Bernie Sanders is going after Debbie Wasserman Schultz, endorsing her primary opponent and saying he would not keep her in charge of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) if elected president.
The Vermont senator appeared on CNN on Saturday and endorsed attorney and law school professor Tim Canova who is challenging Wasserman Schultz from the left in August’s congressional primary.
"Well, clearly, I favor her opponent," Sanders said of CNN. "His views are much closer to mine than Wasserman Schultz's."
Canova had been an advisor to Sanders on reforming Wall Street. Sanders and his camp have been critical of Wasserman Schultz’s leadership of the DNC, insisting the South Florida congresswoman is helping her old ally Hillary Clinton in the presidential primaries by limiting debates. For her part Wasserman Schultz insists she is neutral.
With Sanders behind him, Canova trumpeted the endorsement on Saturday.
“He believes, like an overwhelming majority of grassroots Democrats and progressive activists, that she has failed to live up to the values we share as a party,” Canova noted about Sanders and Wasserman Schultz.
For her part, Wasserman Schultz shrugged off the endorsement.
"I am so proud to serve the people of Florida's 23rd District and I am confident that they know that I am an effective fighter and advocate on their behalf in Congress," Wasserman Schultz told CNN. "Even though Senator Sanders has endorsed my opponent, I remain, as I have been from the beginning, neutral in the presidential Democratic primary. I look forward to working together with him for Democratic victories in the fall."
Sanders did not fare well in that South Florida district, taking only 30 percent while Clinton carried it with 68 percent of the votes in March’s primary.
Other Democratic primary candidates in the race could hurt Canova by splitting the anti-Wasserman Schultz vote.
Republicans would love to pick up this seat but it’s simply not happening. Joe Kaufman, who was routed by Wasserman Schultz two years ago and lost a GOP primary back in 2012, is back for a third run for Congress. After getting blown out in a state legislative race in 2014, attorney Marty Feigenbaum is also running for the Republican nomination. There are at least four candidates running with no party affiliation but whoever win the Democratic nomination should keep this seat for the Democrats.