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Sanders would show Wasserman Schultz the door at the DNC

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders tells CNN’s Jake Tapper that DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz would not be reappointed under his presidency. Video Courtesy CNN/Youtube

Democratic Presidential candidate U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Saturday told CNN’s Jake Tapperthat U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democratic National Committee Chair would not retain her position as the party leader under his presidency. Sanders also announced his endorsement and support for her November down-ballot opponent, Tim Canova in his run for Florida’s District 23 Representative seat.

“Clearly I favor her opponent. His views are much closer to mine than as Wasserman Schultz’s.” Let me also say this, in all due respect to the current chairperson, if elected President, she would not be re-appointed to be the chair of the DNC.” – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders

 Wasserman Schultz, a flagrant supporter of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and her candidacy has blatantly railed against Sanders throughout the primary season. One of Sanders’ main difficulties early on in the process was name recognition across the country, with voters outside the New England region or those not entrenched in Washington, D.C. politics not familiar with the senator from Vermont or his policies. Wasserman Schultz came under harsh criticism early on for recognizing the Democratic candidate’s need to bring his message to the people and deliberately working against him, scheduling debates during low viewership times, clearly in favor of Secretary Clinton.

Politifact in January said that any evidence to support Wasserman Schultz’s claims that the debates were set to “maximize” exposure was dubious. Wasserman Schultz told Politifact that the party came up with a debate schedule to maximize the opportunity for voters to see the Democratic candidates. Sanders and then candidate Sen. Martin O’Malley disagreed, as did the watchdogs.

Democratic Presidential Candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders pauses as a crowd of supporters at UMASS Amherst cheer. (Photo Tracey C. O'Neill)

Democratic Presidential Candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders pauses as a crowd of supporters at UMASS Amherst cheer. (Photo Tracey C. O’Neill)

Politifact found that “Wasserman Schultz’s best point is that the Democrats largely scheduled their debates with TV networks, which means viewers without cable can see them. But other than that, her statement is very disingenuous.” After reviewing the DNC chair’s holiday and weekend-heavy schedule they concluded “if the Democrats had wanted to “maximize” opportunities for viewers, the party could have added more debates, scheduled them on weekdays and avoided holidays.”

Northeastern University professor John Schroeder agreed, telling Politifact that the two highest Republican debates each drew between 23 million and 24 million, much higher than the Democratic debates. While a lot of the disparity is due to Trump, another factor is that all the Republican debates so far have been held on weekdays.

“I think we can safely say that weekend time slots are not the key to maximizing the viewing audience,” Schroeder said.

The Sanders campaign last week accepted an invitation from Fox News to debate in California before the June 7 debate. Secretary Clinton had agreed to a California debate in January, but as of Friday had not responded to the Fox News debate. Pundits agreed that the debate could only hurt Clinton whose unfavorability rating among voters is the highest of any Democratic candidate.

Wasserman Schultz’s latest moves against Sanders included riling up party pundits to smear Sanders and his supporters for unrest at the Nevada National Convention where politicking outweighed democracy and equitable treatment of the two sides, causing friction amongst Clinton and Sanders delegates and supporters. Wasserman Schultz laid blame with Sanders for instances of harassment experienced by the Nevada party chair, Roberta Lange, after her somewhat unilateral decision-making drew ire. On Friday party officials met to consider new rules designed to control proceedings at the National Convention and strike down open protests.

Sanders continues to draw huge crowds at rallies across the country and expects to continue his success in the remaining primaries and caucuses before the July convention in Philadelphia.

This post originally appeared on on May 23, 2016.


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