Presidential races

Rowdy NH crowd presses DNC chair for more debates

Anne Wernikoff

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz repeatedly attempted on Saturday to quiet an audience of 4,000 in New Hampshire who called for more Democratic primary debates. 

During her opening speech at the New Hampshire Democratic Party Convention, she interrupted her prepared remarks on at least two occasions to address chants of “more debates” and “we want debates.”

{mosads}”Come on folks, we are all on the same side. So let’s make sure we focus on the Republicans,” she said early in her speech, breaking from her prepared remarks amid the chants. 

C-SPAN cameras broadcasting live panned to audience members holding posters that called for more that half a dozen debates in the 2016 presidential primary.

“My friends, what’s more important: Drawing a contrast with Republicans or arguing about debates? Let’s focus on our mission and the task at hand,” Wasserman Schultz said. “Enough is Enough. Enough is Enough.”

She also tried to quiet the crowd by reminding audience members that their state would host a debate in December. 

Democrats have scheduled six debates during the primary, with the first one coming on Oct. 13. But rival candidates to Hillary Clinton have called for more opportunities to get their message out. Both Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley have signed and circulated petitions calling for a more robust debate schedule. 

While Clinton has recently expressed an openness to enlarging the schedule, Wasserman Schultz previously closed the door on adding any more forums.

“We’re not changing the process. We’re having six debates,” she told reporters earlier this month. “The candidates will be uninvited from subsequent debates if they accept an invitation to anything outside of the six sanctioned debates.”

Tags 2016 debates Bernie Sanders debate schedule Debbie Wasserman Schultz Hillary Clinton Martin O'Malley
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