DNC Leak Exposes Contempt for Heartland

WikiLeaks emails show bias toward Clinton over Sanders -- and patronize ordinary Americans

by Kathryn Blackhurst | Updated 24 Jul 2016 at 4:12 PM

The leaked Clinton emails show that Democratic National Committee staffers think voters from Kentucky and West Virginia are “southern Baptist peeps” who “would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist” when it comes time to cast their ballots.

The patronizing nicknames and language contained in the nearly 20,000 emails from January 2015 through May 2016 that were released through WikiLeaks last week implicated several DNC staffers in showing disdain for heartland voters. This bias severely discredited the DNC, which is supposed to remain neutral concerning Democratic candidates during the presidential primaries. But as the emails show, several officials heavily favored former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders while showing contempt for constituents.

“This could make several points difference with my peeps. My southern baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”

“It might may [sic] no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief,” Brad Marshall, chief financial officer of the DNC, wrote in an email dated May 5, 2016, that was titled “no sh*t.” The email apparently refers to Sanders, who is Jewish. “Does he believe in God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My southern baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”

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Clinton did not performed well in America’s heartland during the Democratic primaries, mainly because her agenda is much more liberal than voters there. She has insulted southerners throughout her campaign, and once promised “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business,” which prompted protests in West Virginia when she campaigned there.

In a twist, rather than denying the he wrote it and blaming others — as Clinton always does — Marshall said he regretted his words. In a Facebook post, he wrote: “I deeply regret that my insensitive, emotional emails would cause embarrassment to the DNC, the Chairwoman, and all of the staffers who worked hard to make the primary a fair and open process. The comments expressed do not reflect my beliefs nor do they reflect the beliefs of the DNC and its employees. I apologize to those I offended.”

Sanders on Sunday was appalled by the revelations, and his campaign called for “someone to be held accountable.”

“I am not an atheist,” Sanders to CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” “But aside from all of that, it is an outrage and sad that you would have people in important positions in the DNC trying to undermine my campaign. It goes without saying, the function of the DNC is to represent all of the candidates – to be fair and even-minded.”

In response, Sanders condemned the sentiments revealed in the emails and called for DNC Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign. Wasserman Schultz has been removed from her duties at the DNC in Philadelphia this week, and by mid-afternoon Sunday, she announced that she would step down from her position after the convention.

"I don't think she is qualified to be the chair of the DNC not only for these awful emails, which revealed the prejudice of the DNC, but also because we need a party that reaches out to working people and young people, and I don't think her leadership style is doing that," Sanders told Tapper.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump also expressed his outrage and frustration with the DNC over the leaks.

"Leaked e-mails of DNC show plans to destroy Bernie Sanders. Mock his heritage and much more. On-line from Wikileakes, really vicious. RIGGED," Trump tweeted on Saturday.

Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, responded to the emails leak by attempting to shift the blame to Russian hackers, who he claimed are in cahoots with Trump. Mook claimed that the leak corresponds with the GOP’s inclusion of "changes to the Republican platform to make it more pro-Russian."

"I don't think it's coincidental that these emails were released on the eve of our convention here, and I think that's disturbing," Mook said on "State of the Union." "I think when you put all this together, it's a disturbing picture, and voters need to reflect on that."

Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., responded to Mook’s accusations and called him out for unsubstantiated accusations.

"It just goes to show you their exact moral compass. I mean, they'll say anything to be able to win this. This is time and time again, lie after lie," Trump Jr. said on "State of the Union. "It's disgusting. It's so phony. I watched him bumble through the interview."

Trump Jr. also added that, "These lies and the perpetuating of nonsense to try to gain some political capital is outrageous and he should be ashamed of himself. If a Republican did that, they'd be calling for people to bring out the electric chair."

But the DNC staffers’ apparent bias for Clinton over Sanders during the primary season and its derogatory comments about their state’s constituents reveal a troubling disdain for ordinary Americans and the momentum that swept across the country from Sanders and Trump supporters alike.

  1. BernieSanders
  2. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
  3. DNC
  4. DNC convention
  5. email scandal
  6. hillary clinton
  7. Wikileaks
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