12:45 GMT16 May 2021
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    An unsanctioned Democratic debate has been proposed in New Hampshire next week, despite the Democratic National Committee’s previous announcement that any candidate participating in unsanctioned debates will be prevented from participating in future official debates.

    To date, Martin O’Malley and Hillary Clinton have agreed to participate, as long as all other candidates agree and the DNC permits the debate. Bernie Sanders has so far declined to participate.

    “DNC has said this would be an unsanctioned debate, so we would not want to jeopardize our ability to participate in future debates,” Jeff Weaver, a Sanders spokesman, told the Blaze. “We think there should be at least three or four more debates following the ones that are currently scheduled. We will be working with the DNC and other campaigns to schedule additional debates.”

    The proposed unsanctioned NBC News and New Hampshire Union Leader debate would take place five days before the New Hampshire primary. Moderators for the event would be Chuck Todd of NBC News and Rachel Maddow of MSNBC.

    The sudden proposal has left many Sanders supporters wondering why additional debates is suddenly on the table as the Vermont senator climbs in the polls, especially as calls for additional debates were earlier shot down by the party.

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz, head of the DNC, has stated that she will not sanction a New Hampshire debate, but many have pointed out that if all three candidates agree, they will have few options other than to allow it.

    The DNC has agreed to six debates, the next is scheduled for February 11.


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