Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is asking delegates to sign agreements that prohibit them from criticizing other candidates and speaking to the media without approval, The Washington Post reports.
Sanders, whose supporters strongly criticized Hillary Clinton in 2016 and have taken to Twitter to blast former Vice President Joe Biden this year, is asking delegates that will represent him at the Democratic convention to sign a document agreeing to avoid a repeat of the last election.
The agreement bars attacks on other candidates and party leaders, combative confrontations on social media, and interacting with reports without approval from Sanders’ team.
The move “carried a threat of being removed as a delegate,” according to the Post.
The new policy urges delegates to steer clear of personal attacks.
“Refrain from making negative statements about other candidates, party leaders, Campaigns, Campaign staffers, supporters, news organizations or journalists. This Campaign is about the issues and finding solutions to America’s problems,” the document said. “Our job is to differentiate the senator from his opponents on the issues — not through personal attacks.”
“Do your best to avoid online arguments or confrontations,” it added. “If engaging in an adversarial conversation, be respectful when addressing opposing viewpoints or commenting on the opposition.”
Some delegates angry:
The Sanders campaign is now working to adjust its policy after angering some delegates.
“Some of the intent and some of the wording was really not agreeable to some of our Colorado delegation,” said Sanders delegate Lori Boydston.
“I think the campaign is trying to avoid, you know, a walkout or some really bad optics a la 2016,” said Chris Liquori, a Sanders delegate from New Hampshire.
“When delegates attend the Democratic convention, they will be representing Sen. Sanders, the ideas he ran on and the millions of working people who supported his campaign,” Sanders campaign spokesman Mike Casca said in a statement. “That is a serious responsibility and we’re asking them to follow a basic code of conduct while carrying out that duty.”