Bullock knocks DNC rules after Steyer reaches donor threshold for fall debates

Bullock knocks DNC rules after Steyer reaches donor threshold for fall debates
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Democratic presidential hopeful Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Stocks sink as Trump fights with Fed, China The Hill's Morning Report: How will Trump be received at G-7? Democratic governors fizzle in presidential race MORE (D) slammed the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) debate qualification rules on Tuesday after billionaire Tom SteyerThomas (Tom) Fahr SteyerDemocratic candidates face hard choices as 2020 field winnows Steyer calls on DNC to expand polling criteria for debates The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch MORE reached the donor threshold for the party's fall primary debates. 

“The DNC donor requirement may have been added with the right intentions, but there’s no doubt that it’s created a situation in which billionaires can buy their way onto the debate stage, and campaigns are forced to spend millions on digital ads chasing one dollar donors — not talking directly to voters," Bullock said in a statement. His presidential campaign has made a tentpole issue out of working to get big money out of politics. 

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"We’re kidding ourselves if we’re calling a $10 million purchase of 130,000 donors a demonstration of grassroots support," he continued. 

Steyer's campaign announced on Tuesday that he had reached the required number of donors needed to qualify for the third and fourth Democratic primary debates. 

Bullock participated in last month's primary debates but did not make the first round in June. 

Steyer's campaign manager hit back at Bullock in a tweet, writing that Bullock was "writing off" the support of Democratic voters in suggesting Steyer reached the threshold mostly through digital advertisement. 

"Fewer than half of Tom's donations came from advertising. Writing off the support of thousands of Democratic voters who are responding to Tom’s message isn’t the way to beat Trump in 2020, no matter what you think about the DNC’s criteria," Heather Hargreaves wrote.

Steyer garnered more than 48,000 donors over the past week alone, which propelled him to hit the 130,000 donor mark before the Aug. 28 deadline to qualify.

Candidates must bring in at least 130,000 donors and register at least 2 percent in four surveys from DNC-approved pollsters. 

While Steyer only launched his campaign over a month ago, he has acquired donor support through aggressive ad spending on Facebook, Google and cable news.

Updated 1:36 p.m.