Bernie Challenges Hillary to California Primary Debate
In fact, Bernie has already accepted the invitation from Fox News and is currently lobbying the Clinton campaign to do the same. The debate would take place in California, though no other details have been released since Hillary has not yet accepted the invite. Obviously Hillary would like to avoid doing any further debates since it would only help to bolster Bernie at this point.
Report from USAToday:
Bernie Sanders has agreed to attend a Fox News debate and he wants Hillary Clinton to join him.
“Both campaigns have been invited by Fox News to a debate. We have told the network that we would accept the invitation with the understanding that we can reach mutual agreement on the debate moderators, the format and other details,” Sanders’ Campaign Manager Jeff Weaver said in a statement.
Fox News sent letters offering to host a debate to both campaigns Tuesday.
“More than half way through the month of May, we hope Secretary Clinton will soon make good on her campaign’s commitment and agree to a time and pace for a debate,” Weaver said. “There are issues of enormous importance facing the people of California and our nation and the people of our largest state deserve to hear the Democratic candidates’ opinions.”
Later Wednesday, Bill Sammon, the vice president and Washington managing editor of Fox News, released a statement on the offer.
“Fox News has suggested several debate venues in California to the Democratic National Committee and both candidates. We are also offering a variety of dates, being careful to exclude Friday and Saturday nights, per the agreement between the DNC and candidates,” Sammon said. “Fox will release further debate details as appropriate, given that only one of the two candidates has accepted our debate invitation so far.”
Hillary did agree in theory to holding a debate in May, and now Bernie is attempting to cash in on their prior agreement. No word yet on whether this debate will happen, but this is exactly why Bernie agreed to the earlier debate before New Hampshire in exchange for later debates added to the calendar.
The Clinton campaign may try to argue that since it’s mathematically impossible for Bernie to match or exceed her pledged delegate count, that he is eliminated from contention. However, Bernie would likely argue that the superdelegates are going to be the deciders this time around anyway so which delegate number can you truly point to in labeling a “presumptive” nominee?
We’ll follow this story and see what happens in the coming days.