Friday on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” Robby Mook, the campaign manager for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, weighed in on allegations from former interim Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile that the party favored Clinton over her challenger Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the primary.
Mook, also a commentator for CNN, dismissed the charge of a rigged primary by calling it “frankly laughable” and pointing out Clinton won the Democratic primary by 4 million votes.
Partial transcript as follows:
COOPER: Right. But, clearly, Jeff Weaver and the Sanders campaign believe that things were rigged against them.
MOOK: Well, here’s what I’ll say about this. You know, politics is politics. People have to go there — you know, go out there and say what they need to say. I think it is — I think it’s dangerous to say this contest was rigged for the following reason —
COOPER: Because Elizabeth Warren, by the way, is also saying that now.
MOOK: Well, and Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are important part of our party. They’re an important part of our politics. We can’t make the case to working people in this country that we’re going to be — that we’re going to stand up for them and we’re going to fight for them, if we’re fighting each other. We can’t do that.
Hillary Clinton won this primary with almost 4 million votes. That’s a bigger league that Barack Obama had over her when she lost and conceded in 2008. The idea that the DNC could rig a contest frankly is laughable.
And here’s the thing I’ll say. You know, the caucus contests within the larger primary are the contests that are run by the party. You know, the primary elections are run by secretaries of state. Those contests, the caucuses that were run by the party, Bernie Sanders won overwhelmingly. So, if we look at what the party actually in this process, Bernie Sanders won those contests. I think we only won three of them and we barely won Iowa.
So, there’s just no evidence to back this up. I understand that it’s convenient. Some people like — you know, they want to be angry of what’s going on. But we’ve got to focus our anger on Donald Trump and this outrageous tax plan that the Republicans are proposing.
COOPER: So, is this just about Donna Brazile trying to peddle a book? I mean, because as Brianna mentioned, you know, through somebody who didn’t work at CNN, she gained access to one town hall question and she gave that or at least attempted to or in an email give it to somebody in the Clinton campaign, which is completely unethical. She lost her job. You know, she — I mean, I frankly view it as a huge betrayal of everybody who work at CNN, the fact that she did that.
I don’t see her attempting to — in any of those e-mails attempting to give information to the Sanders campaign. It seemed like she was more than happy to cozy up to the Clinton campaign. And now, she has a book to sell, she’s now spinning this yarn.
MOOK: I feel like all this is water under the bridge. And Donna Brazile has served our party for 30 years. She’s been a champion for Democrats. It was my honor and my privilege to work with her as chair of our party. I look forward to working with Donna —
COOPER: Do you think it was appropriate for her to do that about a town hall question?
MOOK: I don’t honestly know the specifics of it. It sounds like CNN looked into it and took action as they saw fit.
But again, Anderson, I’m not just interested in these things in the past. This is why we got to move beyond 2016. We have a governor’s election less than a week away in Virginia. We’ve got critical midterm elections.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor