Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is calling for protests outside of the Democratic National Committee headquarters on the day of the second Republican debate.
O’Malley slammed the DNC’s paltry debate schedule — only six sanctioned debates, with the only Iowa debate two months before the caucus and only one debate scheduled in New Hampshire — at the DNC’s summer meeting last week.
Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) gave O’Malley a quick handshake and a dirty look after his remarks. Afterwards, she needled him: “I just said thank you. I have more class than that,” she told CNN. “He chose to use that 15 minutes to focus on debates as opposed to his candidacy. That was certainly his right.”
The first Dem debate is Oct. 13 in Nevada.
But in an email to supporters today, O’Malley’s camp said “it’s time to take it up a notch.”
“Over the last few weeks we’ve asked you to take action to call for more debates: you’ve signed our petition, you’ve tweeted at the DNC and Senator Sanders—you’ve worked hard with us to keep this important issue at the front of the national dialogue and we’ve seen these efforts pay off. Since then, there have been countless op-eds in Iowa and New Hampshire papers, and a delegate at the DNC summer meeting even called for a resolution for more debates,” O’Malley’s digital director, Madeleine Ellis, wrote.
“Recently, we caught wind of a protest happening at Democratic Party headquarters in just two weeks. It’s being organized by a group called ‘Allow Debate’ and we want to join forces with them to make this big.”
O’Malley’s camp is now collecting RSVPs for the Sept. 16 protest at 430 South Capitol Street in Washington. They’ve promised a GOP debate-watching party at a nearby bar afterward.
“It’s important that we bring our call for more debates directly to the group that is restricting candidates’ ability to debate. It’s, frankly, undemocratic. Enough tweeting. Let’s take action.”
Bernie Sanders said Sunday that O’Malley used a “strong word” when he accused the DNC of “rigging” the election with the debate schedule.
Still, Sanders agrees that the DNC schedule “is dead wrong, and I have let the leadership of the Democrats know that.”
“Again, I think this country benefits — all people benefits — democracy benefits when we have debates,” he said. “And I want to see more of them.”