The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is facing backlash from several of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidates who did not make the third debate stage.
The deadline to make the next round of the Democratic presidential primary debates is Wednesday, August 28, and so far only ten candidates have made the next round.
The debate will be held in Houston, Texas on September 12 and 13.
A number of candidates who have not made the third stage have spoken out on the issue, such as author Marianne Williamson, whose campaign claimed that the DNC was not following through on its promise to use the data from 18 polls.
“If the DNC had followed the process they announced in February and kept to the promised 17 [sic] qualifying polls, the lineup of the upcoming third debate might be very different,” Williamson’s communications director Patricia Ewing said in a statement.
Former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) told host Chris Jansing, filling in for Stephanie Rhule, during an interview on “MSNBC Live with Stephanie Rhule” that he thinks that it would be “undoubtedly” better for him to be on the debate stage than not and claimed that the DNC “effectively cut out half the field” by doing their debates the way they have this year.
“It would undoubtedly be better to be on the debate than not to be on the debate. But if you look at the first two debates, which we were in, it’s not clear that they mattered at all in terms of how the race really changed, which I think underscores this notion that it’s just getting started. The way the DNC decided to do these debates is they effectively cut out half the field. I don’t think ultimately voters want that to happen.”
Watch the video here:
The former Maryland congressman went on to compare the DNC’s thinning of the debate field to that of Marvel villain Thanos’ famous snap that wiped out half the population in the universe and called for an “incredibly important debate” to touch on the issues that have not been heard about yet in the primary.
“I think they were kind of like Thanos snapping their finger and trying to get rid of half the field, right. That’s really kind of what they did and some of the outcomes don’t make any sense. We have sitting democratic governors who are not in the debate. We have sitting members of Congress who are not in the debate. We need a debate. We need an incredibly important debate about issues that haven’t even been touched on in this primary.”
Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) had a few questions for DNC Chairman Tom Perez, posting them in a big thread on Twitter. The Colorado senator had previously said that the DNC “is stifling debate at a time when we need it most.”
He asked Perez questions ranging from why the “rules” for the next debate have not been “finalized” and when will the DNC “expect to get around to it,” to why some “polling organizations were permissible” in the first two debates and not the third and fourth.
Former DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile pushed back on their claims Wednesday during an interview with Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom,” saying that the candidates knew “the rules” and that if they did not meet the standards set by the DNC, it isn’t the party’s “fault.”
“Truth is, they know the rules. They know that this is the bar that they had to meet. And, if they failed to meet it, it’s not the DNC’s fault,” said Brazile.
Correction [8/29/19, 1:55 p.m. ET]: Previously, this story inaccurately identified Chris Jansing as Stephanie Rhule. We have corrected the error.