• Source: NBC News
  • Clinton: Let's Debate In New Hampshire. Sanders: No.

    Bernie Sanders Campaign Only One That Refuses Unsanctioned Debate

    NBC News and the New Hampshire Union Leader are teaming up to host a Democratic debate that the DNC refuses to sanction. Martin O'Malley immediately announced he would participate, Hillary Clinton went from stating she would like the DNC to sanction the debate, to stating she would like all the candidates to participate, to her campaign stating she will participate and asking Bernie Sanders to participate.

    The Sanders campaign is refusing to participate unless the DNC sanctions the debate.

    Clinton spokesperson Brian Fallon Wednesday morning on CNN characterized the Sanders campaign as "the one hold out. We think they should join us in saying they will be in New Hampshire next week," he added.

    The campaign Tuesday said Clinton would "participate in a debate in New Hampshire if the other candidates agree, which would allow the DNC to sanction the debate."

    Wednesday Clinton spoke with MSNBC's Chris Matthews by phone (video above) saying, "I would look forward to another debate."

    "I would like the chairman of the party and the campaigns to agree that we can debate in New Hampshire next week," Clinton added. "That is what I'm hoping will happen."

    "Let's try to make it happen."

    Clinton did not say she would absolutely attend the debate if it is unsanctioned, nor if Sanders or O'Malley did not attend.

    Talking Points Memo reports "Sanders' campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, said on Tuesday that the Vermont senator would not attend a debate not sanctioned by the DNC due to concern that his participation would keep him from attending future official debates."

    The DNC issued a lengthy statement Tuesday adamantly refusing to sanction the New Hampshire debate, but said after the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries it would reconsider.

    "We have no plans to sanction any further debates before the upcoming First in the Nation caucuses and primary, but will reconvene with our campaigns after those two contests to review our schedule."

    The executive director of Georgetown University's Institute of Politics & Public Service, former communications director for the Democratic National Committee, Mo Elleithee, posted these tweets:



    Tonight Is The First Democratic Debate Of 2016 – Not That The DNC is Doing Much To Tell Anyone

    Not That Anyone Knew, But All 3 Democratic Candidates Are At A Live Forum You Can Watch Right Now




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    • commented 2016-01-27 18:07:44 -0500
      Given the terribly disappointing job that the DNC has done with regard to encouraging viewership of a dearth of poorly scheduled debates, and given the DNC’s poorly shrouded attempts to be perceived as neutral towards the candidates, I wouldn’t blame Sanders for not trusting the DNC’s response were he to break with what the DNC has sanctioned. Sanders has the most to lose in this situation with regard to going off the DNC’s script. I also wouldn’t invest much in Mo Elleithee’s commentary as he used to also be Hillary Clinton’s spokesman and is certainly not unbiased. I think it’s smarter for Sanders to use his time campaigning in NV and SC and Super Tuesday states rather than risk negative ramifications from a reactive DNC. It’s interesting how this article portrays Sanders as obstinate or defensive in this situation whereas the DNC has obstinately rejected the idea of more debates for months even after numerous attempts by sanders’ campaign and others to offer more opportunities for airtime. Interesting how it seems the tables have turned.

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