A number of 2020 Democrats came out swinging against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Friday after it unveiled new debate qualifications that could open a path for former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergEngel scrambles to fend off primary challenge from left It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Liberals embrace super PACs they once shunned MORE to secure a spot on stage.
The DNC said it would drop the donor threshold for the Feb. 19 primary debate in Nevada. The move could open the door for Bloomberg, a billionaire who is refusing any donations to his White House bid, to win a spot at the event.
Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE’ (I-Vt.) presidential campaign ripped the DNC over its new debate qualifications, saying it is supporting “a rigged system.”
“To now change the rules in the middle of the game to accommodate Mike Bloomberg, who is trying to buy his way into the Democratic nomination, is wrong. That’s the definition of a rigged system,” said Jeff Weaver, a senior adviser to Sanders’s campaign.
Under the new criteria released Friday, candidates must reach 10 percent support in at least four national polls or 12 percent support in two sanctioned early-state surveys from Nevada and South Carolina. The candidates could also qualify by winning at least one pledged delegate at the Iowa caucuses or the New Hampshire primary.
The debates held over the past several months have all included a mandatory donor threshold, a criteria that prevented Bloomberg from winning a spot onstage.
Sanders has focused heavily on underscoring the influence the wealthiest Americans have in politics, repeatedly talking about “millionaires and billionaires” on the campaign trail and proposing a litany of plans intended to close income and other financial gaps.
Entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangGeorge Floyd protests show corporations must support racial and economic equality Andrew Yang discusses his universal basic income pilot program Andrew Yang on the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis MORE accused the DNC of ignoring grassroots donations in an explicit attempt to get Bloomberg on the stage, questioning if the former mayor even wanted to debate in the first place.
“The DNC changing its debate criteria to ignore grassroots donations seems tailor-made to get Mike Bloomberg on the debate stage in February. Having Americans willing to invest in your campaign is a key sign of a successful campaign,” he tweeted.
“The truth is I don’t think Mike particularly wants to debate. He could easily have gotten himself onto the stage with the donor requirements.”
The truth is I don’t think Mike particularly wants to debate. He could easily have gotten himself onto the stage with the donor requirements.
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) February 1, 2020
Businessman Tom SteyerTom SteyerBloomberg wages war on COVID-19, but will he abandon his war on coal? Overnight Energy: 600K clean energy jobs lost during pandemic, report finds | Democrats target diseases spread by wildlife | Energy Dept. to buy 1M barrels of oil Ocasio-Cortez, Schiff team up to boost youth voter turnout MORE, another billionaire running for president, also commented on the DNC’s adjustment, hinting it was working to “accommodate” Bloomberg.
“Let’s make one thing clear: changing the rules now to accommodate Mike Bloomberg and not changing them in the past to ensure a more diverse debate stage is just plain wrong,” he said in a statement. “The Democratic Party should be doing everything possible to ensure a diverse field of candidates. Instead, they are changing the rules for a candidate who is ignoring early states voters and grassroots donors.”
The DNC defended its new criteria, saying that the grassroots enthusiasm that had been measured by the donations will now be measured in voting in caucuses and primaries.
“The donor threshold was appropriate for the opening stages of the race, when candidates were building their organizations and there were no metrics available outside of polling to distinguish those making progress from those who weren’t,” DNC spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement.
Bloomberg made a late entry into the primary field, officially launching his campaign in November several months after many of his competitors. He is skipping campaigning for the first four nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina and is instead dedicating hundreds of millions of his own dollars to expanding his staffing and blitzing Super Tuesday states with advertising.
Click Here: cheap Cowboys jersey
Though Bloomberg has not yet met the polling threshold for the Feb. 19 debate, his campaign said it is “thrilled” the nation could have the chance to hear from the former mayor at the event.
“We are thrilled that voters could soon have the chance to see Mike Bloomberg on the debate stage, hear his vision for the country, and see why he is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE and bring our country together,” said Kevin Sheekey, Bloomberg’s campaign manager.
“Mike has run for office three times and never taken a dime from special interests, allowing him to act independently, on the merits, without having to do what donors expect. He is proud to be doing the same with this campaign,” Sheekey said.
Updated at 9:45 p.m.