Sanders: Iowa Caucuses Were an 'embarrassment' and 'disgrace'

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MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — Two days before the New Hampshire primary, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said Sunday that the Iowa caucuses were an “embarrassment” and a “disgrace” but that he is confident his campaign “won the Iowa caucus.”

“All I can say about Iowa is, it was an embarrassment. It was a disgrace to the good people of Iowa who take their responsibilities in the caucuses very seriously. They screwed it up badly, that is what the Iowa Democratic Party did,” Sanders told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”

During a town hall in New Hampshire, Sanders and fellow Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg each claimed victory in Iowa.

Sanders reiterated his claim on Sunday.

“When you win an election by 6,000 or 2,500 votes from where I come from you win the primary or the caucus. So we are confident we won Iowa,” he said.

Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, holds a slim lead over Sanders in the Iowa caucuses with the Iowa Democratic Party announcing Thursday night that 100% of precincts are reporting.

The presidential campaigns for Buttigieg, Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren have submitted their respective evidence of inconsistencies from the Iowa caucuses count to the Iowa Democratic Party ahead of a noon Central time deadline, the Iowa Democratic Party communications director told CNN on Saturday.

The Iowa Democratic Party announced later Saturday that it was reviewing reports of irregularities from 95 precincts — 5% of the total 1,765 precincts in the state.

The party said in a statement that they had already initiated the process and that the possible corrections will be made public by noon Central (1 p.m. ET) Monday — before the party officially allocates how many delegates the campaigns will get from Iowa.

Buttigieg is already seeing a strong bounce in New Hampshire thanks to how he did in Iowa. The new CNN/University of New Hampshire Survey Center tracking poll puts Buttigieg at 21% from 15% last month. That brings him within seven points shy of the leader, Sanders (28%).

Nina Turner, national co-chair of Sanders campaign, on Saturday criticized the handling of the Iowa caucuses and said the Democratic National Committee’s call for a recanvass of the Iowa results was “intentional.”

“So the people were in charge i.e. the Iowa Democratic Party, should have done a better job,” she told CNN’s Ana Cabrera on Saturday. “And intentional in that you don’t dribble out the results. You come out, you fess up to it and then you give it all at once. And not the way it was done, which was very deceitful.”

Asked about those comments and whether the request to recanvass was meant to hurt his campaign, Sanders said he is not “casting any political aspersions.”

“I have no idea. We’re going to monitor the situation closely but that’s not my impression at this point,” Sanders said. “All I can tell you, Jake, is what most Americans know. We are taking on the entire establishment. We’re taking on corporate America. We’re taking on Trump and the corporate establishment and there are a lot in the Democratic establishment who are not to say the least enthusiastic about Bernie Sanders. I’m not casting any political aspersions.”

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