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 BidenLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Ex-Obama official on Sanders-Warren feud: 'I don't think it played out well for either of them' Parnas says he doesn't think that Joe Biden did anything wrong regarding Ukraine 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 Ann WarrenEx-Obama official on Sanders-Warren feud: 'I don't think it played out well for either of them' Former Vermont Governor: Sanders 'will play dirty' Hill.TV's Krystal Ball rips Warren over feud with Sanders MORE (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersEx-Obama official on Sanders-Warren feud: 'I don't think it played out well for either of them' Former Vermont Governor: Sanders 'will play dirty' Hill.TV's Krystal Ball rips Warren over feud with Sanders MORE (I-Vt.), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegFormer insurance executive: 'Medicare for all' would eliminate jobs that are 'not needed' Buttigieg says he's proud to be a part of US system amid UK royal family drama Buttigieg asked about 'Mayo Pete' memes by New York Times ed board MORE, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSanders says he's concerned about lost campaign time during impeachment trial Sanders touts vote against Trump trade deal backed by primary rivals New Hampshire state lawmaker switches support from Warren to Klobuchar MORE (D-Minn.) and businessman Tom SteyerTom Fahr SteyerOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Senate approves Trump trade deal with Canada, Mexico | Senate Dems launch probe into Trump tax law regulations | Trump announces Fed nominees Steyer proposes cuts for low- and middle-income families' taxes Warren to Sanders: 'I think you called me a liar on national TV' MORE.

However, Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardGabbard on personal meeting with Sanders: 'He showed me the greatest respect' Warren-Sanders dispute thrusts gender into 2020 spotlight Deval Patrick knocks lack of diversity in Democratic debate MORE (D-Hawaii) and entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangEvelyn Yang shares that she was sexually assaulted by doctor Buttigieg campaign reaches agreement with staff union Panel: Is Andrew Yang playing to win with Dave Chappelle endorsement and Iowa bus tour? 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 Devi HarrisOvernight Energy: Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate impact | Republicans offer details on their environmental proposals | Microsoft aims to be carbon negative by 2030 Here are the 10 senators who voted against Trump's North American trade deal Team Trump criticizes Sanders for vote against USMCA 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 BookerNew Hampshire state lawmaker switches support from Warren to Klobuchar Here are the 10 senators who voted against Trump's North American trade deal Team Trump criticizes Sanders for vote against USMCA 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.”