Sen. Bernie Sanders warned of “havoc” and a “serious problem” for the Democratic Party if they don’t nominate the candidate with a “substantial plurality” of delegates.
Ahead of the South Carolina primary this weekend, the Vermont senator and 2020 presidential hopeful discussed the potential of not having the majority of delegates at the Democratic National Convention during a CNN town hall event Monday.
“Who knows what’s going to happen,” Sanders said, responding to a question.
“If I or anybody else goes into the Democratic convention with a substantial plurality, I believe that individual — me or anybody else — should be the candidate of the Democratic Party,” the 78-year-old front-runner added, with a warning to Democrats.
The self-proclaimed Democratic socialist predicted it would be “incredibly divisive” for the Democrats “if one candidate comes out on top, to say to the country, ‘you voted for that candidate, but by the way we don’t think that candidate should be the nominee.’”
“I think that will be a serious, serious problem for the Democratic party. I think it will wreak havoc on that person’s campaign,” he added.
The Vermont lawmaker suggested wavering from party and convention rules during last week’s Democratic debate in Nevada, pushing for the nominee to be chosen based on the will of the people.
Here’s a radical idea: The person with the most votes should be the Democratic nominee. #DemDebate
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 20, 2020
Sanders won 40% of the popular vote in the Nevada caucuses last week, more than doubling his 21 pledged delegates to 45. But it seems possible that none of the Democratic presidential candidates may win the majority of delegates heading into the party’s nominating convention in Milwaukee in July.
Jeff Weaver, senior adviser to Sanders’ campaign, echoed the idea of the nominee being anyone with a plurality of votes.
“There is talk, as you know, of a brokered convention considering the size of the Democratic field, the fact that folks aren’t dropping out like perhaps some folks thought they would by now,” MSNBC’s Craig Melvin said Monday.
“You know the magic number. If Senator Sanders walks into the convention with a plurality of delegates but not the 1,991 needed, will he let the process play out or will he demand the nomination?” he asked Weaver.
Jeff Weaver: “The Voters Have Spoken” If A Candidate Enters Convention With Plurality Of Delegateshttps://t.co/NkLaZKDJEH
— RCP Video (@rcpvideo) February 24, 2020
“Well you can’t — there is a process. The process has to play out. The question is what the players within that process decide to do,” Weaver replied.
“If Senator Sanders walks in there or, frankly, if Joe Biden walks in there, let’s use another name, Joe Biden walks in there, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren or Amy Klobuchar — I don’t think it will be Mike Bloomberg because he demonstrated on the stage last week that he’s unfit to serve,” Weaver added.
“If any of those other folks walk in with the plurality the voters have spoken,” he added. “And the voters should be heeded.”
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