Feb 2, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Yang says he's not sure if Bloomberg is "excited" about DNC debate change

Andrew Yang said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that he's not sure if fellow 2020 candidate Michael Bloomberg is "excited" to participate in the Democratic primary debates, following a rule change by the Democratic National Committee that will eliminate the individual-donor threshold.

What he's saying:

"The fact is Mike Bloomberg could have gotten himself on the debate stage any time he wanted. It's pretty straightforward to meet the donor requirement, he could have just made that happen through online spending. And so, I'm not sure this is a development that he's going to welcome, frankly. I think the DNC looked at this and said, 'We need to get Bloomberg on the debate stage.' ... The question is whether this is a move that Mike's excited about or whether Mike's indifferent to, or even negative towards."

Why it matters: Several 2020 candidates who have dropped out, including Sen. Cory Booker, had lobbied but ultimately failed to convince the DNC to lower the debate requirements. Sen. Bernie Sanders is among those who have argued that the change favors a billionaire over candidates who have earned grassroots support.

  • Yang, however, counters that the move is likely a push by the DNC to force Bloomberg to face his competitors on the debate stage — since it's clear that he intends to remain in the race until at least Super Tuesday.

What to watch: In lieu of the donor requirement, candidates must receive at least one pledged delegate in the Iowa caucuses, which take place on Monday. The first debate for which the change will apply is the Las Vegas debate on Feb. 19.

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