Democratic senators are discussing whether Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz should be removed as the head of the party because she has become “too toxic” in the ongoing Democratic civil war.
“There is a lot of sentiment that replacing her would be a good idea. It is being discussed quietly among Democratic senators on the floor, in the cloakroom and in lunches,” a senior Senate Democratic source told CNN on condition of anonymity to discuss private talks among lawmakers.
Wasserman Schultz was swept into the center of the ongoing intraparty war between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders after she criticized Sanders on CNN last week. Wasserman Schultz said Sanders’ tepid response to chaos sparked by his supporters at the Nevada Democratic Convention was “anything but acceptable” and compared it to a Donald Trump campaign event.
Sanders and his campaign condemned the outburst and death threats his supporters sent to the Nevada chairwoman, but refused to apologize for them. Wasserman Schultz said his decision to complain about how his supporters were treated in Nevada only “added more fuel to the fire.”
Still, Wasserman Schultz maintains the support of some prominent Democrats.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi expressed her support for Wasserman Schultz, a Florida congresswoman, Tuesday.
“DNC Chairwoman Wasserman Schultz enjoys the support of Members of the House Democratic Caucus for her leadership in unifying the party and winning in November,” Pelosi told CNN.
Former Mayor of Philadelphia Michael Nutter, whose city will host the Democratic convention in two months, defended Wasserman Schultz and compared Sanders to an ungrateful guest of the Democratic Party.
“This is like someone who comes to your house, says they don’t like the food, your TV is too small and I’m not particularly thrilled with what your kitchen looks like and then walks out complaining,” said Nutter, now a CNN contributor. “She’s been leading the party, he just became a Democrat and now suddenly believes that he should be in charge.”
And a Democratic senator cautioned that there does not appear to be a formal effort to oust Wasserman Schultz and noted any decision would ultimately fall to the campaign of Clinton.
“It is something the caucus has discussed,” another senior Senate Democratic aide said Tuesday on condition of anonymity to speak candidly about private discussions. The aide said there was only informal discussion among senators and no coordinated effort, but said “The question is: Has she become too toxic?”
The Hill first reported on the talks among Senate Democrats Tuesday and quoted a series of lawmakers who supported keeping Wasserman Schultz as the chairwoman. A Clinton aide told CNN that the Democratic front-runner supports Wasserman Schultz and said a fight would “be a distraction.”
But the tension has been visible between Sanders, his campaign and the DNC for months now.
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