Sanders aide slams Saturday debate: 'I guess Christmas Eve was booked'
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A campaign spokesman for Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersBernie Sanders to sign pledge affirming he will run as a Democrat Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — Drug pricing fight centers on insulin | Florida governor working with Trump to import cheaper drugs | Dems blast proposed ObamaCare changes Hillicon Valley: Microsoft reveals new Russian hack attempts | Google failed to disclose hidden microphone | Booker makes late HQ2 bid | Conservative group targets Ocasio-Cortez over Amazon MORE (I-Vt.) on Friday blasted the national Democratic Party for holding the next presidential debate the weekend before the holidays.

"We're playing the hand we were dealt," Sanders campaign spokesman Michael Briggs said, according to The Week Magazine. "I guess Christmas Eve was booked."

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The last Democratic debate of 2015 will be hosted by ABC at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., on Saturday.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has repeatedly taken heat for the number of debates it sanctioned and for scheduling most of them during the weekends, when viewership is likely to be reduced. Some critics say the DNC has rigged the process to bolster the campaign of Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFBI’s top lawyer believed Hillary Clinton should face charges, but was talked out of it Harris adds key Clinton aide, women of color to 2020 campaign: report Democrats more likely Trump's foil, than to foil Trump MORE

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, another Democratic candidate, has also been a vocal critic of the DNC's debate schedule. 

"They've scheduled it during shopping season, December 19th," O'Malley said. "I don't know why that is. I think it's out of a false sense that they have to circle the wagons around the inevitable frontrunner." 

DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) has defended the party's six sanctioned primary debates. 

“Every day someone is going to say something about my intentions, but I have a party to run,” Wasserman Schultz said.

“I have to simultaneously make sure that we’re getting ready to make sure the party is prepared to support our eventual nominee, and at the same time manage a neutral primary nominating process, which I’m going to do. I’ll make decisions that will make some people happy and some people unhappy. I can’t worry about that.”

The Republican National Committee, by contrast, has sanctioned 12 primary debates.