U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), is drawing fire as activists want more debates between the candidates running for the party’s presidential nomination.
Wasserman Schultz spoke at the New Hampshire Democratic Party convention over the weekend and was interrupted by activists chanting “we want debates.”
“What’s more important, drawing a contrast with Republicans or arguing about debates?” Wasserman Schultz asked, veering off her planned speech.
So far, there are only six debates scheduled, prompting some of the dark horse candidates to demand more of them. In the 2008 cycle, when Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton, there were more than 20 debates held. Wasserman Schultz backed Clinton who is running again after losing to Obama last time out.
Clinton has said she is open to more debates while former Gov. Martin O’Malley, D-Md., has made calling for more one of the more visible aspects of his dark horse campaign. Supporters of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., have also been pushing for more debates.
Wasserman Schultz drew fire on Monday morning on “Morning Joe” on MSNBC as former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford, D-Tenn., who is backing Clinton, criticized her handling of the hecklers in New Hampshire.
“I think [Schultz] is wrong to stand in front of Democrats and lecture them about what they should be concerned about in the room,” Ford said.
Pundit Mika Brzezinski agreed with the former congressman.
“Debbie Wasserman Schultz seems to be in her own glass box about this and it’s one that wants to anoint one candidate and leave others out,” insisted Brzezinski who co-hosts the show with former U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough, R-Fla. “It’s fine but she’s absolutely wrong about this.
Brzezinski said debates make for better candidates.
“Look at, quite frankly, the work that the Democratic side needs," Brzezinski said. “We need these conversations. We need to see them happening between Democratic candidates so they can challenge each other.”
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