Democratic presidential hopefuls Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders are seriously questioning the feasibility of debates that are held on weekends. The third Democratic debate is scheduled for tonight, Saturday December 19, and these men know people won’t tune in the way they probably would were it scheduled for a weeknight.
Tonight's Democratic debate poses challenges for Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley https://t.co/Qxe0WVzrHE
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 19, 2015
It’s not just Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders who are questioning these weekend debates. Many have criticized the Democratic National Committee’s scheduling process.
It seems there’s been much discussion about these weekend debates, with Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders pushing for more opportunities to publicly challenge Hillary Clinton. The DNC scheduled six–three of which are on tap for weekends.
Of all the Democratic candidates, Martin O’Malley has been the most vocal about this situation. He first complained about tonight’s debate back in August.
“They’ve scheduled it during shopping season, December 19th,” Mr. he said. “I don’t know why that is. I think it’s out of a false sense that they have to circle the wagons around the inevitable front-runner.”
Martin O’Malley’s campaign said that by avoiding prime-time debate slots, the DNC is “protecting” Hillary Clinton. A spokesperson for Bernie Sanders’ campaign says they’ve had no input on scheduling debates, but they are hoping for more discussion among the candidates on the issue.
The DNC has ceded huge political airtime to GOP, all in an unnecessary attempt to protect Clinton from debates https://t.co/E0POl3u1US
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 18, 2015
“We’re playing the hand we were dealt,” Michael Briggs, a Bernie Sanders campaign spokesman, said. “I guess Christmas Eve was booked.”
Hillary Clinton’s campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment from the New York Times. Are you surprised?
Does this sound like an attempt on behalf of the Democratic National Committee to hand-pick their candidate for the presidential race?
It definitely sounds like Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders have a legitimate complaint.
Will you be tuning in tonight to see the Democratic debate, or are there things like Christmas shopping or holiday parties on your Saturday evening schedule instead?