and Sen. Sanders himself should outright condemn that specific conduct but they also need to take steps to prevent it and make sure their supporters understand the best way to express any frustration over process is to be orderly, not respond with violence and intimidation,” she added. “That needs to be unequivocally condemned, and unfortunately it has not been unequivocally condemned.”

Tensions between the Sanders campaign and the national party burst into the open on Tuesday after mayhem in Las Vegas over the weekend.

Front-runner Hillary Clinton won more support in the state’s caucuses in February, but Sanders supporters packed the party convention hoping to win their candidate a few more delegates.

But they say their efforts were thwarted by the state party and accuse local Democratic officials of rigging the convention in Clinton’s favor.

The accusations prompted an ugly scene that played out on the floor of the convention, with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) booed off stage and Democrats flipping chairs and refusing to leave.

The events took another dark turn on Tuesday, when Nevada Democratic Chairwoman Roberta Lange released audio of threatening and obscene voicemails she’s received.

The Sanders campaign denies stoking violence at the convention and says it can’t be held responsible for fringe figures making wild threats. 

Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver rebuked those who have made the obscene phone calls and said the scene in Nevada was an “aberration” and “anomalous” compared to what has happened at every other state convention held so far.

But he also blamed the state party, accusing it of circumventing normal order to allow for Clinton to boost her delegate count.

Wasserman Schultz lashed out at Weaver over those claims on Tuesday night.

“The DNC remains neutral in this primary based on our rules, but when I heard what happened at the Nevada state Democratic convention this weekend I was deeply disturbed,” she said. “Regardless of any campaign or candidate’s frustration over process, there should never be a ‘but’ when it comes to condemning violence and intimidation.”

Wasserman Schultz was also angered by Sanders’s official statement to the controversy. 

He disputed the notion that his supporters are responsible for violence and doubled down on the notion that his campaign had been railroaded by Clinton supporters in Nevada.

Wasserman Schultz, who has clashed with the Sanders campaign in the past, said she had not been in contact with Sanders or his campaign. She said the two have communicated through “senior staff.”

Tags Barbara Boxer Bernie Sanders Hillary Clinton
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