Bernie Sanders’ campaign has thrown down the gauntlet. On Easter Sunday, the day after Sanders hit the trifecta with landslide victories in Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii, the Sanders campaign challenged Hillary Clinton to hold their April debate in New York.
The move is a result of the Clinton campaign dragging its feet regarding a time and location for the debate, which both campaigns agreed upon without any of the specifics worked out. With the month of April looming on the horizon, Sanders decided to make his move.
During an appearance on NBC News’ Meet the Press with Chuck Todd, Bernie called Clinton’s refusal to debate him in her home state “absurd.” He then reiterated the important issues that the public deserves to hear from both candidates.
“I would hope very much that as we go into New York state, Secretary Clinton’s home state, that we will have a debate — New York City or Upstate, wherever — on the important issues facing New York and, in fact, the country.”
— Brad Mielke (@TheBradMielke) March 27, 2016
Weaver’s letter to Mook was much more to the point.
“It is difficult to understand your motivation. Can you please explain why New York should not host the April debate? Is the Secretary concerned about debating before the people who twice elected her to the U.S. Senate? Perhaps there is some tactical advantage you are seeking by avoiding a debate in New York but I would remind you that Sen. Sanders agreed to debate the secretary in New Hampshire when he was well ahead in the polls.”
Weaver also reminded Mook that no agreement on the date or location had been yet agreed upon, and the clock is ticking.
“Our compaign continues to believe that the people of New York, the largest April primary, deserve to have the debate held in their state, and that it should be held prior to the New York primary.”
— Danny Freeman (@DannyEFreeman) March 27, 2016
The New York Times reports the Clinton campaign is awaiting an opinion from the Democratic National Committee before making any plans for the April debate.
Appearing on ABC’s This Week with Jonathan Karl, Sanders discussed the issue of super delegates. Pledged delegates are those who are elected or chosen to represent voters in a particular district and have pledged to vote for their candidate should they win. Super delegates, on the other hand, are not pledged, but often throw their support behind a candidate.
Clinton already has a massive lead in super delegates. However, when Karl asked Sanders about this, Sanders said what a lot of voters have been thinking lately, especially those in Washington state.
“You’re assuming that every super delegate who now supports Secretary Clinton will stay with her…I think the super delegates are going to have to make a very difficult decision and that is, if a candidate wins in a state by 40 or 50 points, who are you going to give your vote to?”
This issue is no more apparent than in the case of Washington Rep. Rick Larsen, who is a super delegate from the state’s District 2, which overwhelmingly supported Bernie Sanders. Larsen has publicly stated on his Facebook page that he remains committed to his support of Clinton, despite his constituents’ votes.
Since winning six out of the last seven states, Bernie Sanders has been more committed to highlighting the differences between himself and Hillary Clinton, and some Democrats are saying he’s going too hard on the former Secretary of State. Clinton is running for president, though, and she ought to be capable of handling “hard” questions and addressing criticism without crying foul. It’s uncertain whether Clinton will take up Sanders’ challenge to a New York debate, but one thing remains clear: the people of New York deserve it.
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]