Rival Democratic presidential candidates expressed displeasure with a shift in rules that was widely perceived to benefit former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, enabling him to make a debate stage for the first time.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) dropped a requirement for a certain number of donors, leaving only a polling threshold to qualify for debates. “Now that the grassroots support is actually captured in real voting, the criteria will no longer require a donor threshold,” said Adrienne Watson, a DNC spokesperson.
Out of the leading candidates in the field, the rule change appears to only benefit Bloomberg. Other candidates took notice, hammering the 77-year-old over his prolific personal spending on the race and decrying the change.
“The DNC didnt change the rules to ensure good, diverse candidates could remain on the debate stage. They shouldnt change the rules to let a billionaire on. Billionaires shouldnt be allowed to play by different rules—on the debate stage, in our democracy, or in our government,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said in a statement on Twitter.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) was even more direct. “Billionaire Bloomberg just bought the DNC,” she wrote in a tweet.
“Lets make one thing clear: changing the rules now to accommodate Mike Bloomberg and not changing them in the past to ensure a more diverse debate stage is just plain wrong,” fellow billionaire Tom Steyer added in a statement.
Jeff Weaver, a senior adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), said in a statement that the change in rules was made “to accommodate Mike Bloomberg, who is trying to buy his way into the Democratic nomination.”
“Thats the definition of a rigged system,” he added.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, campaigning in Iowa, was asked about his thoughts on the change for the Feb. 19 debate in Las Vegas. “Hes not even on the ballot in Nevada,” Biden told reporters.
Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg declined to criRead More – Source