The Bernie SandersBernie SandersShame on Biden for his Atlanta remarks — but are we surprised? Overnight Health Care — Biden faces pressure from Democrats on COVID-19 Sanders calls out Manchin, Sinema ahead of filibuster showdown MORE campaign is pushing Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat Left laughs off floated changes to 2024 ticket A year into his presidency, Biden is polling at an all-time low MORE to debate in delegate-rich California before the state's June 7 Democratic presidential primary.
In a Wednesday afternoon statement, Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said the Vermont senator has accepted an invitation from Fox News to debate "with the understanding that we can reach mutual agreement on the debate moderators, the format and other details.”
Weaver said both campaigns in January agreed to hold a debate in May in California, adding that the Clinton campaign has “balked at keeping that pledge.”
“More than half way through the month of May, we hope Secretary Clinton will soon make good on her campaign’s commitment and agree to a time and pace for a debate,” Weaver said in the statement.
“There are issues of enormous importance facing the people of California and our nation and the people of our largest state deserve to hear the Democratic candidates [sic] opinions."
The candidates haven’t met in debate since April in New York.
“Fox News has suggested several debate venues in California to the Democratic National Committee and both candidates," Fox vice president and Washington managing editor Bill Sammon said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
"We are also offering a variety of dates, being careful to exclude Friday and Saturday nights, per the agreement between the DNC and candidates," he continued. "Fox will release further debate details as appropriate, given that only one of the two candidates has accepted our debate invitation so far."
California offers up 475 pledged delegates, the largest prize of any state. Sanders hopes to close the gap in pledged delegates there use that to sway superdelegates — party leaders who can back any candidate — from Clinton to him.
Clinton currently leads Sanders by 274 pledged delegates. Including superdelegates, she is 760 delegates ahead of Sanders and just 90 delegates away from the 2,383 needed to clinch the party's presidential nomination.
—Jesse Byrnes contributed