Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the House Minority Whip, was caught on tape trying to get a progressive candidate to bow out of a Democratic primary in Colorado. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, he explained, preferred another candidate.
"You keep saying I would like you to get out of the race, and of course that's correct," Hoyer told Levi Tillemann, a former Obama Energy Department employee.
Jason Crow, Hoyer explained, is their best chance to unseat Republican incumbent Mike Coffman.
“Yeah, I’m for Crow,” Hoyer explained. “I am for Crow because a judgment was made very early on. I didn’t know Crow. I didn’t participate in the decision. But a decision was made early on by the Colorado delegation,” he said, referencing the three House Democrats elected from Colorado.
“So your position is, a decision was made very early on before voters had a say, and that’s fine because the DCCC knows better than the voters of the 6th Congressional District, and we should line up behind that candidate,” asked Tillemann during the conversation.
“That’s certainly a consequence of our decision,” responded Hoyer. (The Intercept)
Meddling at its finest.
The audio, obtained by The Intercept, is more proof of senior Democratic officials working "to crush competitive primaries," the outlet intoned.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, asked about the ethically questionable request, is standing by Hoyer.
“I don’t see anything inappropriate in what Mr. Hoyer was engaged in conversation about,” Pelosi said at her weekly press conference Thursday. “If the realities of life is that some candidates can do better in the general than others, then that’s a clear-eyed conversation that we should be having.”
Of course, we saw this behavior at the national level too. As the 2016 Democratic primary got underway, the DNC rolled out the red carpet for Hillary Clinton, by far the most recognizable candidate in the race, to the detriment of lesser known challengers like Bernie Sanders. Despite Debbie Wasserman Schultz limiting the number of debates, Sanders still managed to make a spirited run. Former interim DNC Chair Donna Brazile wrote in Politico Magazine last year how distraught she was to discover that the Clinton campaign had so much control of the party's finances. She dreaded calling Sanders to tell him.