Former DNC chair Ed Rendell: Clinton campaign is making a mistake by attacking FBI director

Story highlights

  • "I wouldn't attack him," Rendell said of Comey Tuesday.
  • "[I]t's gonna be a close election here in Pennsylvania," Rendell said.

(CNN)Ed Rendell, the former governor of Pennsylvania and former Democratic National Committee chairman, said Tuesday that Hillary Clinton's campaign was making a mistake by attacking FBI director James Comey over how he handled recent developments into the investigation of Clinton's private server.

"I think that's, I wouldn't do that," Rendell told radio host Rich Zeoli on 1210 WPHT Philadelphia. "Again, you know, I'm not running the campaign by any means, but I wouldn't do that. I agree with you."
    Earlier in the interview, when the host said he thought that the strategy of attacking Comey was a "mistake," Rendell replied, "I generally do as well."
    "Although I will say the more that comes out about this, the stranger it is," he said. "Like the agents had this material or knew about the existence of the material at the beginning of October and didn't tell the director until the end of October. That makes no sense at all. So the more that this comes out, I think the more facts that come out, the better it is for Secretary Clinton but I agree with you, I wouldn't attack him."
    Rendell added that Comey should clarify where the investigation stands.
    On Friday, Comey sent a letter to members of Congress saying that new emails pertinent to the FBI's investigation of Clinton's use of a private server as secretary of state had been discovered in an "unrelated case," later revealed to be the one involving Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
    Republicans and Democrats have attacked Comey over his decision to publicly announce details of an investigation so close to Election Day. Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said the decision showed a "blatant double standard" on the part of the FBI for sending Friday's letter but not publicly commenting on potential Donald Trump campaign ties to Russia.
    Rendell added in the interview that the resurrection of the email controversy would encourage Republicans to turn out for Trump.
    "I think the FBI stuff gave a boost to Trump, not because it changed anyone's mind but because I think it took a couple of Trump voters who were pretty discouraged last week with all the news about the polls and stuff and probably weren't gonna vote and now they're on fire and they're gonna vote, so I anticipate, as I said last week, but I even anticipate it more so that it's gonna be a close election here in Pennsylvania," Rendell said.
    In the interview, Rendell also expressed concern about public transport workers striking in Philadelphia, saying that if the strike was not resolved by Election Day, it could hold down turnout and be "a real plus for Donald Trump."