Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Bernie Sanders Keep Bickering | New Times Broward-Palm Beach


After Violence in Nevada, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Bernie Sanders Bickering

There comes a point during every presidential race when the candidates begin to seem like the worst members of your extended family. They fight every night. They make mean comments about each other through lawyers and surrogates. Hell, you probably hear Donald Trump in your living room far more often than most of your aunts or uncles.

If Trump and Hillary Clinton have become our quarrelsome TV stepparents, then Bernie Sanders and Weston Congresswoman/Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz are at least our, like, step-cousins. And like members of any great, dynastic family, they've been forced to work hand-in-hand this year despite appearing to despise one another.

This campaign season, Sanders has publicly accused the DNC, and Wasserman Schultz, of undermining his campaign in order to secure the Democratic nomination for Hillary Clinton. Wasserman Schultz faces the first tough primary opponent of her career in Tim Canova, a man whose support has so far come in large part from Sanders supporters. So further accusations that Wasserman Schultz is working to tank Sanders' campaign could backfire and tank her own.

Sanders' latest spat with the Florida congresswoman stems from Nevada's May 14 Democratic Convention, which descended into Trump-level chaos. A massive crowd of Sanders supporters were elected to the convention, suggesting, at least according to the Washington Post, that Sanders would end up with more of the state's delegates after the convention ended. But after a raucous brouhaha, which included a fight to change the delegate-counting rules and 56 Sanders delegates losing their delegate status, tensions in the room apparently boiled over. A real, full-fledged fight broke out. Security shut the event down.

Sanders fans apparently sent death threats to Nevada Democratic Party Chair Roberta Lange. They also leaked her cell phone number. 
After the state Democratic Party accused Sanders of "inciting actual violence," Sanders condemned the scuffle in a statement on Tuesday. But immediately after stating that he believes in "nonviolent change," he then accused the Democratic Party of undermining his campaign.

The party's leadership "used its power to prevent a fair and transparent process from taking place," he wrote.

Wasserman Schultz then took to CNN Tuesday night, calling Sanders' response to the incident "anything but acceptable."

Incensed, Sanders' campaign manager Jeff Weaver responded on CNN yesterday morning. Visibly frustrated, he used a solid chunk of his airtime to personally attack Wasserman Schultz.

"You know, by and large, people at the DNC have been very good to us," he said. "Debbie Wasserman Schultz really is the exception."

Wasserman Schultz, who never quite seems comfortable as a TV talking head, hopped back onto CNN later in the day to defend herself.

"In no way is it ever acceptable to condone, or to even ignore violence and intimidation against officials with whom you're frustrated," Wasserman Schultz said.

She then added: "When there is a 'but' in between a condemnation of violence, generally, and after the word 'but' you go on to seemingly justify the reason that that violence and intimidation has occurred, then that falls short of making sure that going forward, this kind of conduct doesn't occur."

Despite what Sanders fans say, the Vermont senator seems to be losing the old-fashioned way, by straight-up trailing in votes. Say what you will about Wasserman Schultz's conduct during this election cycle — and you can certainly say a lot — but it isn't her fault that a bunch of rowdy Bernie Bros basically doxxed a sitting politician. Any attempt to spin this into some anti-Debbie crusade is, in the Congresswoman's words, "unacceptable."
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Jerry Iannelli is a staff writer for Miami New Times. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. He moved to South Florida in 2015.
Contact: Jerry Iannelli

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