Sanders Campaign's Devine: Bernie Will Win More Pledged Delegates And Prove He Is Strongest Candidate


MSNBC: Tad Devine, senior adviser to the Sanders campaign, talks with Rachel Maddow about the Sanders' campaign's expectations for the rest of the Democratic primary race, how their strategy is built around those expectations and Senator Sanders' determination to allow the process to play out in full.

"We think we can win more pledge delegates and more states and think we can prove to the Democratic party leadership that he will by far be the strongest candidate in the general election. If we can make that case and win it, we would hope the party would endorse him," Devine said.

More transcript, via Rachel Maddow Show:

MADDOW: Is there a point of friction between the case that Senator Sanders has made for people power, basically, for this not being decided by the establishment, for the Democratic party insiders not doing this and it being the will of the voters and shouldn't be something that gets decided in back rooms, it gets decided in public. Is there a point of friction between that strategy that you're describing state by state, also the superdelegate strategy that you guys have talked about for the convention, and the way he's talked about how he wants to win?

DEVINE: I don't think there is. I mean, these are the rules. Unlike the Republicans --Trump in particular -- you know we're not going around saying you know everything's rigged and running against the rules. The rules are as they are. We may not like the way the rules are set up in some places but we've agreed to play by them. So, you know we'll work hard under the rules of caucus states, we'll work hard in other places.

The superdelegates are there. We're gonna work hard to earn their support. I think we'll be able to do that if we succeed. Listen, the key test is succeeding with voters. In 2008 I wrote a piece that they published in the New York Times right after Super Tuesday. And I argued that superdelegates should wait, should look, and listen to what the voters do and follow the will of the voters. And I can tell you I got a lot of pushback from the Clinton campaign at the time, you know, when I published that piece. But I believe that today, that our superdelegates, that our party leaders should let the voters speak first. And I think if they do that all the way through the end of voting that will strengthen our party, and certainly strengthen our hand if we succeed with voters between now and June.

MSNBC's Steve Benen wrote Devine's comments, which differ from Sanders advisor Jeff Weaver's remarks on the network's election night coverage this past Tuesday, shows a communication breakdown in the campaign:

It’s not unusual for a presidential candidate to have different aides offering different strategies, and sometimes it’s a good thing for a candidate to get different kinds of input. But Team Sanders is in a tough spot right now, and at least on the surface, it seems the senator’s campaign manager and chief strategist aren’t saying the same thing about the road ahead.

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