A Michigan mayor was threatened with ejection from Sunday’s Democratic debate in Flint, Mich., for voicing his support for one candidate, BuzzFeed News reports.
Warren Mayor Jim Fouts, who was sitting behind Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, said he was complimenting Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). But staffers for the DNC said Fouts was “being very disruptive,” according to BuzzFeed.
The mayor said he and his assistant were pulled aside by security during a commercial break and were told that people had asked for him to be removed.
“The sergeant-at-arms said, ‘The people that run this want you ejected, they don’t want you here,’” Fouts said.
When asked if it was Wasserman Schultz making the request, Fouts said, “The security guy said, ‘Don’t say I said it.’”
Fouts, an Independent mayor who attended both the Republican and Democratic debates in his home state, commented on the noticeable differences between the two events.
“The Democratic debate is totally controlled by Hillarys [sic] good friend DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz,” Fouts wrote in a Facebook post. “No commentary is allowed by the audience. Particularly if you are cheering Bernie Sanders. Persons who do not adhere to Hillarys [sic] rules are threatened with expulsion.”
He also said the Democratic Party’s debate process “borders on totalitarian control” and, in an interview on Monday, he said Wasserman Schultz should resign.
This is not the first time fellow Democrats have been publicly critical of Wasserman Schultz and how she’s handled the party’s debates. Critics have accused the DNC chair and Florida congresswoman of limiting the number of debates in order to aid Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.