Bernie Sanders Faces Backlash After Urging Delegates to Support Clinton
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke to his delegates in Philadelphia Monday — and all did not go as planned.
The speech started off well, with cheering and chanting of “Feel the Bern” almost drowning out the senator’s speech. And for the majority of the speech, Sanders spoke on many of his accomplishments and the accomplishments of his “political revolution.” It almost felt like he was still on the campaign trail.
Cheers also rang out when Sanders spoke of Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation as the DNC head. Her resignation, however, will not go into effect until the close of the convention, according to Reuters.
But it took a turn for the worse when the senator asked his supporters to back presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
“Immediately, right now, we have got to defeat Donald Trump and we have to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine,” Sanders said. The statement was met with the overwhelming sound of boos and it took Sanders several tries to reengage the crowd.
Sanders continued, saying, “Brothers and sisters, this is the real world that we live in. Trump is a bully and a demagogue.” That statement was met by a response by one woman in the crowd who shouted, “So is she!”
The speech ended on such a negative note, Sanders sent a text message to his delegates after urging them to be peaceful throughout the convention.
“I ask you as a personal courtesy to me to not engage in any kind of protest on the floor,” Sanders wrote in the message. “It’s of utmost importance you explain this to your delegations.”
Perhaps the most interesting thing that happened during the speech, though, was at the very end, when Jane Sanders, who apparently did not know the microphone was still hot, whispered something to her husband that’s sounded like, “They don’t know your name is being put in nomination, and that’s the concern…” which has prompted an avalanche of speculation. A Sanders spokesperson reportedly told the Guardian that it “means there will be a roll call vote.”
Whatever the comment ultimately means, the Convention has certainly gotten off to an interesting and tense start.