Sen. Boxer: I Felt Frightened, Physically Threatened While Sanders Supporters Booed Me


Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.), a Hillary Clinton supporter, described Wednesday how she was genuinely frightened for her safety while being booed by supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) during the Nevada Democratic state convention on Saturday.

Appearing on CNN, Boxer told host Kate Bolduan that she felt physically threatened while speaking at the event because of the onslaught of boos she received.

"It was a scary situation. I was there; I saw it," Boxer said. "It was frightening. I was on the stage and people were six feet away from me. And if I didn’t have a lot of security, I don’t know what would have happened."

The California senator spoke Saturday at Nevada’s Democratic convention, which descended into chaos when Sanders supporters lashed out at party leadership by shouting "Bernie or bust" as they yelled curses, made obscene gestures, threw chairs, and issued death threats to Nevada Democratic Party chairwoman Roberta Lange and her family. The outcry was a protest to what they believe are Democratic convention and primary rules rigged against the Vermont senator.

Some of the Sanders supporters booed Boxer when she went on stage to speak to the audience and hurled insults at her.

"But you really did feel threatened, physically threatened? You were nervous about your safety at that event?" Bolduan asked.

"Well, I said that. I said that to Bernie. I said that publicly," Boxer responded. "When you have people not listening to a word and angry, their faces red. They were shouting obscenities. No one threw a chair at me. No one threw any object at me … I’m saying how I felt. It was a frightening situation. It was not under control. And I mean what I got was nothing compared to what the Democratic Party chair in Nevada got. And she has gotten vile threats to herself, to her family. This is serious stuff, and this is not what we need going into an election. There is no place for this in either party."

Boxer said she spoke with Sanders on the phone after the incident and feels better about the situation after their conversation.

"I"m not going to tell Bernie Sanders, my colleague and my friend, what to do," Boxer said. "He knows how I feel. He knows that I felt threatened. He knows that it was wrong. Now we will see. But in my mind, when he says that he does not support any type of violence, I believe him and he’s got to make sure it doesn’t happen. People will follow his lead, and if they don’t, then that’s a whole other problem."

Boxer’s comments come as the Democratic Party has been thrown into a partial state of turmoil with growing inner-conflict since the Nevada convention.

The Sanders campaign and the Democratic National Committee chairwoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.), have engaged in a war of words over accountability for the incident while Clinton supporters have called on Sanders to drop out of the race so she can focus on Donald Trump in the general election.

Sanders reaffirmed Tuesday night his commitment to stay in the primary until at least the Democratic convention in July.

Aaron Kliegman

Aaron Kliegman   Email | Full Bio | RSS
Aaron Kliegman is the news editor of the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, Aaron worked as a research associate at the Center for Security Policy, a national security think tank, and as the deputy field director on Micah Edmond's campaign for U.S. Congress. In December 2016, he received his master's degree from Johns Hopkins University’s Global Security Studies Program in Washington, D.C., with a concentration in strategic studies. He graduated from Washington and Lee University in 2014 and lives in Leesburg, Virginia. His Twitter handle is @Aaron_Kliegman. He can be reached at

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