A day after announcing she would step down as the head of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz appeared in front of Florida delegates to try to rally the party.
The message was met with chaos, as people in support and opposed to Wasserman Schultz crowded up to the stage, holding signs, chanting and ignoring calls to quiet down to allow the program to continue.
Wasserman Schultz, a South Florida congresswoman, issued a statement Sunday announcing she would step down at the end of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this week. The statement gave few details on the departure, but it comes as leaked emails show the DNC apparently favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the primary process, even though they are supposed to be impartial.
Opponents held signs saying "Emails" and similar things. They chanted "Shame, shame" as Wasserman Schultz tried to speak.
Supporters quickly rushed up as well, holding shirts touting her reelection bid and yelling, "Debbie, Debbie."
The shouters, many holding signs that simply said “E-MAILS,’ were countered by Wasserman Schultz supporters who cheered the party chairwoman and U.S. House member from Broward County.
"Let's be respectful," Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant said, pounding a gavel to try to restore order.
"I can see there’s a little bit of interest in my being here," Wasserman Schultz said. "I appreciate that interest. And a little bit of interest from the press. But that really shows you that Florida remains the most significant battleground state and will make sure that Hillary Clinton is elected president … We are the state that will deliver the White House."
Last week, the Republican Party strove to find and project unity, despite the continuing reluctance of some states and former presidential candidates to fall in line behind Donald Trump. Now, it looks like Democrats will have the same struggle through the course of the week. Already on Sunday, hundreds of Bernie Sanders supporters gathered to march through the city center.
For Sanders supporters, this latest email scandal leaves them asking "What if?"
"What if it had been a fair primary and Bernie had lost fairly or won fairly and the DNC would have been OK with that. I guess I still do wonder," said Orange County delegate Maria Carrillo.
"I think we would have had Bernie Sanders for [resident. I know we would have had Bernie Sanders for president," said Palm Beach County delegate Diana Hatsis-Neuhoff.
For Clinton delegates, however, it's time to move on.
"I thought that the Bernie people were rude, obnoxious and didn’t allow for the discourse to allow Debbie to speak," said Florida state Sen. Eleanor Sobel D-Hollywood. "I think that the Bernie people need to shift their focus to Trump."
"We’re stronger together and I'm here for Hillary and her new Vice President Tim Kaine, I think he’s awesome. I’m just going to move forward and put this behind us and go forward and unite the party," said Escambia County delegate Dianne Krumel.
Several Florida delegates said that their goal for the week is to highlight the commonalities between Sanders and Clinton supporters. Others want to focus on the platform and the future, rather than these leadership issues.
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George Bennett contributed to this story.