After CNN’s Jake Tapper appeared to imply that the Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was misleading his supporters by encouraging them to believe he could still win the Democratic nomination race despite the fact that the delegate count shows otherwise, Sanders rebuked Tapper, saying that his supporters can do arithmetic.
After Sanders pointed out the huge disparity between his superdelegate count and Clinton’s, Tapper still went ahead to suggest that Sanders was misleading his supporters by not presenting an accurate picture of the race to 2,383 delegates for nomination as presidential candidate.
Tapper pointed out that Sanders’ opponent, the former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, already had 54 percent of pledged delegates, compared with Sanders’ 46 percent.
“Now you were making a point about the superdelegates,” Tapper said, “but what you left out of that data is that while it’s true – you have roughly 46 percent of the pledged delegates, Secretary Clinton has roughly 54 percent of them.”
“It seems unlikely that you’ll actually achieve the majority of the pledged delegates,” Tapper added.
Apparently taking umbrage at what appeared a suggestion that his supporters could not do the math or pause to work out the implication of the disparity between his delegate count and Clinton’s at a late stage of the nomination race, Sanders chided Tapper.
“I assume that most of the people who come to my rallies can do arithmetic,” he snapped.
“The point that I was making is there’s something absurd when I get 46 percent of the delegates that come from real contests — real elections, and 7 percent of the superdelegates,” he added.
Sanders then used the opportunity to recommend himself as the stronger candidate who enjoys broader appeal.
“I am the stronger candidate because we appeal to independents, people who are not in love with either the Democratic or the Republican Party,” the Vermont Senator said.
Tapper saw an opportunity to take Sanders to task over what appeared a contradiction between Sanders’ publicly stated opposition to the Democratic Party’s superdelegate system and his efforts ahead of the party’s national convention to woo the same superdelegates by portraying himself as the stronger candidate.
He wondered why Sanders was relying on the superdelegates to secure a majority of pledged delegates despite his publicly stated opposition to the party’s superdelegate system.
“Should we assume that means that you believe the candidate who has the majority of pledged delegates by the end of this process should be the nominee?” Tapper asked.
Sanders responded somewhat evasively, saying that he appreciated that he was in a difficult position with regard to the delegate count but that he was trying to reach out to the superdelegates to encourage them to take an “objective look at which candidate is stronger.”
Determined not to let Sanders get off easy, Tapper pointed out that Clinton still “has more votes than you and she has more pledges delegates than you.”
“The question is just a simple, yes or no,” Tapper insisted. “Should the person with the most pledged delegates be the Democratic nominee?”
Sanders decided to address the question directly, saying that despite his disapproval of the superdelegates system he had no choice in the circumstances but to face the reality before him.
“I’m not a fan of superdelegates, but their job is to take an objective look at reality,” Sanders said.
“We are where we are right now!” he continued firmly. “And where we are is we are fighting to win the pledged delegates. So before I can answer your question, let’s see what’s going to happen.”
Sanders pointed out that most of the superdelegates had lined up behind his opponent before he launched his campaign officially.
He repeated his disapproval of the role of superdelegates in the nomination process, describing it as “undemocratic. ” He insisted there was “need to change” the system because it was “ill-advised.”
[Photo By Jae C. Hong/AP]