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Donald Trump’s win attributed to “extreme elements” taking over GOP

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Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is blasting Donald Trump‘s resounding victory in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, saying it sends a message to independents and moderates across the country that “the rise of extreme elements in the Republican primary isn’t just entertainment anymore, it has overtaken the GOP.”

“Donald Trump started his campaign calling immigrants rapists and drug dealers, eventually called for banning members of an entire religion from entering America and recently said he would bring back interrogation techniques ‘a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,'” the DNC chairwoman said in a prepared statement.

Wasserman Schultz, harshly criticized by some Democrats for the perception she’s backing Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential race, congratulated both Bernie Sanders and Clinton in her statement.

“I want to congratulate tonight’s Democratic winner, Bernie Sanders for his victory in the New Hampshire primary. I would also like to congratulate both of our campaigns for their spirited engagement with Granite Staters, who take their first-in-the-nation responsibility so seriously,” she said. “Both Democratic candidates for president have been smart and substantive, and they understand how to build on the incredible progress we’ve made over the last seven years to continue expanding opportunity for hardworking Americans.”

As of 9 p.m. Eastern Time, an hour after the polls had closed, Sanders had a nearly 18-point lead over Clinton, 57.9 percent to 40 percent.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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