There was a big fight going on among the Democrats yesterday, but it wasn’t the one on the debate stage in Las Vegas. It’s been well known for quite some time that pretty much everyone in the party wanted more debates than the four scheduled for this year and they wanted them to begin sooner. Everyone, that is, except for Hillary Clinton and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. That argument came to a head when one of her vice-chairs, Tulsi Gabbard (D – Hawaii 2) found herself uninvited to the debate last night after being a bit too vocal about how the party needed to schedule more such events. It was apparently bad enough that Bernie Sanders’ campaign had to offer her one of their tickets. (CNN)
Tulsi Gabbard said she was disinvited from Tuesday night’s first Democratic debate after voicing a call for more of them.
“If she needs a ticket, have her give me a call,” Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager, said on CNN’s “New Day” on Monday. “I think we have a couple; we can give her one.”
Gabbard said she “politely declined” Weaver’s offer, not wanting to turn the brouhaha into a “political conversation.”
That led to a rare moment yesterday afternoon on CNN when Wolf Blitzer had DWS on his show and asked her about how ugly things had gotten. The chairwoman flatly denied that it had happened, even when Blitzer pressed her on the subject, saying they had multiple sources confirming that Gabbard had been told “she should probably make other plans.” She tried to deflect the question, saying that it was a shame that they were talking about the “process” rather than the issues, going on to insist that she had consulted with all of her vice-chairs before arriving at the number of debates to be held.
Oh really? Check out the video below. John Heilemann was on Morning Joe to report that he’d spoken to more than a dozen people (vice-chairs and their spokespeople) and he couldn’t find one who didn’t find out about the decision on the number of debates “through a press release.”
What’s happening here is clear. The media, in a rare moment of doing their jobs when it comes to reporting on the DNC, has conducted numerous interviews and found out that DWS single-handedly rigged the number of debates against the wishes of most of the their candidates and the majority of the party and she did it to shield Hillary Clinton from damage. Then when she was called out on it on national TV, she lied through her teeth about it. This should be far more than an embarrassment for the Democrats… it should be a firing offense.
It’s not just Republicans taking notice. DWS is now being heckled by her own base. (ABC News)
The call for more Democratic debates is growing louder.
The chair of the Democrats National Committee got heckled today during her remarks at the New Hampshire Democratic Party convention by protesters calling for more than six debates in the primary.
The chants began as Debbie Wasserman Schultz told the crowd she was looking forward to the December debate in Manchester, New Hampshire.
“We want debates! More debates!” party members yelled out, drowning out her remarks.
Many protesters — many of whom were Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley supporters — simultaneously held up bright orange signs that read, “More debates = More votes for DEMOCRATS.”
I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this. Nobody can actually overrule DWS on the schedule as far as I know, so we may never see those extra debates. But when the dust settles it may wind up costing Debbie Wasserman-Schultz her job.