Martin O’Malley Slams DNC for Limited Debate Schedule
While Hillary Clinton has been quiet on the issue saying that she’ll participate in whatever debates the Democratic National Committee (DNC) sanctions, Martin O’Malley is speaking up and has slammed the DNC for a limited schedule which lists only six debates.
Report from USAToday:
Presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley came out swinging against the Democratic National Committee during an Iowa campaign stop Wednesday, attacking a “small cabal” of party leaders for limiting the number of presidential debates the party will schedule for the 2016 primary cycle.
The DNC announced in May that there would be six party-sanctioned debates with at least one in both Iowa and New Hampshire, but that’s not enough, O’Malley said. The DNC has yet to release the debate schedule, even as 10 of the top-polling Republican candidates will meet on an Ohio stage Thursday for their party’s first primary debate.
“I want to say right off the bat here to those in Washington who think they can limit the number of debates that we’re going to have before the Iowa caucuses, can circle the wagon and close off debates, I think they’re going to have another thing coming when they talk to the people of Iowa,” O’Malley said in the first minutes of his speech at the opening of his campaign office.
The number of unsanctioned debates has risen in recent election cycles, but the DNC this year has insisted on candidates signing an exclusivity clause. That means any candidate who participates in an unofficial debate would be barred from one that is party-sanctioned.
The former Maryland governor told reporters Wednesday that his campaign staff has been in conversations with DNC officials about concerns, “but it seems not to be heard,” he said.
O’Malley isn’t the only one as Bernie Sanders has also mentioned the limited schedule as being a detriment to lesser-known candidates. So far, the DNC is ignoring the complaints and has not budged from the six debates they plan to schedule. Obviously the concern is that a small number of events benefits Hillary Clinton as the front runner who will not have to engage her rivals very frequently on the debate stage.