Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley got some evil looks from Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) when he slammed the sparse debate schedule at the DNC’s summer meeting.
O’Malley, who is polling far behind Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), began by reminding the Minneapolis crowd he’s “carried a lot of water for this donkey.”
“While the Republicans put their backwards ideas forward before an audience of more than 20 million Americans. We put our forward-thinking ideas on the backburner and try to hide them from the airwaves,” he said.
There are only six DNC-sanctioned debates, with the only Iowa debate two months before the caucus and only one debate scheduled in New Hampshire. The first Dem debate is Oct. 13 in Nevada.
“Four debates and only four debates — we are told not asked — before voters in our earliest states make their decision. This is totally unprecedented in our party. This sort of rigged process has never been attempted before,” O’Malley said. “Whose decree is it? Where did it come from? To what end? For what purpose? What national or party interest does this decree serve?”
“…And the New Hampshire debate is cynically wedged into the high point of the holiday shopping season so as few people watch it as possible. Is this how the Democratic Party selects its nominee, or are we becoming something else,…something less? Whatever happened to open debates and the fifty state strategy? Their party’s leading candidate scapegoats immigrant families. He launches racist attacks on entire ethnic groups of Americans — to the delight of David Duke and other white supremacists — and our response… is to limit debates?!”
The governor repeated one phrase several times in his speech: “We need debate.”
“We are the Democratic Party, not the undemocratic Party,” O’Malley said. “If we are to debate debates, the topic should be how many, not how few.”
Wasserman Schultz gave O’Malley a quick handshake and a dirty look after his remarks.