Jane Sanders said Democratic primary rules are "wrong"
Sanders also cast doubt on the New York Daily News' motives
The Democratic Party’s primary process is alienating potential voters and weighted to favor an establishment candidate, Jane Sanders, wife of Bernie Sanders, said Wednesday.
But she stopped short of calling the contest “rigged” in favor of front-runner Hillary Clinton’s campaign, a term Donald Trump has used to describe the Republican race.
“We’re saying it’s wrong,” she told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on “CNN Newsroom.” “We’re saying it’s not a democratic way to carry out an election.”
Sanders also cast doubt on the New York Daily News’ motives entering their April 1 interview of her husband, a tense affair in which a transcript showed him struggling to give clear answers on an assortment of policy questions. Jane Sanders called it “more of an inquisition.”
“It was a very odd interview. We commented on that afterwards that it was more of an inquisition,” she said, claiming the editorial board had hurried and interrupted her husband.
“We didn’t realize that they had planned to release the transcript,” Sanders added, “so it became a little more evident what they were trying to do.”
The paper cited the Vermont senator’s performance in the interview as a reason to vote for Hillary Clinton when it endorsed the former secretary of state on Tuesday, writing that Sanders “was at a loss to show how he would execute” his plan to break up the big banks.
Jim Rich, the Daily News’ editor in chief, defended the paper’s coverage in a statement to CNN.
“I think the transcript of the interview – and the full scope and fairness of our entire coverage of all the candidates – speaks for itself,” Rich said.
A Brooklyn native like her husband, Jane Sanders also questioned New York state primary rules, which call for voters to register at least 25 days before an election in order to participate. For those already registered but wanting to change party affiliation, the deadline was October 9.
“I thought we were trying to reinvigorate our democracy,” Sanders said. “We’re bringing a lot of new people into the party and it’s really too bad that they’re shutting the door on them.”
She also expressed concern about some of the complexities of the nominating process.
“You have to admit, the way that they’re doing things in terms of superdelegates and in terms of how delegates are put out there doesn’t make a lot of sense to the average person,” Sanders said. “We understood those are the rules, we’re playing by the rules. We’re not complaining about it.”
She also claimed the Democratic Party establishment had kept the campaign in the dark about miscounted results in Colorado, where Sanders, according a Denver Post report earlier this week, had been quietly awarded another delegate.
“We just heard from the media on Monday that Denver had miscounted the results in 10 precincts,” Sanders told Baldwin.
“(The state party) found out. They called the Clinton campaign. They didn’t bother to tell us. We heard from the media this week,” she said. “We’re used to being non-establishment, we’re used to having them be not really in our corner. So it’s not a surprise, but it’s something that should change.”
CNN’s Dylan Byers contributed to this report.