Debbie Wassermann Booed By Florida Delegates, Won’t Speak
WASHINGTON — Outgoing Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman says she won’t gavel her party’s national convention to order on Monday afternoon.
She abruptly cancelled that plan just a few hours before she was to gavel open the nominating convention. In a brief phone conversation with the Sun Sentinel newspaper of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Wasserman Schultz said:
“I have decided that in the interest of making sure that we can start the Democratic convention on a high note that I am not going to gavel in the convention.”
The Florida congresswoman had announced she would resign her post at the helm of the DNC in the wake of an email scandal involving her aides – but still gavel open and closed the Democrats’ nominating convention this week.
That was before she was booed and heckled as she spoke to her home state delegation from people angry that the hacked emails apparently showed some aides favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the party’s presidential primary.
She also told the newspaper that Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the party’s secretary, will gavel the convention into order in her place.
Wasserman Schultz, a House member from Florida, announced Sunday that she would resign as DNC chair at the end of the convention.
Wasserman Schultz was repeatedly interrupted and booed Monday as she sought to speak to Florida’s convention delegation.
According to The Hill, the Florida lawmaker, had to strain her voice to yell over the flurry of protestors who showed up to interrupt her speech.
“We need to make sure we move together in a unified way,” she said over shouts from the crowd.
As she spoke, people stood on chairs holding up signs that said “emails,” “No!” and “Thanks for the ‘help,’ Debbie.
Others repeatedly shouted: “Shame.”
The heckling didn’t stop even as Wasserman Schultz mentioned last night’s shooting in Fort Meyers, Fla., that left two dead and more than a dozen injured.
The Florida congresswoman was defiant, insisting delegates would see more of her.
“You will see me every day between now and Nov. 8 on the campaign trail, and we will lock arms and we will not stand down,” she said.
She also took on those heckling her.
“We know the voices in this room that are standing up and being disruptive, that’s not the Florida we know. The Florida we know is united, the Florida we know will continue to create jobs,” she said.
Yet the remarkable scene raised more questions about the wisdom of having Wasserman Schultz formally preside over the convention.