In the article, Union Leader president and publisher Joseph W. McQuaid said this cycle would have been the “first time in 32 years without a Democratic debate before the New Hampshire primary”. The DNC has said it wants to reconvene with the campaigns after the Iowa and New Hampshire contests to review the debate schedule.
Hillary Clinton spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri said Clinton would participate in the debate if the other candidates agree, allowing the party to sanction the debate.
Clinton is trying to portray Sanders as a puppet of the National Rifle Association because Sanders voted to protect gun makers from frivolous liability lawsuits.
Bernie Sanders’ campaign said, “We will be working with the DNC and the other campaigns to schedule additional debates”. One debate must be held in March, April and May, and none should be scheduled for Friday, Saturday or a holiday weekend, far different from the current schedule of debates, which were held mostly on weekends when viewership is low, noted Business Insider.
Sanders does not want to participate in the debate on February 4, five days before the state primary election, because he does not want to risk being denied participation in future debates, campaign manager Jeff Weaver said, according to the newspaper.
Weaver said Sanders hopes there will be at least 3 or 4 more debates following the two remaining scheduled debates planned in Wisconsin and Florida. The RNC wanted to make sure the candidates knew it was listening to their concerns and, as Politico put it, make sure they knew “we have your back”. “We are glad to partner with MSNBC to ensure Granite Staters have the information they need to make a critical decision on February 9”.
Wasserman Schultz, who has been under fire for not expanding the debates beyond the six that are on the schedule that has been perceived as an advantage to Clinton, also struck a defensive tone in her statement, saying, “Here are the facts”.
Despite this, John Bivona, the NH state director for Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley’s White House bid, said the campaign has always believed that New Hampshire voters deserved another opportunity to see the candidates go head-to-head. “And I think the DNC and the campaign should be able to work this out”.
Clinton has now changed her tune and is calling on the DNC to sanction the extra debate.
Wasserman Schultz has long defended the party’s debate schedule, which has faced criticism from the Sanders and O’Malley campaigns, as well as from leaders such as vice chair and Hawaii Congressman Tulsi Gabbard.