DNC planning presidential primary TV debates for 2019: report

DNC planning presidential primary TV debates for 2019: report
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The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is in the "very early stages" of planning for a series of televised debates in 2019, a party official said Saturday.

The Associated Press reports that a DNC official says the party is planning for several debates to occur months before the first primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire vote.

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The move, directed by DNC Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE, is meant to allow the party to effectively choose from a field of candidates that the AP reports could range as high as two dozen.

“The DNC’s goal is to have a debate process that is transparent, fair, impartial and inclusive,” senior party adviser Mary Beth Cahill told the AP.

Vice Chairman Michael Blake added to the news service that the party is studying the 2016 Republican Party primary for lessons to be learned about winnowing down a large field of candidates without appearing to play favorites.

“It’s hard with that many,” Blake told the AP. “Are we starting to talk about it and think about it? Yes. Are we anywhere close to resolved? No.”

The first Democratic primary debate of the 2016 election cycle was held in October 2015. During the primary, then-DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzLee Zeldin responds to Ilhan Omar accusing him of 'bigotry' Congressional Women's Softball team releases roster Overnight Defense — Presented by Huntington Ingalls Industries — Trump nominates Shanahan as Pentagon chief | House panel advances bill to block military funds for border wall | Trump defends Bolton despite differences MORE (D-Fla.) was criticized by supporters of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations Biden to debate for first time as front-runner Rules for first Democratic primary debates announced MORE (I-Vt.) for appearing to favor Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden to debate for first time as front-runner Top Trump ally says potential Amash presidential bid could be problematic in Michigan Chaotic Trump transition leaks: Debates must tackle how Democrats will govern differently MORE in the contest, and debate timing was scrutinized for the appearance of favoritism.

Wasserman Schultz eventually resigned as DNC chair just before the Democratic National Convention in 2016.

A large field of lesser-known Democratic candidates is expected in the 2020 election cycle, and prominent members of the party including Sanders, Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandRules for first Democratic primary debates announced Juan Williams: Warren on the rise 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the first Democratic showdown MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenAbigail Disney: 'We're creating a super-class' of rich people Is Big Tech biased? The Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations MORE (D-Mass.) are all thought to be considering runs for president.

The DNC is set to vote on proposals this weekend at the party's summer meeting, including on a proposal supported by Perez to vastly reduce the influence of superdelegates in the party.