Sanders backer's swipe at Clinton sparks Texas skirmish

AP News
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Posted: Jul 26, 2016 3:43 PM
Sanders backer's swipe at Clinton sparks Texas skirmish

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Bernie Sanders delegate from North Texas sparked a shouting match Tuesday among his state's delegation to the Democratic National Convention by condemning Hillary Clinton, but later said he misspoke in "a moment of passion."

During the delegation's breakfast in Philadelphia, Russell Lytle took the stage with fellow backers of the Vermont senator. He expressed concern about the direction of the party before telling the crowd, "We are currently condemning our currently presumptive nominee."

That caused an uproar, with shouting among backers of both Sanders and Clinton. Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa briefly suspended the proceedings.

Tensions between the two factions have made the Democratic convention rowdy at times. On Monday, Sanders delegates booed some of the speakers from the convention floor.

After the breakfast, Lytle of Denton, Texas, released a statement he signed by hand. "In a moment of passion, while reaching out to my fellow members of the Texas delegation," it read, "I spoke one sentence that did not reflect my intention of promoting productive dialogue."

Lytle also said he had voluntarily withdrawn his convention credentials, a largely symbolic move.

State Rep. Rafael Anchia from Dallas, a Clinton superdelegate, shrugged off the chaotic scene. He recalled in 2008, when he was a Barack Obama delegate to that year's Democratic National Convention, there was concern Clinton supporters would never unify behind the party's then-nominee.

"I don't recall any booing, per se, but there were people who were in the 'never Obama' camp," Anchia said.

He added that he expects all intra-party bitterness to be overshadowed by the end of the convention.

"In the end, the old proverb of 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' will prevail," Anchia said.