Bernie Puts Debate On The Hook, Hillary Finally Bites

Nancy Bailey

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have finally agreed to a debate in New York. The Daily Beast reported today that Sanders had issued a press release saying the debate is officially on.

"Let's do it," Sanders said.

Clinton stalled for a number of weeks, saying if Bernie Sanders wants to debate, he has to play nice. The squabble carried on through the weekend, which included some back-and-forth banter via CNN.

Sanders accused Clinton of stalling on the debate until she felt it would help her position in the polls, according to an article in Politico.com. On Tuesday, Clinton had not changed her position, saying Bernie has to change his tone and stick by his original campaign ideals of refraining from attacks.

— Tom Carrington (@tomcarrington) March 29, 2016

But Clinton's spokesman Brian Fallon told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that there's nothing fishy going on, and Hillary is just following the process.

"To be honest, Wolf, this is a bit of faux controversy. There is a process for adding to the debate schedule. The campaigns get together privately, have discussions in coordination with the DNC. That process is underway and we should let that process play out. There's plenty of time between now and the New York primary which isn't for another three weeks. I think this was really just a manufactured controversy that arose in the last couple of days because the Sanders campaign sorta jumped the gun and publicly issued a letter to our campaign trying to hasten the process. I don't think that was necessary, I think there's plenty of time to work things out."
"... When Sec. Clinton was underwater in New Hampshire, they desperately wanted to have a debate, a late scheduled debate, outside of the regular process in New Hampshire and we said yes, we're happy to do that, as long as you agree to three more debates."
"Now it looks like they're trying to go back off having these April and May debates. Now let's be clear it would be really dishonest of them to having negotiated to have a debate in New Hampshire in exchange for three other debates to now go back on their word and try to get out of doing these other two debates."
"There's no way to get this on the table without bringing it to the attention of the American public."
"There have been back channel conversations throughout the day today. Our campaign indicated through the Sanders campaign through the DNC that we're perfectly willing to debate in April and we provided some options including here in New York."

Fallon had called Sanders' open debate requests a "stunt" for attention.

Bernie's spokesperson told CNN they could discuss Hillary's request to refrain from attacks.

Sanders and Clinton camps in talks for New York debate https://t.co/Icq4qi7RWI

— Dakarai Turner ABC2 (@Dakarai_Turner) March 31, 2016

The New York Daily News reported that between March 10 and March 20, a record-smashing 41,000 New Yorkers registered to vote. Half of them were first-time voters. This could look good for Sanders, as polls have indicated that he attracts first-time voters.

This article by the Inquisitr relates how Bernie plans to dominate New York with an aggressive campaign effort until the primary on April 19.

The New York Democratic Debate has yet to be scheduled.

[Photo by Nam Y. Huh/AP]

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