Former Maryland Governor and presidential candidate Martin O'Malley criticized Democratic party leadership on Thursday for hosting only six debates, a move he said shuts down intra-party discussion about important issues.The first Democratic Party debate is taking place on October 13.
During the 2007-2008 election cycle there were more than 20 debates.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced a schedule of six primary debates on Thursday, exactly half the debates planned by the Republican party. The DNC also added that if a candidate participates in any other debate they will not be allowed to attend the six official debates.
O'Malley, who has struggled to gain support in a primary environment dominated by the Hillary Clinton campaign apparatus, said the thin debate schedule hurts his party.
The O'Malley campaign released a statement to the press accusing the DNC of paving a path to help set up Clinton as the party's nominee. The campaign said the current set up of debates makes the process less democratic and stacking the deck for a pre chosen candidate.
"I think that the country and our party would be much better served by a full schedule of debates," O'Malley said. "I think we're hurting ourselves if we try to circle the wagons and limit debate."
O'Malley touted that the Democratic Party had ideas and solutions and accused the Republican party for not having any ideas. He added that the country would benefit from a robust schedule of debates and until Thursday there was not a set schedule of any debates.
"What is this, the World Wrestling Federation? This is the Democratic party, and we need democratic debates about the solutions that will serve America's families on affordable college, getting wages to go up, climate change, and all the rest," O'Malley said.
Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has not had a public opinion on the matter.
Published under: DNC , Martin O'Malley