Shumlin Won't Say If He'd Ever Shift Superdelegate Support To Sanders

Mar 31, 2016

Vermont's governor won’t say whether he'd ever throw his support behind Sen. Bernie Sanders at this summer's Democratic National Convention.

Gov. Peter Shumlin is backing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the presidential nomination. And he's vowed to cast his superdelegate vote for Clinton at the convention in Philadelphia.

But Thursday on Vermont Edition, Shumlin was asked whether he'd shift his support to Sanders if the senator wins the popular vote.

“I have never seen a Democratic Party not have the superdelegates support whoever got the most votes, and I don't expect that to happen this year,” Shumlin said.

When pressed to say whether that meant he would support whoever had the most votes, Shumlin responded, “I’ve learned not to answer hypotheticals.”

Listen to Gov. Peter Shumlin's full exchange with VPR's Jane Lindholm:

“He [Sanders] is a friend of mine, so this is obviously awkward,” Shumlin said. “I support his politics. I think he’s a great U.S. senator, and he makes me proud.”

Superdelegates are allowed to cast their convention votes however they want – regardless of popular vote totals.

The governor has taken some flak for supporting Clinton, even though Sanders overwhelmingly won Vermont's Democratic presidential primary.

Sanders' fellow senator, Patrick Leahy, has also pledged support for Hillary Clinton, as have former Vermont governors Madeleine Kunin and Howard Dean. Meanwhile, Rep. Peter Welch and three other Vermont superdelegates have come out in support of Sanders.

Right now, Clinton is leading Sanders in the race for pledged delegates, which are allocated based on popular votes.