PHILADELPHIA — Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was shouted down at her home state’s breakfast Monday morning by angry supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
As the Florida Democrat entered the banquet room in downtown Philadelphia, her supporters started chanting, “Debbie! Debbie!” They were quickly joined by angry boos, with several standing up and holding signs that read, “EMAILS.”
The signs referenced the controversy over roughly 20,000 leaked DNC emails that showed some staffers plotting against and disregarding the Sanders primary campaign.
Wasserman Schultz announced Sunday that she would resign as DNC chairwoman after this week’s events in Philadelphia. She is still expected to address the convention Monday night.
But Monday morning was a preview of what could happen when she takes the convention stage.
Seth Alexander of Gainesville, Florida, who was wearing a Sanders T-shirt, started a “Shame!” chant as Wasserman Schultz spoke.
Alexander said the protest happened organically and that protesters were angry that Wasserman Schultz was still at the convention.
“She is not welcome here. She does not deserve to be at this convention,” Alexander said.
Elaine Geller of Hollywood, Florida, said the protest was “disgraceful.” Geller was wearing a “Wasserman Schultz for Congress” T-shirt and started chanting “Debbie!” when Sanders supporters began to disrupt the chairwoman’s speech. Geller said one of the Sanders supporters cursed at her and threatened to punch her.
Wasserman Schultz continued to speak despite the protest.
“We have so much to do and we have to make sure that we move forward,” she said.
“We know that the voices in this room that are standing up and being disruptive, that’s not Florida,” Wasserman Schultz said.