Contribute
CONNECT:

research

Democrats “Come Apart And Fight Each Other” Tour

- April 27, 2017

The "Unity Tour" Has Shown More "Disunity" And Division Than Anything Else, And The Media Has Taken Notice


TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • News organizations have reported on the irony of the Democrats' "Unity Tour," which has exposed deep divisions within the Democrat Party.
  • Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was more interested in using the Unity Tour to try and bring the Democrat Party to him instead of bringing the Party together, best exemplified by his refusal to identify as a Democrat and his resistance to sharing resources with the DNC.
  • With Democrats criticizing DNC Chair Tom Perez for his abortion litmus test and the media criticizing Perez for his failed tour, it's clear that all the Unity Tour managed to accomplish was uniting people in their criticism of Tom Perez's performance as DNC Chair.

POLITICAL PUNDITS AND MAJOR NEWS OUTLETS HAVE TAKEN NOTICE OF THE DIVISIONS EXPOSED BY THE UNITY TOUR

On The Unity Tour There "Has Not Been Much Unity" And The Media Has Pointedly Observed This Reoccurring Problem With Democrats

CNN Headline: "Democrats' 'Unity Tour' Is Highlighting Their Many Divisions." (Gregory Krieg, "Democrats' 'Unity Tour' Is Highlighting Their Many Divisions," CNN , 04/21/17)

The New York Times Headline: "At A 'Unity' Stop In Nebraska, Democrats Find Anything But." (Jonathan Martin, "At A 'Unity' Stop In Nebraska, Democrats Find Anything But," The New York Times , 04/21/17)

Starting On April 17, Senator Sanders And Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez Started A Tour Called "Come Together And Fight Back." "Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, Sen. Bernie Sanders and other Democrat leaders plan to visit purple and red states next week as part of an effort to increase grassroots activism. The states that will be visited include Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada and Utah. Of these states, Nevada was the only state to go blue in the 2016 presidential election. Maine had a split electoral vote, with three of its votes going to Hillary Clinton and one going to Donald Trump. The 'Come Together and Fight Back' tour begins April 17." (Jessica Estepa, "Democrats Announce 'Come Together And Fight Back' Tour," USA Today , 04/10/17)

The Tour Was Billed As A "Unity Tour." "Since the election, Democrats have seemed very united in their singular opposition to President Trump's policies, but the 2016 presidential campaign exposed the fissures within the Democratic Party. Now, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and DNC Chairman Tom Perez are holding rallies across seven states in what is being billed as a 'unity tour.'" (Scott Detrow, "Seeking To Bridge Divisions, Democrats Come Together In 'Unity' Tour," National Public Radio , 04/20/17)

However, "Divisions Exposed By The Unity Tour…Go Well Beyond Personality Differences Of Perez And Sanders And Speak To A Fundamental Disagreement Over The Direction Of The Party." "The divisions exposed by the unity tour- which hits Salt Lake City on Friday and Mesa, Arizona, and Las Vegas on Saturday - go well beyond personality differences of Perez and Sanders and speak to a fundamental disagreement over the direction of the party." (Alex Thompson, "So Much For Unity," Vice , 04/20/17)

MSNBC's Chuck Todd Said That The Unity Tour "Appears To Be Creating Sometimes A Bit Of Disunity." MSNBC's CHUCK TODD: "Welcome back to 'MTP Daily.' There's a unity tour under way right now that appears to be creating sometimes a bit disunity. I'm talking about the Democratic National Committee's come together and fight back tour which kicked off Monday, headlined by new chairman, Tom Perez, and the ever popular senator, Bernie Sanders." (MSNBC's, "MTP Daily," 04/21/17)

After The Miami Stop On The Tour, "It Was Clear Among Latino Attendees There Is Still Much Work To Be Done To Bring The Democratic Party Together." "At a 'Come Together and Fight Back' unity rally in South Florida, it was clear among Latino attendees there is still much work to be done in order to bring the Democratic party together before the next elections."(Carmen Sesin, "At Democratic 'Unity' Rally In Miami, It's Still 'Bernie' Who Draws Young Latinos," NBC , 04/20/17)

Nation Public Radio's Ari Shapiro On The Unity Tour: "There Has Not Been Much Unity." ARI SHAPIRO: "All week, two prominent figures on the left have been traveling the country on a Democratic Party unity tour, except there has not been too much unity." (National Public Radio's, " All Things Considered ," 04/20/17)

VICE: Democrats "Cannot Simply Paper Over The Internal Divisions Exposed" During 2016 Democratic Primary Between Sen. Sanders And Hillary Clinton. "But the rancor both onstage and in the crowds indicate the party cannot simply paper over the internal divisions exposed during the Democratic primary battle last year between Sanders and Hillary Clinton." (Alex Thompson, "So Much For Unity," Vice , 04/20/17)

The Washington Post's Aaron Blake Points Out That On The "Come Together And Fight Back" Tour, "He [Sanders] Is Not Really Helping On That First Part." "Bernie Sanders has embarked on a 'Come Together and Fight Back' tour with Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez. But he's not really helping on that first part." (Aaron Blake, "Bernie Sanders's Strange Behavior," The Washington Post , 04/20/17)

THE TOUR ILLUSTRATES THE MAJOR POLICY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BERNIE SANDERS AND THE DEMOCRAT PARTY

Perez And Sanders Cannot Agree On A Health Care Plan Or About How To Message Their Policies

Senator Sanders Called For A "Medicare-For-All" Approach, Whereas Perez Would Not Endorse That Policy. "Perez and Sanders' differences were somewhat apparent in the Tuesday interview. On health care, Sanders called for a 'Medicare-for-all' approach, and Perez stopped short of endorsing that policy while saying he believed health care should be a right." (Miranda Green and Eli Watkins, "Sanders, Perez Unity Tour Is Off To A Bumpy Start," CNN , 04/19/17)

  • When Asked About Sanders' Message Of Railing Against The "Ruling Class," Perez "Demurred" And Said Democrats Need To Campaign On "Hope." "Sanders railed against 'the ruling class' and said voters needed to hear that. 'Your greed is destroying this country, and you know what? We're going to take you on,' Sanders said. Asked about that kind of message, Perez demurred and said Democrats needed to campaign on 'hope' and later called it a 'false choice.' 'When we put hope on the ballot, Chris, we win,' Perez said." (Miranda Green and Eli Watkins, "Sanders, Perez Unity Tour Is Off To A Bumpy Start," CNN , 04/19/17)

Perez and Sanders' High-Profile, Public Disagreement About Democrats' Position On Abortion Shined A Bright Light On The Intractable Issues Driving A Wedge Between The Different Factions Of The Democrat Party

Democrat Heath Mello, "A Bernie Sanders-Backed Candidate For Mayor Of Omaha" Scheduled A Rally With Sen. Sanders And Rep. Keith Ellison On April 20, 2017. "Democrat Heath Mello, a Bernie Sanders-backed candidate for mayor of Omaha, is scheduled to appear with Sanders and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the DNC's new deputy chair, at a sold-out rally on Thursday." (Elana Schor, "DNC Rally With Anti-Abortion Candidate Fuels Backlash," Politico , 04/20/17)

  • The Event "Sparked Blowback From The Left" Due To The Mayoral Candidate's [Heath Mello] "Anti-Abortion" Positions . "The addition of an anti-abortion Nebraska mayoral candidate to a Democratic National Committee 'unity tour' sparked blowback from the left on Thursday." (Elana Schor, "DNC Rally With Anti-Abortion Candidate Fuels Backlash," Politico , 04/20/17)

"Casting Aside Their Efforts At Unity, Mr. Perez's Aides Blamed Mr. Sanders" For Scheduling The Mello Event And Criticized Him For Not Vetting Mello. "Casting aside their efforts at unity, Mr. Perez's aides blamed Mr. Sanders for the event, putting out word that it had been the senator's idea to include the rally on the tour and criticizing him for not vetting Mr. Mello." (Jonathan Martin, "At A 'Unity' Stop In Nebraska, Democrats Find Anything But," The New York Times , 04/21/17)

On April 21, 2017, Tom Perez Demanded "Ideological Purity" By Promising "To Support Only Democratic Candidates Who Back A Woman's Right To Choose" And Stated "It's Not Negotiable." "Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez became the first head of the party to demand ideological purity on abortion rights, promising Friday to support only Democratic candidates who back a woman's right to choose. 'Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman's right to make her own choices about her body and her health,' Perez said in a statement. That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.'" (Laura Bassett, "Democratic Party Draws A Line In The Sand On Abortion Rights," Huffington Post , 04/21/17)

  • Perez Went On To Say That "We Must Speak Up For This Principle As Loudly As Ever With One Voice." "At a time when women's rights are under assault from the White House, the Republican Congress, and in states across the country, we must speak up for this principle as loudly as ever and with one voice." (Aaron Blake, "Democrats' Self-Inflicted Abortion Problem," The Washington Post , 04/24/17)

And Despite Mello's Record Drawing Fire From Many In The Democratic Party, Senator Sanders Stood By His Endorsement. "Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday stood by his decision to back a Democratic candidate whose record on abortion has drawn fire from many in the party. Late last week, Sanders joined Omaha mayoral candidate Heath Mello for a rally supporting his bid to oust Republican incumbent Jean Stothert as leader of the largest city in Nebraska." (Eli Watkins, "Bernie Sanders Stands By Anti-Abortion Mayoral Candidate," CNN , 04/24/17)

The Debate About Abortion Revealed A "Much Deeper Debate On The Left" On Whether The Party's "Central And Dominant Appeal" Should Be "Economic Justice Or "Fealty To The Democrats' Cultural Catechism." "The anger over that position reflects a long-running argument among Democrats over whether, or how much, to support candidates who depart from party orthodoxy on abortion. But the ferocity of the dispute this time reveals a much deeper debate on the left: Should a commitment to economic justice be the party's central and dominant appeal, or do candidates also have to display fealty to the Democrats' cultural catechism? (Jonathan Martin, "At A 'Unity' Stop In Nebraska, Democrats Find Anything But," The New York Times , 04/21/17)

This Divide [On Abortion] Illustrates The "Democrats' Struggles To Unify Behind Any Cohesive Political Strategy." "And the split says plenty about Democrats' struggles to unify behind any cohesive political strategy -- specifically, whether to embrace purity or pragmatism." (Aaron Blake, "Democrats' Self-Inflicted Abortion Problem," The Washington Post , 04/24/17)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS' OBVIOUS MISGIVINGS AND RELUCTANCE TO FULLY ENGAGE WITH PEREZ AND THE DNC IS ON DISPLAY DURING THE UNITY TOUR

Senator Sanders Routinely Criticizes The Democrat Party And Places The Blame For The Recent Electoral Losses Squarely On The Shoulders Of The Party

Senator Bernie Sanders: "The Model Of The Democratic Party Is Failing." "Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Sunday that the model of the Democratic Party is failing. 'I think what is clear to anyone who looks at where the Democratic Party today is, that the model of the Democratic Party is failing,' Sanders told CBS's 'Face the Nation.' Sanders cited President Trump's win, the GOP-controlled Congress, and Republican victories in state legislatures as reasons why Democrats are in trouble." (Mallory Shelbourne, "Sanders: Democratic Party's Model Is 'Failing,'" The Hill , 04/23/17)

Senator Sanders Admitted That The Democratic Party "Has Turned Its Back On Working People In Literally Half The Country." "'We'll be traveling - and Tom will be traveling with me - to traditionally conservative states,' Sanders said. 'It's absolutely absurd that the Democratic Party has turned its back on working people in literally half the country.'" (David Weigel, "Bernie Sanders And DNC Chair Tom Perez To United For Cross-Country Tour," The Washington Post , 04/06/17)

At A Rally In Miami, Sen. Sanders Blamed The Democratic Party For Losing The 2016 Presidential Election. "'We are going to take on the billionaire class…' Sanders said. 'Donald Trump did not win the election - the Democrats lost the election! That means rebuilding the Democratic Party, making it a grassroots party - a party from the bottom on up!'" (Amy Sherman, "Bernie Sanders Rallies Democrats In Miami To Push Back Against President Donald Trump," The Miami Herald , 04/19/17)

Sanders' Progressive Base Has Repeatedly Vocalized Its Disdain For The DNC At Rallies During The Tour

In Maine, When DNC Chairman Tom Perez Was Mentioned The Crowd Cut Off The Speaker With Boos. "When the leader of the Maine Young Democrats asked the crowd what brought them to the rally, the audience erupted in 'Bernie' cheers. The leader followed up by asking, 'Maybe you came through because you are curious about the new DNC chairman and the future of Democratic politics?' - and the crowd cut her off with boos." (Miranda Green and Eli Watkins, "Sanders, Perez Unity Tour Is Off To A Bumpy Start," CNN , 04/19/17)

In Miami, There Were Boos When Sanders Thanked Perez Which Was "Evidence Of Tension Between Sanders And The DNC." "(There was still some lingering evidence of tension between Sanders and the DNC: When Sanders thanked Perez, scattered boos could be heard.)" (Amy Sherman, "Bernie Sanders Rallies Democrats In Miami To Push Back Against President Donald Trump," The Miami Herald , 04/19/17)

  • One Sanders Fan Rushed The Staged And Shouted "Bernie Would Have Won!" Into The Microphone And "The Audience Joined In The Cheer." "A Sanders fan rushed the stage, grabbed the microphone, and shouted, 'Bernie would have won!' The audience joined in the cheer, loudly repeating an alternate reality rallying cry that didn't exactly scream, 'Democratic Unity Tour.'" (Scott Detrow, "Sanders' United Tour With DNC Chair Exposes Rifts But Also Suggests Common Goals," National Public Radio , 04/22/17)

 


Previous post

Trump Triumphant: Putting America First In First 100 Days

Next post

That Time Dems Thought A Gov. Shutdown Was “Reckless” “Hostage-Taking”
Republican National Committee

Connect With Us

Republican National Committee
Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel
News & Videos
  • 310 First Street SE, Washington, DC 20003
  • 202-863-8500

By providing your phone number, you are consenting to receive calls and SMS/MMS msgs, including autodialed and automated calls and texts, to that number from the Republican National Committee. Msg&data rates may apply. Terms & conditions/privacy policy apply 80810-info.com.

Paid for by the Republican National Committee. Not Authorized By Any Candidate Or Candidate's Committee. www.gop.com

By providing your phone number, you are consenting to receive calls and SMS/MMS msgs, including autodialed and automated calls and texts, to that number from the Republican National Committee. Msg&data rates may apply. Terms & conditions/privacy policy apply 80810-info.com.

Paid for by the Republican National Committee.
Not Authorized By Any Candidate Or Candidate's Committee. www.gop.com