ABC warns candidates before Democratic debate: No swearing

ABC warns candidates before Democratic debate: No swearing

ABC News sent advisories to the 10 Democratic presidential candidates participating in Thursday night's debate asking they not swear during the event in Houston.

“We wanted to take this opportunity to remind you that, as the debate will air on the ABC broadcast network, we are governed by Federal Communications Commission indecency rules,” ABC News political director Rick Klein wrote in a memo forwarded to the campaigns that was obtained by The New York Times.

“Candidates should therefore avoid cursing or expletives in accordance with federal law,” Klein added.

The Hill has reached out to ABC News for comment.


ABC is due to host the event from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. with 10 candidates on stage, including the top three contenders — former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage Schiff: Whistleblower testimony might not be necessary Trump warns Democrats will lose House seats over impeachment MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders wishes Ocasio-Cortez happy birthday Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Sanders can gain ground by zeroing in on corruption MORE (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders can gain ground by zeroing in on corruption Biden praises Buttigieg for criticizing GOP attacks: 'That's a good man' Warren enters crucial debate with big momentum MORE (D-Mass.) — who will be appearing together for the first time in a primary debate.

The debate will be moderated by ABC chief anchor and "This Week" and "Good Morning America" host George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosKudlow: 'I don't honestly know' if Trump was joking about China investigating Bidens The Hill's Morning Report - Trump's impeachment woes mount Jordan refuses to say whether Trump asking China for investigation was appropriate MORE, "World News Tonight" anchor David Muir, ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos. 

The warning comes as some of the Democratic contenders have been known to curse in public, including former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeButtigieg pushes back on O'Rourke threat to strip religious institutions of tax-exempt status O'Rourke raises .5 million in third quarter Conservatives slam Beto O'Rourke over threat to tax-exempt status for religious organizations MORE (D-Texas) in the aftermath of the shooting in El Paso, Texas, when he was expressing frustration with the media coverage.