Primary purgatory with no 12th Democratic debate on horizon

  • In World
  • 2020-03-25 15:44:52Z
  • By Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) - There is no 12th Democratic presidential debate on the horizon now that the nominating process is in a holding pattern due to the coronarvirus pandemic.

One of the Democratic National Committee's lead debate organizers, Xochitl Hinojosa, said the party has not set a date or secured a television broadcasting partner for what would be the final encounter of the dozen that DNC Chairman Tom Perez promised at the campaign's outset.

There's no evidence that either Joe Biden, the prospective nominee, or Bernie Sanders, Biden's last remaining rival, is clamoring for a debate, and there's doubt among the candidates' advisers that one will occur. "We are taking things day by day," Hinojosa said.

The uncertainty reflects both the political realities of Biden's lead and the public health realities of the virus, which could make another debate logistically difficult because of the social distancing orders from public officials.

The first 10 Democratic debates were held in public venues before audiences of party officials and candidates' supporters. CNN and the DNC moved the March 15 debate, the first after U.S. officials publicly urged a massive coronavirus response, from Phoenix to the the network's Washington studios. There was no live audience and the candidates stood 6 feet apart, recognizing the public health recommendations.

Since then, Mayor Muriel Bowser of the District of Coumbia has issued a stay-at-home order urging only nonessential workers to move about the nation's capital. New York, where national television networks are based, now has among the most serious coronavirus outbreaks of any U.S. city.

The next debate was expected to be in an East Coast location before the April 28 anchored by New York. That primary remains scheduled for now, but several states, including Maryland, Rhode Island and Connecticut, have pushed back to join New Jersey on June 2.

The 11th debate, the relocated one, was the first between just Biden and Sanders, and came after the rest of the field had either dropped out or failed to meet debate qualifications. Biden had established a clear delegate lead over Super Tuesday and March 10 primaries. Sanders' aides said at the time that the Vermont senator wanted to use the forum to trumpet his progressive agenda as a "democratic socialist" against the former vice president's more establishment approach.

Sanders' team is making no such noise now. "If there is a debate in April, he plans to be there," Sanders spokesman Mike Casca said. It was a notably muted tone for a campaign and candidate often critical of the DNC and the "establishment media" for alleged unfair treatment.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

___ Associated Press writer Will Weissert in Washington contributed to this report.


More Related News

Sanders risks his movement
Sanders risks his movement's clout by staying in the race against Biden too long

Analysis: The dynamics are different than 2016 when the Vermont senator took on Hillary Clinton.

Biden says coronavirus may force Democrats to hold
Biden says coronavirus may force Democrats to hold 'virtual' presidential convention
  • US
  • 2020-04-05 14:57:48Z

The Democratic Party already postponed its convention from July to August last week, citing worries over the outbreak that has prompted a majority of U.S. states to order their residents to stay at home to contain the disease's spread. "We may have to do a virtual convention," Biden said on ABC's "This Week" program. Biden and rival Senator Bernie Sanders have been forced off the campaign trail, and more than a dozen states have postponed their primary elections.

Column: Joe Biden is stuck in his basement. It just might help him win
Column: Joe Biden is stuck in his basement. It just might help him win

Being out of the public eye may be good for Biden's prospects. He's running as the I'm-not-Trump candidate, and voters will know that next fall.

Biden informs Sanders he
Biden informs Sanders he'll begin vetting VP candidates, asks Obama for Cabinet selection advice

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is still in the running for the Democratic presidential nomination, but his competitor, former Vice President Joe Biden, has his sights set on the next step of his campaign.Biden said Friday he informed Sanders he will begin the process of vetting potential Cabinet and vice presidential candidates, telling donors at a virtual fundraising event that he plans on launching a committee to select a running mate sometime in mid-April. Former primary challengers like Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are often mentioned as possibilities.Biden has emerged as the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic nomination...

Biden to name VP vetting team, thinking about Cabinet makeup
Biden to name VP vetting team, thinking about Cabinet makeup

Joe Biden said Friday that he will announce a committee to oversee his vice presidential selection process and is already thinking about whom he'd choose to join his Cabinet. Biden, who holds a significant lead in delegates over Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary race but has yet to officially clinch the nomination, also said he's spoken to Sanders to let him know he'd be proceeding with the vice presidential vetting process. Biden, a former vice president himself, has previously committed to choosing a woman as his running mate.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: World