After spending the first segment of The Daily Show Monday night hammering Hillary Clinton for refusing to debate Bernie Sanders, Trevor Noah welcomed his guest, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and urged her to get in on the “nastiness” going on between the two candidates.
“From our standpoint, I want them debating every day,” Wasserman Schultz said of the Democrats, in an attempt to counter the conventional wisdom. “And I bet my counterpart, Reince Priebus, wants [the GOP candidates] to debate never. Because every time they open their mouth, they do something to alienate somebody else. I’m so proud of our candidates because they have talked about how to move our country forward.”
Last fall, Wasserman Schultz announced her plan to hold just six Democratic debates ahead of the 2016 presidential election—compared to 26 in 2008. To date, there have been eight, with a ninth finally scheduled on April 14 in Brooklyn. Even when these debates have occurred they were often shown on weekend nights, which guaranteed lower ratings than the weeknight primetime slots favored by the GOP.
Pushing back on the Democratic Party’s leader, Noah noted that many people feel Bernie Sanders “is being cockblocked by the DNC.” He asked point blank, “Is there any merit to this?”
Unsurprisingly, Wasserman Schultz rejected this narrative. “You know, as powerful as that makes me feel, I’m not doing a very good job of rigging the outcome or... blocking anyone from being able to get their message out,” she said. When Noah similarly characterized the superdelegate process as anti-democratic, Wasserman Schultz defended it as a worthy tradition.
Despite the current animosity in the race, Wasserman Schultz assured Noah that “at the end of the day, we are going to come together.” She couldn’t say the same for the Republicans, who more than likely seem headed for a contested convention in July.
“You’ll watch the chaos unfold on the other side where they are about to splinter into I don’t know how many parts,” she said, “because they have alienated and done everything they can to make people in this country feel unwelcome, the vitriol and bigotry and nastiness that not only Donald Trump is engaged in but they have all piled onto and promoted, and gone out of their way to embrace.”
If she were running the RNC right now, Wasserman Schultz said, “I would strengthen my spine and I would make sure that I stood up for what was right instead of caving, which is what the entire Republican Party has done.”
Trump didn’t “hijack” the Republican Party, she said. Rather, they “succumbed to right-wing extremism” and are “laying in the bed they made for themselves.”