Democratic Presidential Debates Schedule Released: Fewer Debates Anger Fellow Democrats
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced its presidential primary debates schedule, and it has received criticism from fellow Democrats including a presidential candidate.
In a statement released by DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic presidential candidates will participate in six primary debates. Wasserman Schultz, congresswoman for Florida's 23rd Congressional District, said the schedule reflect the political party's "diversity and values" and will position Democrats to retain the White House in November 2016.
The first Democratic presidential debate will be on Oct. 13 in Nevada, a state with a growing Latino population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Nevada's overall population includes 27.5 percent Latino, higher than the 17.1 percent national average. The first debate will broadcast on CNN.
The second debate is scheduled on Nov. 14 with CBS, KCCI and Des Moines Register in Iowa. Dec. 19 from Manchester, New Hampshire, with ABC and WMUR, is the third debate. With NBC and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute on Jan. 17, the fourth Democratic presidential debate will take place in Charleston, South Carolina.
Two other debates were named without a specific date. Between February and March, a debate with Univision and the Washington Post will occur in Miami, Florida, and the final debate in Wisconsin with PBS.
"We are thrilled to announce the schedule and locations for our Democratic primary debates," said Wasserman Schultz. "These six debates will not only give caucus goers and primary voters ample opportunity to hear from our candidates about their vision for our country's future, they will highlight the clear contrast between the values of the Democratic Party which is focused on strengthening the middle class versus Republicans who want to pursue out of touch and out of date policies."
The six Democratic presidential debates for the 2016 election season is significantly lower than the 26 debates held for the 2008 Democratic primary seasons.
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's presidential campaign criticized with the fewer primary debates and the timing ahead of the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries.
O'Malley for President Senior Strategist Bill Hyers said the DNC has made the debate process less democratic and does not provide voters, both nationwide but especially in early voting states, the sufficient opportunity to hear from the Democratic candidates.
"If anything, it seems geared toward limiting debate and facilitating a coronation, not promoting a robust debate and primary process. Rather than giving the appearance of rigging the process and cutting off debate, the DNC should take themselves out of the process," stated Hyers.
A press call was then organized with the O'Malley for President Iowa State Director Jake Oeth. He criticized the DNC's decision to have only one debate in Iowa only two months before the caucus. Oeth said Iowans know they play an important role in selecting the presidential candidate and decide who will be the strongest candidate for the Democratic Party. Oeth said the DNC schedule is "simply wrong -- wrong for the Iowa caucuses [and] wrong for democracy."
Oeth added that the schedule "is a slap to the face on the openness and honesty of the Iowa caucuses and tramples on the Democratic process."
The DNC schedule comes as O'Malley spoke about the DNC's limited debates on Aug. 5.
During a campaign stop in Cedar Rapids, he said, "I want to say right off the bat here, that 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 wagons and close off debates. I think they're gonna have another thing coming when they talk to the people of Iowa. Because these are the issues about which we need to have not just one debate, not just two, but many debates. Because those debates will shape the future of the country we give our kids. Don't you agree?"
The Republican National Committee (RNC) also chimed in with the DNC schedule, coincidentally noting the first Democratic presidential primary debate occurs on the same date as Hillary Clinton's $225,000 speech at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
"Rather than follow the RNC's lead of having an inclusive and neutral process, the DNC is clearly putting its thumb on the scale for Hillary Clinton. It's clearer than ever the Democrat Party wants nothing more than a coronation for Hillary Clinton," said RNC Press Secretary Allison Moore.
No word yet from fellow Democratic presidential candidates if they want more primary debate or content with the six scheduled by the DNC.
Be part of the conversation and provide your opinion on this topic for Latin Post's "¿Que Dices?" series. Email your video or written response to email@example.com and it may be shared in future "¿Que Dices?" content.
For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Politics Editor Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribe to Latin Post!
Sign up for our free newsletter for the Latest coverage!