N.H. Democratic National Committeewoman 'Outraged' By Anti-Sanders DNC Emails

Jul 25, 2016

Credit Allegra Boverman/NHPR

N.H. Democratic National Committeewoman Kathy Sullivan says she's "outraged" by leaked emails that seem to show Democratic National Committee officials favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the primary.

"I think somebody was asleep at the switch because when you have a neutrality rule in place, you’re supposed to follow the neutrality rule closely," Sullivan told NHPR's Morning Edition. "I was very disappointed to see that it was not followed at the DNC."

One of the emails released by Wikileaks showed one DNC staffer - CFO Brad Marshall - questioning Sanders' Jewish faith and strategizing ways to use his faith against him.

"The person who sent that email – if he has not resigned or been fired yet, he should be on his way out. There is no excuse for that and it should not be tolerated," said Sullivan, a super delegate backing Clinton. "I don’t care if he was saying it about Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton or some person walking by on the street; no member of our party’s staff should be sending emails challenging someone’s religious beliefs. That is just beyond the pale and I am outraged by it."

In the wake of the emails dump over the weekend, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Sunday she will step down from her post after the convention.

Sullivan said that was right decision.

"It’s in the best interest of the party. It’s in the best interest of our nominee. So I am glad this is taking place," she said.

Sanders, who's set to speak Monday night, has said the emails won't affect his support for Clinton.

You can find Kathy Sullivan's full conversation with Morning Edition below:

Let’s start with the news that Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is stepping down following this week’s convention.

This comes after leaked emails showed DNC officials seemed to be favoring Clinton over Sanders in the primary.

What’s your reaction?

Kathy Sullivan

I think it was the right decision. It’s in the best interest of the party. It’s in the best interest of our nominee, so I am glad this is taking place. I think somebody was asleep at the switch because when you have a neutrality rule in place, you’re supposed to follow the neutrality rule closely. We have that happen in New Hampshire with our presidential primary every four or eight years and we always follow it strictly. So I was very disappointed to see that it was not followed at the DNC.

Many Sanders supporters say they’re furious over these emails. One email seemed to suggest that Sanders religious beliefs could be used against him. How concerned were you with the substance of these emails?

I was really mad about some of those emails. The person who sent that email – if he has not resigned or been fired yet, he should be on his way out. There is no excuse for that and it should not be tolerated. I don’t care if he was saying it about Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton or some person walking by on the street, no member of our party’s staff should be sending emails challenging someone’s religious beliefs. That is just beyond the pale and I am outraged by it. I am very angry.

There’s been a lot of talk about the importance of party unity heading into this week. There’s clearly still a lot of Sanders supporters out there having a tough time getting behind Clinton. What needs to happen this week to bring them on board?

I just think it’s something we need to work at. We need to listen to the Sanders’ supporters and their concerns, and hopefully the Sanders’ folks will listen to Hillary Clinton and what she has to say and what her supporters have to say. And at the end of it, we come out as united going forward. This is not unusual. I was a Hillary Clinton supporter in 2008 and we all came together and supported Barack Obama and won New Hampshire for him in 2008. And I’m sure we’ll see the same thing. This morning, our delegation breakfast was great. People were having fun, clapping, applauding, laughing. We’re coming together and I think it’s going to get better as the week goes by.

What’s your reaction to Clinton’s selection of Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate?

I like Tim Kaine. He’s got a good record. I love the fact that he took time out from law school to go and do work in Latin America. He spent his legal career fighting housing discrimination. He has a record of fighting for the things that we as Democrats believe in. I think he’s got a good way about him. People say he’s a great guy, that everyone likes him who knows him. So I think between his personality and his record, she picked the right person.

Senator Senders is set to speak Monday night, and what he says could have a major impact on the rest of the convention. What are you looking to hear from him?    

I’m looking for Sanders to talk about why it’s important for Democrats to win in November. I think he’ll talk a lot about his progressive message. He’ll talk a lot I think about making America work for everyday Americans, and not just for the 1 percent at the top. And I think that’s going to be a clear distinction between what you heard at the Republican convention and what you’re going to hear at the Democratic convention.

There was some talk about his endorsement was not all so warm when he was in Portsmouth endorsing Hillary Clinton. Do you feel it'll be a little warmer tonight? 

I think that's ridiculous, with all due respect. Sen. Sanders has endorsed Hillary Clinton. He's made it very clear he's supporting her in November and that it's incredibly important for our country that we elect Hillary Clinton and that we defeat Donald Trump. I don't know how you can get more enthusiastic.