Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz proposed a limited-time offer to her Democratic primary challenger Tim Canova on Wednesday: a 15-minute debate to be held on a local Sunday talk show.
The puny proposal touched off a Twitter battle of sorts between Wasserman Schultz and Canova, a progressive Florida law professor.
“RT if you think the people of South Florida deserve more than one 15 minute debate!” Canova wrote on Twitter along with the hashtag, #DebbieDodgesDebates.
“I’ve been waiting to debate you since April and the best you can do is 15 minutes?” he also wrote.
Wasserman Schultz, who was endorsed by Hillary Clinton earlier this week, responded with a hashtag of her own, #WaitingOnTim.
Canova, who has a high-profile endorsement of his own in Bernie Sanders, slammed Wasserman Schultz in comments to Florida newspapers. He said that her offer is a reminder of why she was so distrusted as DNC chair.
“If Debbie Wasserman Schultz believes one 15 minute debate is sufficient to defend her record, it shows she’s learned nothing from her failures in scheduling debates at the DNC before her shameful resignation,” Canova told The Sun-Sentinel late Wednesday.
During the Democratic primaries, Sanders supporters accused Wasserman Schultz of putting her finger on the scales in favor of Clinton. They said that Wasserman Schultz refused to add more debates to the debate schedule and that she purposely scheduled them on weekends and holidays in order to minimize viewership.
Those accusations were all but confirmed in the eyes of Sanders’ backers with the release of a trove of hacked DNC emails. Several exchanges showed DNC officials, including Wasserman Schultz, criticizing Sanders and his campaign. In one email, the DNC’s chief financial officer suggested that the party should subversively question Sanders’ religion.
Canova has found himself in the same boat as Sanders.
“More than four months ago, I proposed a series of real debates, and that’s still my hope, that the voters will get the benefit of hearing us discuss the issues for a couple of hours and several times so we can cover a wide range of issues,” Canova told the Sun-Sentinel. “The voters of my district deserve better than a mere 15 minutes of discussion on the issues. Does Debbie Wasserman Schultz even believe in democracy?”
He has not said if he will debate Wasserman Schultz, who is considered the heavy favorite to win the Aug. 30 primary. She agreed last week to debate Canova once.