House Majority Whip: DNC shouldn't change rules for Bloomberg

House Majority Whip Jim ClyburnJames (Jim) Enos ClyburnAzar to testify before House coronavirus subcommittee Attacks against the police are organized and violent Clark rolls out endorsements in assistant Speaker race MORE (D-S.C.) said the Democratic National Committee (DNC) shouldn't change its rules so that former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergTop Democratic super PAC launches Florida ad blitz after Bloomberg donation The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Latest with the COVID-19 relief bill negotiations The Memo: 2020 is all about winning Florida MORE can participate in upcoming debates. 

"I have nothing against Bloomberg, I like Bloomberg ... we've had a relationship a long time ... but I do not feel that we ought to be messing around with the rules," Clyburn told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons.

"You lay out the rules, the rules are there for everybody. They were there for him from the get-go," the South Carolina congressman added.

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On Friday, the DNC changed its debate requirements, axing its fundraising threshold, which gives Bloomberg a chance to make this month's debate in Las Vegas.

For the Democratic primary debates up to this point, candidates have had to reach a certain amount of money raised by a certain number of individual donors. However, for the Feb. 19 debate, candidates can now either hit a delegates threshold or a polling threshold to qualify.

This translates into at least one pledged delegate at the Iowa caucuses or the New Hampshire primary or 10 percent support in at least four national polls or surveys of South Carolina and Nevada – the next primaries after Iowa and New Hampshire – released between Jan. 15 and Feb. 18.

A candidate can also qualify by polling at 12 percent in two sanctioned national or early-state surveys. 

Bloomberg has yet to appear on the debate stage because of his pledge to not publicly fundraise. The former mayor is worth roughly $60 billion and is self-funding his campaign.

The rule change has drawn considerable ire from the rest of the Democratic primary field, who had to play by the original rules until now.

Even if Bloomberg qualifies for the debate later this month, he won't be on the primary ballot in Nevada. In fact, Bloomberg isn't on the first four primary ballots, instead choosing to focus on finding success on Super Tuesday.