Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.), chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, described Friday the Democratic Party’s relationship with the campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt) in uneasy terms as one that is only ‘relatively good.’
The DNC chair made her comment while speaking with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, who asked her to respond to the charge made by Sanders, one of two candidates competing for the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential primary, and his wife Jane, that the DNC nomination process is "rigged."
"No, not really. I mean there have been some complaints leveled here and there throughout the campaign, but not nearly in the way that is occurring with the Donald Trump campaign [in the Republican primary]," Wasserman Schultz responded.
"Sen. Sanders has been at this a long time, in office 25 years, and certainly, you know, the Sanders campaign, we’ve actually had a relatively good working relationship with them," the DNC chair said, stuttering in an unsure tone. "And they were aware of the rules for each of the states, and we’ve not actually had a really tough time with them when it comes to each primary as they’ve come."
"You know, complaints aside, think there’s no comparison [to the Republican side]," Wasserman Schultz added.
The DNC and the Sanders campaign have had a rocky relationship throughout the primary, with many people accusing the Democratic Party of rigging the nomination in favor of Hillary Clinton, Sanders’ opponent, by trying to schedule fewer debates at times inconvenient for viewers to watch and other related actions to protect Clinton.
Sanders supporters have also criticized the Democratic primary’s superdelegate system, which gives major elected officials and prominent members of the party disproportional influence over the final delegate count, making them more important than the popular vote.
After the New Hampshire primary in February, for example, Sanders trounced Clinton by 22 points, but the two came out of the state with an equal number of delegates because Clinton received the support of most superdelegates.
Sanders’ campaign has also opened a lawsuit during the primary against the DNC, which stems from a spat between both sides in December when the DNC temporarily shut off his campaign’s access to shared voter data.
Wasserman Schultz has denied that the DNC is favoring any single candidate and says both sides are working to resolve the ongoing legal issues.