Sanders asks supporters not to boo, protest during convention
© Greg Nash

PHILADELPHIA — Bernie SandersBernie SandersGabbard moves to New Hampshire ahead of primary Sanders to join youth climate strikers in Iowa Saagar Enjeti unpacks why Kamala Harris's campaign didn't work MORE is urging his supporters to back his push for party unity behind Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThree legal scholars say Trump should be impeached; one thinks otherwise Report: Barr attorney can't provide evidence Trump was set up by DOJ Jayapal pushes back on Gaetz's questioning of impeachment witness donations to Democrats MORE — but it’s not clear his supporters are listening.

The Vermont senator sent an email to his supporters Monday afternoon asking, as a “personal courtesy to me,” that they not protest or demonstrate on the floor of the Democratic National Convention.


“Our credibility as a movement will be damaged by booing, turning of backs, walking out or other similar displays,” he wrote in the email. “That’s what corporate media wants. That’s what [GOP presidential nominee] Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpStates slashed 4,400 environmental agency jobs in past decade: study Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Iran building hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq: report MORE wants.”

The request comes as Sanders supporters have captured headlines Monday for overtaking the first day of the Democratic convention in the wake of leaked emails showing Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman staff scheming to undermine Sanders's presidential campaign.

Delegates heckled DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz at morning events, and loudly booed Sanders when he called on them to back Clinton and Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael Kaine'Granite Express' flight to take staffers, journalists to NH after Iowa caucuses Overnight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Senate panel approves Trump FDA pick | Biden downplays Dem enthusiasm around 'Medicare for All' | Trump officials unveil program for free HIV prevention drugs for uninsured Trump's FDA nominee approved by Senate panel MORE (D-Va.) during a delegate meeting on Monday afternoon.

And as the convention gaveled in, Sanders supporters loudly booed mentions of Clinton's name and chanted for Sanders, overtaking several speeches, including an invocation by a reverend. 

Delegates signaled in Philadelphia that while Sanders is backing Clinton, they aren't ready to follow him after a hard-fought primary battle. 

"Ultimately we have our roles as activists, as delegates, and so forth," said Norman Solomon, a delegate and national coordinator for the Bernie Delegates Network. 

The group — which encompasses nearly two-thirds of Sanders delegates — is actively looking for a candidate to challenge Sen. Tim Kaine, Clinton's vice presidential pick, and discussing possible protests on the floor. 

Solomon said Sanders led a "tremendous campaign" and the group would consider any advice for him or the campaign, but stressed that their organization is an independent group. 

Monica DePaul, a Florida delegate and supporter, said many Sanders supporters were "disappointed" that he used a meeting with delegates to reiterate his endorsement of Clinton and Kaine. 

"It's pretty strategically unlikely that we're going to replace her as the nominee," she said. "[But] I mean we could try, and I plan to try my damnedest to." 

She floated kicking Kaine off the ticket and replacing him with Sanders. 

Sanders is scheduled to speak on Monday evening at the convention, where he'll reiterate his support for Clinton and lay out gains made during his progressive presidential campaign. He was originally scheduled to appear before first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama to donate 0K to Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund Julia Roberts, Michelle Obama traveling to Southeast Asia for Girls Opportunity Alliance Michelle Obama shares 'Happy Thanksgiving' message with photo of family MORE, but according to a corrected schedule released Monday, he will speak after her.

The fallout from the email leak has tensions between the party and Sanders backers running high. 

Supporters remain deeply wary of Clinton and the national party, which they argue has made a series of missteps — including Kaine on the ticket — that have increasingly antagonized the party’s progressive wing. 

“I think there’s been a lot of pokes — and a lot of continual ones,” said Allan A.J. Nicholas, a Sanders supporter and Florida delegate. “There seems to be sort of a tone deaf in your face quality to the campaign that is not working towards unity.” 

- Updated at 5:56 p.m.