Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Martin O'Malley Says He Asked Bernie Sanders To Debate. Sanders Said No.

Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley has tried to hold more debates, even without the party's blessing, he said Tuesday. He said he even asked fellow Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to debate him.
Sanders turned him down, O'Malley told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
"You think I haven't done that?" O'Malley said when former DNC Chairman Howard Dean asked him why he didn't challenge Sanders to a one-on-one debate.
"I've done that," he continued. "I asked Sen. Sanders. Sen. Sanders doesn't want to do more debates either. He kind of liked where it is."
Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said that "the DNC exclusivity rule would have made us ineligible for the debates with Secretary Clinton."
O'Malley, a former Maryland governor, has been critical of the Democratic debate schedule, which he says seems to be designed to protect former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Republicans have held more debates -- they also have more candidates -- and typically on weekdays, while many Democratic debates were scheduled for weekends.
O'Malley said Tuesday that the DNC is "trying to circle the wagons around this year's inevitable front-runner, Hillary Clinton," putting the blame on current DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a congresswoman from Florida.
Dean didn't buy it, given his experience in the top DNC spot. He said that in 2008, both Clinton and President Barack Obama thought he was "in the tank for the other one," but he was trying to protect both of them. 
"I don't think the books were cooked and if they were, they were cooked pretty badly because Hillary Clinton is a very good debater," Dean said of this cycle's debate schedule. "After each debate she gets a bump. If this was a strategy to help Hillary Clinton, I don't think it has."
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