Sanders Asks Supporters Not to Boo, Protest During Convention
Bernie Sanders urged his supporters not to boo Hillary Clinton and other Democratic figures at the 2016 Democratic National Convention on Monday.
The Hill reports:
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 Trump 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 Kaine (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 Obama, 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.”
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