Thousands of Bernie Sanders supporters want the Democratic National Committee and chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to “give Bernie Sanders a fair chance” and increase the number of sanctioned debates during the primary, a new Change.org petition says.
The petition is nearing the 25,000-signature threshold and was started one week ago by Wausau, Wisconsin resident Lori Miller.
Sanders, a Democratic presidential candidate, told CNN “State of The Union” host Jake Tapper on Sunday that the DNC is “dead wrong” for restricting the number of debates offered to the candidates.
“I think that that is dead wrong and I have let the leadership of the Democrats know that,” Sanders said.
“I think this country benefits, all people benefit, democracy benefits, when we have debates, and I want to see more of them,” he noted. He added, “I think that debates are a good thing.”
Sanders was not the only Democrat in the party’s presidential primary upset about the amount of debates available. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley shook things up at the DNC meeting in Minneapolis over the weekend when he proclaimed to his fellow Democrats of making a “rigged process” of the debates by limiting the number of them to only four. Republican presidential primary candidates already debated once in Cleveland in July and nine more primary debates are currently scheduled.
“Four debates and only four debates — we are told, not asked — before voters in our earliest states make their decision,” said O’Malley. “This sort of rigged process has never been attempted before. One debate in Iowa. That’s it. One debate in New Hampshire. That’s all we can afford.”