The Democratic debate schedule has been a source of contention on the left throughout this election season, and much to Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s chagrin, the campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have confirmed that four more Democratic debates will be taking place in the coming months.
The Democratic National Committee announced on Sunday it will sanction a Feb. 4 debate in New Hampshire and three more debates will be scheduled throughout March, April and May.
The announcement of the four newly scheduled debates came after the candidates went rogue and announced their own unsanctioned debate on Feb. 4, just five days ahead of New Hampshire’s primary, thus forcing the DNC’s hand.
February’s Democratic debate will be hosted by MSNBC and the New Hampshire Union-Leader. Rachel Maddow from The Rachel Maddow show and Chuck Todd from Meet The Press will moderate the debate.
Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager, issued a reminder that the Vermont senator has been pushing for more debates all along and is delighted that more have finally been scheduled.
We think there should be at least three or four more debates following the ones that are currently scheduled. Senator Sanders has wanted more debates from the beginning of this campaign, and we are happy to see that it looks like we are likely to get them.
After Clinton and Martin O’Mally signed on for the Feb. 4 debate, Sanders held out, insisting not only that more debates be scheduled, but also that they be held on weeknights.
DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has come under fire in recent months for scheduling a mere six debates, three of which were on weekends. Two of the debates also competed with major events, such as NFL playoff games, and one occurred during a holiday weekend.
Liberals saw this as an effort to tilt the scales in Clinton’s favor and progressives had staged a full on revolt. Timothy Canova, a professor at Shepard Broad College of Law in Fort Lauderdale, accused her of abusing her power on his campaign website.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz has failed in her position as DNC Chair. She has tipped the scales in favor of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and made sure virtually no one would see the primary debates. She has stood in the way of the progressive movement, and she has consistently put her own political interests ahead of the Democratic party.
Schultz strictly forbid the Democratic candidates from participating in any debate that was not officially sanctioned by the DNC, but the candidates themselves took matters into their own hands and created their own debate schedule to follow the last of the previously scheduled debates on February 11.
Apparently admitting defeat, Schultz said that the schedule for the newly planned debates will be finalized on Tuesday, after the Iowa primary.
Our Democratic candidates have agreed in principle to having the DNC sanction and manage additional debates in our primary schedule, inclusive of New Hampshire this week. However, absent agreement on the details, we will give our campaigns the space to focus on the important work of engaging caucus goers in Iowa. We will reconvene negotiations and finalize the schedule with the agreement of our campaigns on Tuesday morning.