Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley blasted DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz while on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Thursday for limiting the number of Democratic primary debates to just six.
"It's bad for the country and it's political malpractice for our party," O’Malley said.
Host Joe Scarborough asked O’Malley if he thought the party elites were purposefully rigging the primary for Hillary Clinton. O’Malley answered he believed one person in particular was responsible for favoring the frontrunner.
"I do … I'm told that this is the prerogative of the chair," O’Malley said. "There's always an inclination I think for old relationships to kind of circle the wagons and protect one another."
"And tell our viewers who the chair is?" Scarborough asked wryly.
"The chair is Debbie Wasserman Schultz," O'Malley said.
The icy relationship between O'Malley and Schultz was on full display at the DNC's summer meeting Aug. 28, when the two exchanged an abrupt handshake after O'Malley concluded a speech that railed against the committee for the same issue.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), now leading polls in both Iowa and New Hampshire, agrees with O’Malley the DNC is rigging the primary. On Wednesday, two vice chairs for the DNC joined the chorus for more debates. Both Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D., Hawaii) and R.T. Rybak released a joint statement urging Wasserman Schultz to remove restrictions on candidates participating in unsanctioned debates.
"The decision to limit Presidential candidates to six debates, with a threat of exclusion for any candidate who participates in any non-DNC sanctioned debate, is a mistake," Ms. Gabbard and Mr. Rybak said.
O’Malley also tied the lack of debates to Clinton’s email scandal, complaining that the private server has distracted Democrats from discussing important issues.
"Wish that she had done that a couple months ago and that we were having debates so that we could move onto the other issues," he said. "That’s the biggest concern that I think people express as I go living room to living room through New Hampshire and through Iowa."
Despite being way behind in the polls, O’Malley insisted voters are rejecting the "anointed" Clinton and will turn to him for a new alternative.
"People are actually looking for a new leader. Right now they are expressing their repudiation of the established, anointed, coronated leader," O’Malley said. "We can't be dissatisfied with our economy and politics and think old leaders will fix what's wrong with our country."