Washington Free Beacon founding editor Matthew Continetti on Friday said that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is opening the door for Michael Bloomberg if other establishment candidates fail to defeat Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) in early primary states.
On Friday, the DNC eased requirements to qualify for future debates, despite a crowded primary field. Continetti said the gambit shows that the party is looking to the billionaire as Plan B if former vice president Joe Biden continues to struggle.
"If Bernie wins Iowa, he’s already very well positioned in New Hampshire. That will set the Democratic party on fire," Continetti said during Fox News’s Special Report. "And that’s why I think you’ve had this rule changed to allow Mike Bloomberg into the debates. This is their insurance policy if the Biden campaign collapses."
Under the new rules candidates will no longer need to meet a minimum donor threshold, but will face steeper polling requirements—either reaching a 10 percent share of the vote in four polls, or 12 percent in two. The revision will help the former New York City mayor, who has risen in polls after flooding the airwaves during primetime events in 2020. Bloomberg has already committed $200 million of his $60 billion fortune to the campaign. He has said repeatedly that he wants to debate, but will not reverse his pledge to self-fund his campaign.
"I want to participate in the debates, I always said I'd like to participate in the debates," he told reporters. "But the rules are the rules and it's up to the Democratic Party to set those rules."
The changes have angered some of his 2020 rivals.
"The DNC didn’t change the rules to ensure good, diverse candidates could remain on the debate stage," Warren said in a tweet. "They shouldn’t change the rules to let a billionaire on. Billionaires shouldn't be allowed to play by different rules—on the debate stage, in our democracy, or in our government."
The DNC didn’t change the rules to ensure good, diverse candidates could remain on the debate stage. They shouldn’t change the rules to let a billionaire on. Billionaires shouldn't be allowed to play by different rules—on the debate stage, in our democracy, or in our government.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 31, 2020
The DNC has failed to address complaints from other candidates about stringent debate requirements in the past.