"I would hope very much that as we go into New York state, Secretary Clinton's home state, that we will have a debate…on the important issues facing New York and, in fact, the country," Sanders said Sunday on NBC's Meet The Press.
Clinton, however, rejected the call for debate. Her excuse? The "tone" of Sanders' campaign.
"This is a man who said he'd never run a negative ad ever. He's now running them. They're planning to run more," Clinton operative Joel Benenson said Monday. "Let's see the tone of the campaign he wants to run before we get to any other questions."
Benenson denied that there's any risk to the Democratic front-runner, saying that it's just not for Sanders to decide on the schedule.
"She's done very well in the debates…but Sen. Sanders doesn't get to decide when we debate, particularly when he's running a very negative campaign against us," Benenson said, adding that it is not a final "no" and that the answer will depend on the "kind of tone" the senator sets.
There are 247 delegates at stake in the April 19 primary in New York.
Since Sanders won in all three Democratic presidential contests on Saturday, he has raised more than $4 million, which will most likely be spent on advertising in upcoming states such as Wisconsin, New York and Pennsylvania.