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Biden: All-white debate not representative of party, but 'you can't dictate' nominee

Biden: All-white debate not representative of party, but 'you can't dictate' nominee
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation US records 2,300 COVID-19 deaths as pandemic rises with holidays MORE said this month’s 2020 primary debate, which for now is set to host six white candidates, is not representative of the Democratic Party but maintained that "you can’t dictate who is going to be the nominee." 

The comments come as Democrats are searching for answers as their largest and most diverse field of presidential contenders ever has been whittled down to a top tier of white candidates.

“It’s not representative of the party,” Biden told reporters Friday.

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“But you can’t dictate who is going to be the nominee, who’s going to be able to garner votes, who’s going to be able to stay in the race.” 

So far, only six candidates have made the Dec. 19 debate under the toughened criteria by the Democratic National Committee: former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation Disney laying off 32,000 workers as coronavirus batters theme parks Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year MORE (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation Clyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Prepare for buyers' remorse when Biden/Harris nationalize health care MORE (I-Vt.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete Buttigieg'Biff is president': Michael J. Fox says Trump has played on 'every worst instinct in mankind' Buttigieg: Denying Biden intelligence briefings is about protecting Trump's 'ego' Biden's win is not a policy mandate — he should govern accordingly MORE, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk Democrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff YouTube temporarily suspends OANN account after spreading coronavirus misinformation MORE (D-Minn.) and businessman Tom SteyerTom SteyerBiden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far Late donor surges push election spending projections to new heights New voters surge to the polls MORE.

However, Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardSix people whose election wins made history Next Congress expected to have record diversity Native Americans elected to Congress in record numbers this year MORE (D-Hawaii) and entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangMedia and Hollywood should stop their marching-to-Georgia talk Andrew Yang: Democrats need to adopt message that government is 'working for them' Andrew Yang moving to Georgia to help Democrats in Senate runoffs MORE, both candidates of color, need just one more qualifying poll each to make the stage. 

To make the next debate, candidates have to amass the support of at least 200,000 unique donors and register support of 4 percent or more in four qualifying polls or 6 percent in two approved early voting state polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina. 

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The qualification deadline is at the end of the day on Dec. 12.

The lack of diversity in the top-tier Democratic contenders has caused some angst among Democrats after Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisThe Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation Biden can rebuild trust in our justice system by prioritizing prosecutorial reform Harris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence MORE (D-Calif.) dropped out of the race this week citing a lack of funds.

“We just had a really talented person drop out of the race,” Biden said of Harris while speaking with reporters. “And she’s capable of being anything from president to vice president to secretary to be a Supreme Court justice to be an attorney general. But who controls that except the candidates themselves?"

Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerSenate Democrats reelect Schumer as leader by acclamation  Hill associations push for more diversity in lawmakers' staffs Sanders celebrates Biden-Harris victory: 'Thank God democracy won out' MORE (D-N.J.) and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro have been among the voices underscoring the lack of diversity on the debate stage. 

“I’m a little angry, I have to say, that we started with one of the most diverse fields in our history, giving people pride,” Booker said in an interview with BuzzFeed News on Wednesday. “I don’t understand how we’ve gotten to this place where there’s more billionaires in the race than there are black people.”