Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders on women's march: Trump 'made a big mistake' Trump speaks with top Dem about high drug prices Sanders supports women marchers with tweet MORE (I-Vt.) believes the Democratic Party is using its limited primary debate schedule to rig the nomination process.
“I do,” Sanders reportedly responded when asked Friday whether he agrees with former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s assertion that the debate system is “rigged.”
The two Democratic presidential candidates were speaking at the summer meeting of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in Minneapolis on Friday.
“This sort of rigged process has never been attempted before,” O’Malley said in his speech earlier Friday.
The DNC has drawn criticism for scheduling only four debates before the early-primary states cast their votes, and six total throughout the election cycle.
DNC spokeswoman Holly Shulman defended the schedule, saying it will “give plenty of opportunity for the candidates to be seen side-by-side.”
“I’m sure there will be lots of other forums for the candidates to make their case to voters, and that they will make the most out of every opportunity,” Shulman said in a statement, according to The Washington Post.
Sanders previously said he would not agree to additional debates unless all of the Democratic presidential candidates participated.
But he has expressed concern with the number of debates.
“At a time when many Americans are demoralized about politics and have given up on the political process, I think it’s imperative that we have as many debates as possible,” Sanders said in a statement earlier this month. “I look forward to working with the DNC to see if we can significantly expand the proposed debate schedule."
“Further, I also think it is important for us to debate not only in the early states but also in many states which currently do not have much Democratic presidential campaign activity,” Sanders wrote in a letter to DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) in June.
The first Democratic Party debate will be held on Oct. 13 in Las Vegas.
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