PHILADELPHIA -- Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, a vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told DFL delegates here on Tuesday that he was sorry for revelations uncovered in leaked emails that DNC leaders conspired with the campaign of Hillary Clinton over challenger Bernie Sanders.
"I want to issue you a formal apology on behalf of the Democratic National Committee, and I want to look in the eye of every single person that believes in politics here and say your trust was violated," Rybak said. "What happened was wrong, wrong, wrong."
DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned her post Monday after emails published by Wikileaks pointed to DNC coordination with Clinton's campaign while Sanders was still in the race.
Without naming Wasserman Schultz directly, Rybak said the change at the top was needed. He pointed out he had been a detractor for some time; last October, Rybak went public with pointed criticisms of Wasserman Schultz's leadership of the party.
"I have felt this needed to happen for a while, to be blunt with you, and I got some grief for saying that," Rybak said.
Minnesota's delegation to Philadelphia is well-stocked with Sanders supporters, and many were upset coming into the convention as the emails became public. That played out in a rocky start to convention proceedings Monday night, when Sanders supporters booed a series of speakers.
DFL Chairman Ken Martin said he was hopeful that Sanders' speech to close Monday night's convention, where he reaffirmed his backing for Clinton, would pull Democrats back together. Rybak, in his remarks to the DFL breakfast meeting on Tuesday morning, appeared to achieve some unity between the two candidates' factions in the DFL delegation.
"I worked for Obama and I was not a strong Hillary person," Rybak said. But he said he finally fully came around last fall while watching Clinton face down Republican members of Congress at a hearing over Benghazi.
"There's not a man who would ever have been put through what she's been put through," Rybak said, as Clinton and Sanders supporters alike rose to their feet and applauded. "As a father who wants his daughter to be president, you're sure as hell right it matters to have a woman be president of the United States of America."