The author of a report that key Democrats are considering dropping Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.) as party chair said Wednesday he agreed with perceptions that she is "in the tank" for frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
Hill reporter Alexander Bolton told MSNBC's Morning Joe that there was plenty of evidence to support the complaint by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) and his supporters that Schultz wasn't giving them a fair shake.
Schultz and the Sanders team have warred publicly in recent weeks, and she has been dogged by charges that she's rigged the primary process to ensure a Clinton victory. Sanders endorsed Schultz's House primary opponent last weekend and said she would not be retained as DNC chair if he became president.
Critics have pointed to her limiting debates and cutting off Sanders' access to key party voter information over a data breach late last year. Now Democrats on Capitol Hill are in discussions that she should resign her post in the name of party unity.
Democrats on Capitol Hill are discussing whether Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz should step down as Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairwoman before the party’s national convention in July.
Democrats backing likely presidential nominee Hillary Clinton worry Wasserman Schultz has become too divisive a figure to unify the party in 2016, which they say is crucial to defeating presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump in November.
Wasserman Schultz has had an increasingly acrimonious relationship with the party’s other presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, and his supporters, who argue she has tilted the scales in Clinton’s favor.
"There have been a lot of meetings over the past 48 hours about what color plate do we deliver Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s head on," said one pro-Clinton Democratic senator.
The lawmaker said senators huddled on the chamber floor last week to talk about Wasserman Schultz’s future and estimated that about a dozen have weighed in during private conversations.
Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski said last week she felt Schultz should step down, and she repeated Wednesday it had "been quite obvious" that Schultz was "in the tank" for Clinton.
"Yeah, she's been in the tank for Hillary, and I think what's surprising about what I found out … is that this talk that she needs to step down isn't coming from Sanders supporters," Bolton said. "It's coming from very staunch pro-Hillary supporters. They see her as a drag on Hillary, because the problem that Hillary has, in their view, is that there's an enthusiasm gap. Democrats, and especially young voters, who are an important constituency, aren't very enthusiastic about Clinton.
"Well, Debbie Wasserman Schultz has become the face of the rigged system, as Bernie Sanders sees it, and they think it's going to be tough for these younger voters to embrace Hillary while Debbie Wasserman Schultz is the face of the party."
Bolton added Democrats are worried about a repeat of the volatile 1968 Democratic convention, fears echoed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.). Sanders, who has vowed to fight all the way to the convention, said it could be "messy."
Bolton added he felt the DNC had not been fair to Sanders during the primary process.
"I don't think so," he said, citing the debate schedule, data access and the joint fundraising committee between Clinton and the DNC. "I think there are a number of data points that the Sanders folks can point to quite convincingly."