Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said that even though there are only five presidential candidates in her party, there will still be a “threshold” to participate in debates.
Fox is whittling down the expected GOP pack of 19 to the top 10 in poll averages.
Wasserman Schultz told MSNBC that they’re going to establish a threshold of their own that “allows for the maximum inclusion of our major party candidates, but we will have a threshold for participation our debate.”
“We haven’t quite finished formulating all the details for — when we roll out. But we still are determining dates and cosponsors and, you know, what that threshold level will be. But, I’m going to be wrapping that up very shortly,” she said.
That won’t be welcome news to candidates who are already upset with the low number of DNC-sanctioned debates.
While the Republican National Committee expects to have a dozen debates, the DNC will only allow half that number.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley have protested the DNC schedule, with Sanders asking Wasserman Schultz in a recent letter to have more debates beginning earlier in the cycle.
Sanders also wants “a less traditional form of debating by welcoming the opportunity to debate not only amongst members of the Democratic Party but also having debates between Democratic and Republican candidates during the primary process.”
Wasserman Schultz told MSNBC “we’re focused on making sure that we at the Democratic Party get ready to launch our nominee into an election that will result in electing the 45th president of the United States of America.”
“And so, the mechanics of which primaries and which states occur on which day are really not our focus right now,” she aid. “We’re just trying to make sure that we are ready to be able to backup our nominee and have the strength.”
Wasserman Schultz endorsed Clinton and was one of her campaign co-chairs in the 2008 election, before she was chairwoman of the DNC.
Last month, she chided former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee for questioning Clinton’s ethics.