Democratic primary runner-up Bernie Sanders appeared on the Sunday shows to discuss the Democratic National Convention, his support of Hillary Clinton for president and the emails from the DNC that were leaked last week. While Bernie maintained that Donald Trump need to be defeated and Hillary is a far better option for his supporters, he did use the email leak to renew his previous position that Debbie Wasserman Schultz should resign as head of the DNC.
Speaking to This Week host and one-time Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos, Sanders straight up said that DWS needs to go.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) July 24, 2016
In response to George’s question about whether he regrets some of the attacks he’s made on Clinton in the past, since Trump is now using them to try to sway Bernie voters, Sanders stated that he has no regrets and that his supporters won’t back the Republican nominee.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 24, 2016
Over on CNN’s State of the Union, Sanders told host Jake Tapper that while he wants Wasserman Schultz out, and is upset about some of the content in the emails, he is still satisfied with pushing the party left on many issues and he’ll still help elect Hillary.
From the show’s transcript:
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-I), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think it’s outrageous, but it is not a great shock to me.
I think, as I said, it’s what we talked about six months ago. I mean, there’s no question to my mind and I think no question to any objective observer’s mind that the DNC was supporting Hillary Clinton, was in opposition to our campaign. So, I’m not quite shocked by this.
And that is why many, many months ago, I made it clear that I thought Debbie Wasserman Schultz should resign, should step down, not only because of the prejudice I think they showed during the campaign, but also because I think we need a new leadership of the Democratic Party which is going to open up that party to working people, to young people, to have the kind of vitality we need to not only win the presidency, but gain control of the Senate and the House as well.
TAPPER: Senator, what is your personal response, though, to having your faith questioned like that by a fellow Democrat? Well, you are now a Democrat, or you were a Democratic candidate, but by somebody supposedly neutral and theoretically on your team?
SANDERS: Well, first of all, I am not an atheist.
But aside from all of that, I mean, it is an outrage and sad that you would have people in important positions in the DNC trying to undermine my campaign. It goes without saying the function of the DNC is to represent all of the candidates, to be fair and even-minded.
But, again, I — we discussed this many, many months ago on this show. So, what is revealed now is not a shock to me.
I think the focus, though, that I am going to go forward on right now is to make sure that Donald Trump, perhaps the worst Republican candidate in the modern history of this country, somebody by temperament, somebody by ideology must not become president of the United States.
I’m going to do everything I can to defeat him, to elect Hillary Clinton, and to keep focusing, keep focusing on the real issues facing the American people. And that is the decline of the American middle class going on for 40 years, massive levels of income and wealth inequality.
And I will tell you, Jake, that I’m proud that, in the Democratic platform that was passed a few weeks ago, we are making some real progress. We’re talking about breaking up the large banks on Wall Street who have been ripping off the American people for years.
Hillary Clinton and I reached an agreement on a higher education plan that would guarantee free tuition at public — every public college and university in this country for families making 125,000 bucks or less, greatly expanding health care, and making sure that we make sure that millions of people gain access to primary health care and dental care.
So, my focus right now is defeating Trump, electing Clinton, electing progressive candidates around this country, and focusing on the issues that matter the most to working families.
Bernie also stated that while he isn’t enthralled with Hillary’s pick of Tim Kaine as her running mate, saying that he’s more conservative than he’d like, that the Virginia Senator on his worst day is still “100 times better than Donald Trump will ever be.”
As it stands, DWS isn’t going to speak at the convention this week, despite being previously scheduled to do so. If Democrats want to help nip this in the bud and show the Bernie die-hards that they value their vote and opinion, they’d tell Wasserman Schultz that she needs to step down now. While her term is up at the end of the year anyway, the optics of her as the head of the committee will continue to infuriate Sanders supporters.
Sometimes, a head has got to roll.