As the 2016 Democratic National Convention kicked off on Monday, it quickly became clear voters remain deeply divided over revelations the party actively worked to suppress support for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Behind much of the controversy is Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the soon-to-resign chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee whose role in the convention was all but eliminated after thousands of emails were leaked showing a pattern of controversial behavior.
The disorder and disunity on display in Philadelphia this week is certainly fodder for Republicans coming off their own unorthodox convention. Even among prominent Democrats, though, the brewing scandal has reached a level at which silence is no longer an option.
Dennis Kucinich, who ran his own outsider presidential campaigns in the 2004 and 2008 Democratic primaries, joined USA Radio host Rusty Humphries to weigh in on the party’s apparent treatment of Sanders
“This is horrible,” he told the host of Trending Today USA. “The Democratic National Committee was secretly working to try and undermine Bernie Sanders’ campaign in every way they could.”
Not only did the scandal hurt Sanders’ chances in the primary, Kucinich suggested the fallout could easily keep Hillary Clinton from winning the general election against Trump in November.
When Humphries asked whether Kucinich felt the system was rigged against him during his presidential bids, the guest explained he is solely focused on the 2016 election.
“This is about an election, which is a transformative election,” he said. “And Bernie Sanders inspired millions of people to go and vote. He took 46 percent of the primary vote. His campaign deserves the respect of the political establishment. They not only tried to derail him, but the institutional Democratic National Committee attempted to sabotage his campaign.”
The leaked emails gave rise to unique concerns, though Kucinich concluded establishment Democrats long ago laid the groundwork for such a rigged system. He shared a belief that so-called superdelegates, without whom Clinton would have faced a much closer race against Sanders, “should have never existed” in the party.
“There’s some people who say it stabilized the party against having choices that are outside the bounds of acceptable political discourse,” he said, adding that “in this case, the superdelegates sabotaged popular consent.”