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 SchultzEpstein charges show Congress must act to protect children from abuse NYT: Don't make Acosta a political martyr Epstein charges put Trump Labor secretary back in spotlight MORE (D-Fla.) was criticized by supporters of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPoll: Biden leads 2020 Democratic field by 15 points, followed by Sanders and Warren Warren introduces bill to cancel student loan debt for millions Democrats, advocacy groups urge Pompeo to abolish new 'unalienable rights' commission MORE (I-Vt.) for appearing to favor Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton5 things to know about Boris Johnson Trump says Omar will help him win Minnesota The Hill's Morning Report — Trump applauds two-year budget deal with 0 billion spending hike 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 GillibrandDemocrats, advocacy groups urge Pompeo to abolish new 'unalienable rights' commission Harris, Nadler introduce bill to decriminalize marijuana Gillibrand says she doesn't regret calling for Franken to resign MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenPoll: Biden leads 2020 Democratic field by 15 points, followed by Sanders and Warren Warren introduces bill to cancel student loan debt for millions Democrats, advocacy groups urge Pompeo to abolish new 'unalienable rights' commission 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.