Chuck Todd Has Testy Exchange With Sanders' Campaign Manager About Primary Process

May 18, 2016

Jeff Weaver, the campaign manager for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), and Meet the Press Daily host Chuck Todd had a testy exchange about the Nevada Democratic Convention and the primary process for the Democratic Party on Wednesday.

Todd first asked Weaver about the convention and chaos in Nevada. Weaver said that the convention was hijacked by Clinton supporters.

"What went on in Nevada, in terms of the process at the convention, it was clearly hijacked by the chair there," Weaver said.

"What's your evidence on that? You say it was clearly hijacked. Every neutral reporter out there, including Jon Ralston says your campaign was totally unprepared. You didn't fill your delegate slots," Todd said.

"I don't know that Jon Ralston in this context is a neutral reporter, but let me say this: People who were on the ground, including Sen. Nina Turner—who as you know was a former state senator in Ohio who was there, who has talked about this on a number of networks today—, when they started off the process, they passed temporary special rules over the objection of the No votes on the floor," Weaver said. "They refused votes. They refused to accept motions. It was a completely undemocratic process. It was very heavy handed and unnecessarily so."

Todd then asked Weaver about the threats that have been directed toward the chairwoman of the Nevada Democratic Party by Sanders supporters.

"Do you at all feel as if you guys have a responsibility to tell your supporters, 'you know what, sending threatening voicemails to the chair of the Democratic Party in Nevada is counterproductive?'" Todd asked.

"We certainly have condemned that. I have condemned it. The senator has condemned it repeatedly," Weaver said. "He put out a statement actually before the convention even happened, asking people to act civilly. Apparently, there were a few idiots out there who decided to make these phone calls, but you know, we have condemned them. They're unacceptable. There's no place for them in a civilized discourse. I mean, that's clear. So, that's issue number one."

"Issue number two, which is a separate issue, which is the process out there was handled very, very poorly," Weaver said. "Look, Chuck, we've participated in caucuses and primaries in some forty states. This is the only instance of this."

Weaver also offered some criticism for the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.).

"Frankly, Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a little bit, I think, disconnected from other people at the DNC. Really, the exception there in many cases," Weaver said. "We have been treated very, very well by everybody over there. So, you know, the chairwoman really went out there on her own. But there's been a pattern of this."