Dems call for unity as Sanders fuels intraparty fighting
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The Democratic Party is calling for party unity amid heightened tensions between Democratic presidential candidate Bernie SandersBernie SandersGabbard hits DNC over poll criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Keystone XL Pipeline gets nod from Nebraska Supreme Court MORE’s supporters and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairwoman.

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In a Monday tweet, the party said that regardless of whether voters are supporting Sanders or Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe road not taken: Another FBI failure involving the Clintons surfaces DHS cyber agency to prioritize election security, Chinese threats ABC chose a debate moderator who hates Trump MORE, they must stand together to defeat presumptive GOP nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE in the general election.

“Whether you say #ImWithHer or you #FeelTheBern, RT if you agree we must stop Donald Trump this November,” the party tweeted.

 


The call for unity comes after tensions escalated at the recent Nevada Democratic state convention. The Vermont senator’s supporters were largely blamed for the convention chaos where Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerOnly four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Hispanic civil rights icon endorses Harris for president California AG Becerra included in Bloomberg 50 list MORE (D-Calif.) was booed. In the days after, the chairwoman of the Nevada state party received death threats and obscene voicemail messages.

Wasserman Schultz called on Sanders to get his supporters in line. Sanders was defiant and defended them. While he criticized any violence in Nevada, he blamed much of the trouble on the Democratic Party.

That provoked more criticism from Wasserman Schultz, who called Sanders's response "anything but acceptable." 

Sanders and the DNC have had a strained relationship throughout the primary season. He has criticized the party for the number and timing of debates and also the use of superdelegates, who have given Clinton a large lead over him. But the chairwoman has reiterated that she and the DNC have remained neutral in the primary and note that the rules have been in place since before the cycle began.

This weekend, Sanders said he was throwing his support behind Tim Canova's congressional campaign against Wasserman Schultz in Florida's Democratic primary in August. He also said that if elected president, he would effectively terminate Wasserman Schultz as chairwoman of the DNC.

On Monday, The Washington Post reported that Sanders's campaign will choose one-third of the seats on the committee that writes the party’s platform. 

Despite Clinton's delegate lead, Sanders has vowed to remain in the race and keep fighting for delegates. The increased representation on that convention committee will help him shape the party's platform to align with his own progressive politics, such as setting the minimum wage at $15.