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Bernie Sanders Rules Out Convention Floor Fights on Platform

The potential for floor fights on nominating rules, including eliminating superdelegates, are “still in play,” a Sanders aide said.
Image: Bernie Sanders
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a campaign event, Monday, April 4, 2016, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)Paul Sancya / AP

Bernie Sanders has decided against waging any floor fights at the Democratic National Convention on the party platform, according to an email obtained by NBC News.

Party rules empower Sanders, who endorsed Hillary Clinton Tuesday, to try to force votes at the Philadelphia convention on proposed planks that failed to muster the necessary votes at a Platform Committee meeting last weekend in Orlando.

But Sanders has decided against using the so-called minority report process, the senator’s top policy aid informed allies Tuesday.

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"As a result of our success and the realization that further platform fights would be portrayed in the corporate media as obstructionist and divisive, the Senator made the very difficult decision not to file minority reports,” policy director Warren Gunnels wrote in an email to activists who assisted the campaign’s platform efforts.

“I know that many of you feel frustrated that we did not win every battle. I feel the same way," Gunnels added. "But all that means is that we must fight even harder to elect progressives at every level of government who will fight to advance our bold, progressive agenda."

The news was first reported by the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent.

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Democrats worried about potentially raucous floor fights on wedge issues like an amendment opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. That plank was Sanders’ top policy goal heading into the Orlando, but it was voted down out of respect for President Obama, who supports the TPP.

Gunnels said the full draft campaign is expected to be released Monday, after a lengthy technical approval process following the platform meeting.

Sanders’ campaign is still gearing up for a fight on party nominating rules, with their top goal being the elimination of superdelegates. The party’s Rules Committee will meet just ahead of the convention.

“In terms of the convention, there are still more battles to be waged. We are now focusing our attention on changing the rules of the Democratic Party in order to make it easier for progressive challengers to win elections,” Gunnels wrote.