Two vice chairs of the Democratic National Committee are publicly calling on the party to increase the number of presidential debates, adding high-profile voices to efforts to change the process.
Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and R.T. Rybak, a former mayor of Minneapolis, released a joint statement late on Wednesday urging the party committee to remove the restrictions that were put in place to prevent presidential candidates from taking part in unsanctioned debates. The schedule has been criticized by Martin O’Malley, a candidate and former governor of Maryland, as too restrictive, and by some Democrats as being too favorable to Hillary Rodham Clinton….
Why DNC Vice-Chairs Tulsi Gabbard and R.T. Rybak believe we should have more debates:
We believe that the DNC’s decision to limit Presidential candidates to six debates, with a threat of exclusion for any candidate who participates in any non-DNC sanctioned debate, is a mistake. It limits the ability of the American people to benefit from a strong, transparent, vigorous debate between our Presidential candidates, as they make the important decision of who will be our Democratic Presidential nominee.
As vice chairs of the Democratic National Committee, we are calling for several more debates than the six currently scheduled, and withdrawing the proposed sanctions against candidates who choose to participate in non-DNC sanctioned debates. We also encourage the DNC to consider additional ways to jointly showcase our candidates across the country.
We are the party that represents democratic principles, openness and transparency, and ensuring that all people, regardless of who they are or where they are from, have a level playing field and equal opportunity.
By limiting Democratic debates to just six, more people will feel excluded from our political process, rather than included. As Democrats, we believe the more people are engaged in the process and the exchange of ideas, the better off we are as a nation.
- Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard & R.T. Rybak