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 BidenCast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response Biden tells CNN town hall that he has benefited from white privilege 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 WarrenWarren, Schumer introduce plan for next president to cancel ,000 in student debt The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Don't expect a government check anytime soon No new taxes for the ultra rich — fix bad tax policy instead MORE (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersMcConnell accuses Democrats of sowing division by 'downplaying progress' on election security The Hill's Campaign Report: Arizona shifts towards Biden | Biden prepares for drive-in town hall | New Biden ad targets Latino voters Why Democrats must confront extreme left wing incitement to violence MORE (I-Vt.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBogeymen of the far left deserve a place in any Biden administration Overnight Defense: Woodward book causes new firestorm | Book says Trump lashed out at generals, told Woodward about secret weapons system | US withdrawing thousands of troops from Iraq A socially and environmentally just way to fight climate change MORE, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharEPA delivers win for ethanol industry angered by waivers to refiners It's time for newspapers to stop endorsing presidential candidates Biden marks anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, knocks Trump and McConnell MORE (D-Minn.) and businessman Tom SteyerTom SteyerTV ads favored Biden 2-1 in past month Inslee calls Biden climate plan 'perfect for the moment' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump administration finalizes plan to open up Alaska wildlife refuge to drilling | California finalizes fuel efficiency deal with five automakers, undercutting Trump | Democrats use vulnerable GOP senators to get rare win on environment MORE.

However, Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardRepublicans call on DOJ to investigate Netflix over 'Cuties' film Hispanic Caucus campaign arm endorses slate of non-Hispanic candidates Gabbard says she 'was not invited to participate in any way' in Democratic convention MORE (D-Hawaii) and entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangDoctor who allegedly assaulted Evelyn Yang arrested on federal charges The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden weighs in on police shootings | Who's moderating the debates | Trump trails in post-convention polls Buttigieg launches his own podcast 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 HarrisScott Walker helping to prep Pence for debate against Harris: report California family frustrated that governor, Harris used fire-damaged property for 'photo opportunity' Moderna releases coronavirus vaccine trial plan as enrollment pushes toward 30,000 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 Anthony BookerDHS opens probe into allegations at Georgia ICE facility Democratic lawmakers call for an investigation into allegations of medical neglect at Georgia ICE facility Black Voters Matter Fund deploying voter outreach caravans in 12 states to drive turnout 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.”