Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders issued an angry statement today, that appeared to belittle and make excuses for death threats, and violence, from his supporters at the Nevada Democratic Convention a few days ago.
Concerns are growing among Democrats that Sanders and his extremist supporters may willingly bring the same violence to the national Democratic convention this summer.
Sanders’ supporters were unhappy that several of their delegates were turned away from the convention because they weren’t registered as Democrats, a requirement of the convention. Several of Hillary Clinton’s delegates were also not permitted to enter, for similar reasons. More on the procedural details here. And there’s much more from local political reporter Jon Ralston about what really happened, and how it was Sanders’ supporters who created the riot.
The Sanders supporters, unlike the Clinton supporters, caused a near riot as a result, and forced security to shut the convention down after it was no longer believed safe.
Following the raucous event, Sanders supporters then published the private cell phone number of the state party chair, who then received death threats.
Lots of them.
Sanders has been silent for days in the face of such thuggery from his own supporters. When he finally spoke today, the Senator was belligerent, and seemed to blame the party for the violence and bullying coming from his most diehard supporters. Keep in mind that these people were Sanders’ delegates to the convention — they weren’t nobodies that he has no connection.
First, here’s Sanders’ statement. Then, the horrific cell phone calls to the state party chair.
Now here are a few of the text messages that Nevada Democratic party chair Roberta Lange received following Sanders’ supporters publishing her private cell phone number, and urging people to harass her:
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This is but a sampling of the 1,400 messages she received. Here are a few of the harassing voicemails (courtesy of Jon Ralston) – be warned, they’re vulgar:
See more examples of the calls, including transcripts, from Ralston.
HuffPo has more of the text messages and the transcript of this voice message:
“You should be tried for treason, stripped of all authority that you think that you have. All your property, everything. You should be hung in the middle of town, till dead. You are a disgrace to the American people. You should just commit suicide. You’re a disgrace. You’re horrible. Nobody wants you in power. You are a dirt bag. You are the reason why we are voting for Bernie Sanders,” the caller said.
The Nevada Democratic party is rightfully worried that the thuggery shown in Nevada by the Sanders campaign and its followers is only a harbinger of what’s to come at the national Democratic convention later this summer. The party has filed a complaint against the Sanders company — this was before Sanders issued the bizarre statement downplaying what his delegates and supporters did.
And this was how the Sanders delegates treated Sen. Barbara Boxer:
Calif Sen Barbara Boxer: If you boo me you’re booing Bernie Sanders pic.twitter.com/mAAu6YNugZ
— Riley Snyder (@RileySnyder) May 14, 2016
This is what happens when you try to win an election by convincing people that the system is broken and that the election was stolen. They end up believing you. Sanders’ refusal to tamp down the violence is scarily akin to Donald Trump’s own refusal to help de-escalate his most extreme supporters.
What Sanders’ delegates and supporters did to Roberta Lange is simply inhuman. The woman is now afraid for the safety of her kids. Sanders thinks this is how he’s going to still win the election. In fact, it’s how he’s losing any remaining shred of dignity he had left.
Here is a video of Bernie Sanders’ vision of America: