Debbie Wasserman-Schultz says she “took one for the team” by stepping down from her leadership post.
(NEW YORK) — Outgoing Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz spoke about her resignation during a reception at the party’s convention today, saying she “took one for the team” by stepping down from her leadership post.
“This has been a difficult week. There’s no question about it,” she said at the reception by the National Jewish Democratic Council. “And I am so proud of my team, some of whom are here, that put [the convention] together, from the convention team, to the national committee staff, to the volunteers, to our donors. Sometimes you just have to take one for the team. And that’s what happened. It’s OK.”
Video of her remarks was posted on the Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s Facebook page.
Wasserman Schultz announced her resignation as chair on Sunday, after WikiLeaks posted nearly 20,000 leaked emails by top Democratic National Committee officials over the course of the primary season.
Several of the emails appear to show Wassserman Schultz growing increasingly frustrated with the Bernie Sanders campaign, with her at one point even referring to his campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, as a “damn liar” and an “a–.”
As chair of the party’s national committee, Wasserman Schultz was supposed to remain neutral through the primary season, and Sanders and his campaign repeatedly accused her of bias in favor of Hillary Clinton.
Wasserman Schultz was supposed to both open and close the convention. But since announcing that she would step down, she has maintained a very low profile at the event. She has not come onstage, and aside from occasional sightings of her relayed by Twitter users, she has remained out of the public eye. When the Clinton campaign was asked at a briefing today if Wasserman Schultz would be in the arena tonight, campaign staffers said they didn’t know.
The outgoing chair offered effusive praise of Clinton today, telling those at the reception how she supported Clinton even before the candidate announced her run in 2008. Wasserman Schultz said she propelled herself through “the five stages of grief” before supporting Barack Obama that year.
The rest of her remarks that were videotaped were largely spent attacking Donald Trump and emphasizing that the Jewish community needs to rally behind the Democratic Party and Clinton.
She also discussed her next steps. She said she is going home to the Florida congressional district she represents, “winning my primary” — in which she is in a tight race with Tim Canova, a progressive candidate backed by Bernie Sanders — to continue her role as a Florida congresswoman and that she will keep fighting for the Democratic Party agenda.
“I am going to be right back out there. I am taking off one hat but putting on another,” she said.