Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is upsetting some party higher-ups by some of the Vermont senator’s rhetoric.
Sanders told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet The Press” Aug. 16, “When I speak to 28,000 people in Portland, Oregon, 27,000 people in Los Angeles, the vast majority of those people, they’re not, ‘registered Democrats.’ They are ordinary people who are sick and tired of politics as usual.”
He added, “And, by the way, one of the real advantages, I think, of me winning the Democratic primary is that we can get a lot of young people, a lot of working people, involved in the political process, getting them out to vote in a way that establishment politicians can’t. Democrats are losing because voter turnout is abysmal. I think we can change that.”
New Hampshire Democratic national committeewoman Kathy Sullivan told The New York Times she was taken aback by Sanders’ remark. “I was like, ‘God love Bernie, but thanks for the insult,'” noting he would be facing registered Democrats at the DNC summer meeting in Minneapolis.
“He’s coming to Minneapolis to see people who aren’t ordinary Americans?” she asked.
However, the 73-year-old Sanders manages to turnout massive rallies compared to his Democratic competitors.
“They’ve reversed the normal political formula” in which professional staffers take the lead and pound the phone to drum up crowds, Chip Evans, a liberal radio host and former chairman of the Washoe County Democratic Party, told Politico over a week ago.
Democratic insiders, though, think Sanders may not be able to turn his grassroots support into enough votes to make him the nominee come primary and caucus time.
Peter Shumlin, the governor of Vermont friend of Sanders but a supporter of Hillary Clinton’s campaign told the Times, “Look, I think Bernie is going to win some states during the primaries. I think he’s going to do very well. He has an extraordinary ability to communicate strong solutions to the problems we are facing. But in the end, the Democrats will choose a Democrat, and I believe that will be Hillary Clinton.”
Sanders referenced his Democratic doubters in his speech at the DNC meeting Friday, only saying, “When I announced my candidacy for president less than four months ago, I think it is fair to say that few took that candidacy seriously. In fact, the word ‘fringe’ was heard more than once. But I think it is also fair to say that a lot has changed in the last few months.”
He added, “All across this country we have drawn some of the largest crowds of this campaign including many young people and working people who have not previously been involved in the political process. More Than 100,000 Americans have signed up to volunteer on Bernie 2016.”