July 25, 2016
In Blog News
A day after the announcement of her ouster as chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz addressed the Florida delegation at a raucous meeting in Philadelphia on Monday morning, vowing to be a visible presence on the campaign trail as a surrogate for Hillary Clinton.
“I can see there is a little bit of interest in my being here,” Wasserman Schultz told the crowd of delegates and media at a breakfast hours before the start of the Democratic National Convention.
The Florida congresswoman, who came under fire over leaked emails that suggested the national Democratic Party favored Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the primaries, was jeered by supporters of the Vermont senator at the meeting, many of whom were armed with signs that read: “E-Mails.”
Wasserman Schultz did not address the email scandal directly, saying only she was “proud to serve” as the chair of the committee since 2011, when she was appointed by President Obama to succeed Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.
The outgoing chair said she spoke with both Clinton and Obama on Sunday amid calls from Sanders and others for her resignation. She is still up for reelection in Florida’s 23rd Congressional District.
“I thanked President Obama for the honor of serving,” Wasserman Schultz said, “and for being able to watch his back and bring him across the finish line in 2012.”
Clinton, she said, thanked her for her service and offered her the role as surrogate, which she accepted.
“You will see me every day between now and Nov. 8 on the campaign trail,” Wasserman Schultz said to more boos.
The chaotic scene was reminiscent of Ted Cruz’s contentious meeting with Texas delegates the morning after his speech at last week’s Republican convention in Cleveland. Cruz was booed during his speech, in which he refused to endorse his own party’s nominee.
Wasserman Schultz, who is scheduled to appear onstage at the opening of the convention Monday afternoon, was escorted by security as she left the breakfast.
Sanders will address the convention on Monday night.
Democratic National Committee Vice Chair Donna Brazile, who will serve as interim chair through the election, said Wasserman Schultz “deserves” to speak at the convention despite the email controversy.
“Debbie has spent a lot of time and effort in pulling together this convention,” Brazile said Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “She deserves an opportunity to gavel us in, turn over to the permanent chair and she deserves an opportunity, I think, to also close us out.”