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Debbie Wasserman Schultz ‘not at all concerned’ about potential divisiveness at Philly DNC

Citing polls conducted by Quinnipiac University which show Hillary Clinton in trouble in the swing states of Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio against Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders’ campaign came out swinging on Wednesday, declaring in a fundraising email that the Vermont senator is the best bet to ensure a Trump loss in the fall.

“We cannot have Donald Trump as president,” writes Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver. “Poll after poll after poll since last year shows that Bernie Sanders is the candidate who does best against Donald Trump. That’s why every vote, every delegate, and every state we win matters — like last night’s victory in West Virginia — until we reach the Democratic convention.”

However, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz maintained that while the intense primary contest between Clinton and Sanders has become contentious recently, she has no worries about the party unifying at the Democratic National Convention this July in Philadelphia.

“At our convention we are headed toward unity,” said Schultz on a conference call Wednesday. “Both of our candidates have stated that they will support the other one if they were to win the nomination, and I suspect that we will go through a platform-drafting process that will result in a platform that the entire party rallies around.”

Another issue of contention coming from the Sanders camp in the past week regards the committees overseeing the Democratic National Convention. In a letter sent to Wasserman Schultz last Friday, Sanders said he was disappointed she had selected only three of the more than 40 names he submitted for the standing committees in rules, credentials, and the platform committee.

But the DNC chair pushed back Wednesday, saying there had been a “fundamental misunderstanding” on the part of the Sanders campaign about the way the committees of the Convention are appointed. She says that she and the DNC executive committee appointed 25 members to those committees, but the remaining 162 members are divided proportionately among the two candidates, based on the statewide vote each of them has earned.

“So the overwhelming majority of the remaining members of standing committees are made up of the candidates’ choices to serve on those committees,” she responded. “Both Sanders and Clinton will have the lion’s share of the representation and membership of each of the standing committees at the convention. That’s what our rules require.”

Wasserman Schultz’ main reason for holding the call was to mock Thursday’s meeting between Donald Trump and GOP congressional leaders Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. “With his lock on the Republican nomination, Donald Trump has ensured that his party’s problems won’t be limited to convention chaos,” she uttered. “He’s going to force GOP races to own his ugly divisive rhetoric.”

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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