Earlier today, Bernie Sanders said that he would not participate in Thursday’s scheduled debate unless Hillary Clinton met certain conditions outlined by his campaign.
“We are continuing to negotiate with them not just about the debate Thursday night, but about the other debates that we have said need to be agreed to in order to put the whole package of debates together,” Tad Devine, Sanders’ senior adviser, told The Hill. Devine indicated that Sanders wants to add a debate in New York and Clinton does not “want to have a debate in New York.”
Clinton responded today during an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. She said that her campaign has met the conditions and urged Sanders to participate in Thursday’s New Hampshire debate. “I sure hope — we’re in Bernie Sanders’ backyard here in New Hampshire — I sure hope he intends to show up in his neighboring state,” Clinton told Blitzer. “Let the people of New Hampshire see us both on the debate stage.” Clinton continued:
“This is really hard to follow because when we said we would do the debate, they came back with conditions. We met the conditions. Then they said they want different conditions, and we’ve tried to be very accommodating, but, you know, we have agreed to everything that they have asked us to do.
We’ve accepted all of their conditions. We did that last week, and they keep trying to add new conditions, which, you know, raises questions about how ready or willing they are to debate here in New Hampshire.”
Devine responded by saying that Clinton was mischaracterizing Sanders’ requests.
Scheduled to air on MSNBC, Thursday’s debate is not part of the Democratic National Committee’s original schedule. Rather, it was the result of an agreement made between Clinton, Sanders, and Martin O’Malley (RIP) earlier this week.
From the moment both campaigns announced that they agreed to expand the debate schedule, they’ve been arguing over details like location. “We agreed pending an agreement on three future debates in March, April and May. Unfortunately, the Clinton campaign has not accepted debates we proposed on March 3 in Michigan and April 14 in New York,” Sander’s campaign said in a statement issued over the weekend. “They apparently agreed to May 24 in California [...] We are pleased to do [a debate] on March 3 before the Michigan primary provided the Clinton campaign will agree to Brooklyn, New York, on April 14. Why won’t they debate in Brooklyn? What’s the matter with Brooklyn?” [Side note: “What’s the matter with Brooklyn?” is a question that answers itself]
Clinton’s campaign responded by saying, “There is nothing worse than a debate about debates.”
Sanders’ campaign has been critical of the DNC’s schedule, arguing that the limited debates—which are often held on the weekend when viewership is limited—favored the Clinton campaign.
Image via AP.