Deval Patrick knocks lack of diversity in Democratic debate

Deval Patrick knocks lack of diversity in Democratic debate
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Democratic presidential candidate Deval PatrickDeval PatrickButtigieg to attend MLK Day event in South Carolina after facing criticism Deval Patrick knocks lack of diversity in Democratic debate Democratic Party boss pushes back on criticism: Debate rules 'very transparent,' 'very inclusive' MORE criticized Tuesday night's Democratic primary debate in Des Moines, Iowa, for a lack of diversity. 

“Tonight, six candidates will take the debate stage, all remarkable public servants," the former Massachusetts governor said early Tuesday. "Yet tonight America will not see herself in full."

Patrick, who entered the race late and has yet to qualify for a primary debate, cited that "three of the four candidates who have most recently left the race have been candidates of color."

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Since December's debate in Los Angeles, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisParnas pressure grows on Senate GOP Sanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial MORE (D-Calif.), former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBooker ahead of Trump impeachment trial: 'History has its eyes on us' Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial DNC announces new criteria for New Hampshire debate MORE (D-N.J.) have all ended their campaigns.

Also in his statement, Patrick went after Democratic National Committee (DNC) leadership, asserting that the qualification requirements for the debates do not "demonstrate to Democratic voters or to the Nation the breadth and depth of diverse talent in the field."

DNC Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward 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 requirements Tuesday, saying that they are "transparent” and “inclusive."

“We made the rules, they were very transparent, they're very inclusive, and we can't change the rules midstream because there's a candidate that I wish were on but didn't make the debate stage,” Perez said on CNN’s “New Day.” 

  

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Patrick is not the only Democratic primary contender to criticize the debate stage for lack of diversity.

Following Harris's exit from the race, Booker decried the dwindling number of candidates of color in the primary.

"It’s a problem that caucusgoers here in Iowa and in Nevada and voters in South Carolina and New Hampshire are being denied the choices that they are telling us they want in February," the former candidate said during a campaign event held in Iowa. 

Booker then called on the DNC to "open up" requirements for the debate stage to allow for a more diverse field. 

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardButtigieg to attend MLK Day event in South Carolina after facing criticism Poll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire Gabbard defeats man in push-up contest at New Hampshire town hall MORE (D-Hawaii) has also railed against the DNC for its lack of transparency with regard to which polls are accepted to meet the threshold to qualify for the debate stage.