DNC chair defends debate order: 'There's no JV-varsity'

DNC chair defends debate order: 'There's no JV-varsity'
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Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom PerezThomas 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 defended the committee’s choice to randomly assign candidates to one of two nights of debates and dismissed the notion that there’s any hierarchy among the crowded field. 

“As you know, we did random assignment for today and tomorrow. There’s no JV-varsity. We’ve got a deep bench,” Perez told MSNBC in an interview ahead of Wednesday’s debate in Miami.

A total of 20 candidates, half on Wednesday and half on Thursday, will participate in the first round of debates.


The DNC chose at random, picking names out of a hat, to assign candidates to a stage.

The top-tier candidates are split between the evenings. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats reintroduce bill to block US from using nuclear weapons first CEO who gave employees K minimum wage says revenue tripled 6 years later Forgiving K in school loans would free 36 million student borrowers from debt: data MORE (D-Mass.) is set to take the stage Wednesday along with some candidates who are polling under 1 percent, while fellow top-tier candidates former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report Olympics, climate on the agenda for Biden meeting with Japanese PM Boehner on Afghanistan: 'It's time to pull out the troops' MORE (D) and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders: Trump was right about 'trying to end endless wars' Democrats battle over best path for Puerto Rico Bernie Sanders says he disagrees with Tlaib's call for 'no more police' MORE (I-Vt.) will participate Thursday. 

But the debates may offer a platform to launch some of the candidates who are struggling to break through.

Perez said he thinks voters will find there are multiple candidates they “really like.” 

“And I encourage people to date multiple candidates, speed date if you will, and then fall in love,” he said. “And then what we have to do is fall in line behind whoever wins.”