Reports: Wasserman Schultz will not open Democratic convention

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Debbie Wasserman Schultz Booed Off Stage by Florida Delegation

PHILADELPHIA, July 25 (Reuters) -- Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said on Monday she will not open the party's national convention in Philadelphia, the Sun Sentinel newspaper reported.

"I have decided that in the interest of making sure that we can start the Democratic convention on a high note that I am not going to gavel in the convention," Wasserman Schultz told the Florida paper.

The announcement follows a chaotic incident Monday morning as protesters jeered the party chairwoman over leaked emails showing Democratic officials worked to undermine Bernie Sanders in his presidential primary battle with Hillary Clinton.

Hours before the start of the four-day gathering to nominate Clinton for the White House, outgoing Democratic National Committee head Debbie Wasserman Schultz struggled to be heard above boos as she spoke to the Democratic delegation from her home state, Florida.

SEE ALSO: The next Republican battle for the presidency is already starting to shake out

​​Protesters held up signs that read "Bernie" and "E-MAILS" and shouted "Shame," as she spoke. Others at the meeting cheered and clapped for Wasserman Schultz, who is stepping down over the email controversy. She promised to work hard for a Clinton victory over Republican Donald Trump in the Nov. 8 election.

"You will see me every day between now and November 8 on the campaign trail," she shouted over the noise of the crowd.

It was an embarrassing prelude to the convention in Philadelphia, which Democratic officials had hoped would convey no-drama competence in contrast to the volatile campaign of Trump. The New York businessman was formally nominated for president at a chaotic Republican convention in Cleveland last week.

At least one national opinion poll showed Trump benefiting from a convention "bump" and pulling just ahead of Clinton, having lagged her for months.

READ MORE: Trump leads Clinton in poll after Republican Convention

The cache of emails leaked on Friday by the WikiLeaks website disclosed that DNC officials explored ways to undercut Sanders' insurgent presidential campaign, including raising questions about whether Sanders, who is Jewish, was an atheist.

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CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 17: U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL 23rd District) and chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) speaks to reporters in the spin room after watching tonight's democratic presidential debate at the Gaillard Center on January 17, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina. Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley spent yesterday campaigning in South Carolina in lead up to tonight's debate. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 19: DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) introduces US President Barack Obama during the Democratic National Committee's Women's Leadership Forum, September 19, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Womens Leadership Forum is holding their 21st annual National Issues Conference a the Marriot Marquis Hotel. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (R) hugs DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (L), D-FL, as Clinton arrives on stage to speak at the Democratic National Committee's Womens Leadership Forum Issues Conference in Washington, DC on September 19, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JULY 23: Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz attends a campaign rally at Florida International University Panther Arena on July 23, 2016 in Miami, Florida. Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine made their first public appearance together a day after the Clinton campaign announced Senator Kaine as the Democratic vice presidential candidate. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/WireImage)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairperson of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), speaks during a campaign event for Hillary Clinton, presumptive 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, not pictured, in Miami, Florida, U.S., on Saturday, July 23, 2016. Clinton named Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate for the Democratic presidential ticket, a widely-anticipated choice that may say more about how she wants to govern than how she plans to win in November. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz speaks at a rally, before the arrival of Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her vice presidential running mate U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, in Miami, Florida, U.S. July 23, 2016. Picture taken July 23, 2016. REUTERS/Scott Audette
Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz talks with members of the media before the Democratic presidential candidates debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, December 19, 2015. REUTERS/Gretchen Ertl
U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) stands with her friend Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) (R) during a farewell ceremony for Giffords on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, in this still image taken from video, January 25, 2012. Giffords, wounded a year ago in a deadly Tucson shooting spree, stepped down from the U.S. Congress on Wednesday to focus on her recovery. REUTERS/HouseTV/Pool (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS PROFILE SOCIETY)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 21: Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., descends the House steps after a vote in the Capitol, October 21 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 17: U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL 23rd District) and chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) speaks to reporters in the spin room after watching tonight's democratic presidential debate at the Gaillard Center on January 17, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina. Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley spent yesterday campaigning in South Carolina in lead up to tonight's debate. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
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Wasserman Schultz resigned on Sunday, effective at the end of the convention, after the leak of more than 19,000 DNC emails put the spotlight back on Sanders' failed bid to win the nomination and in particular on his complaints during the campaign that the party establishment was working to undermine him.

A democratic socialist, the U.S. senator from Vermont galvanized young and liberal voters with his calls to rein in Wall Street and eradicate income inequality. While Sanders has endorsed Clinton, she faces the task of attracting his backers as she battles Trump.

His supporters were already dismayed last week when Clinton passed over liberal favorites like U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts to select the more moderate U.S. Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia as her vice presidential running mate.

"You can't roll over people and expect them to come up smiling," said James Zogby, a Sanders supporter and president of the Arab American Institute.

NEW POLL

The Clinton camp questioned whether Russians may have had a hand in the hack attack on the party's emails out of an interest in helping Trump, who has exchanged words of praise with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A CNN/ORC opinion poll on Monday gave Trump a three-point lead over former secretary of state Clinton, 48 percent to her 45 percent in a two-way presidential matchup. The survey was conducted July 22-24 and had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

Clinton, 68, a former first lady and U.S. senator, will be the first woman nominated for president by a major U.S. political party. She waged a months-long battle to defeat the unexpectedly tough challenge from Sanders, 74.

Sanders was among those due to speak on the first evening of the convention. Other speakers included President Barack Obama's wife, Michelle Obama.

(Additional reporting by AOL.com)

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