The DNC has rejected the letter from Cory Booker’s campaign suggesting they change the debate qualification rules to allow more inclusivity.
Booker had gained support from eight other Democrat presidential candidates who have been increasingly concerned about the optics of minority candidates Kamala Harris, Julian Castro, and Cory Booker no longer appearing on the debate stage.
Andrew Yang barely qualified for the next DNC debate and will be the only minority candidate on the stage along with 6 white candidates if the debate does take place and overcomes the candidate boycott threat due to a labor dispute. All 7 candidates who have qualified have said they will not cross a picket line to attend the next debate if the labor dispute has not been resolved.
Per ABC, in a sternly worded statement responding to Booker’s letter, the DNC resisted his request while also defending the debate qualifying criteria.
“The DNC has led a fair and transparent process and even told campaigns almost a year ago that the qualification criteria would go up later in the year — not one campaign objected,” DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa said. “The DNC will not change the threshold for any one candidate and will not revert back to two consecutive nights with more than a dozen candidates. Our qualification criteria is extremely low and reflects where we are in the race.”
The letter had made the following argument for including more candidates:
“Adopting the aforementioned criteria will produce a debate stage that better reflects our party and our country; will recognize a broader definition of what constitutes a viable candidacy, particularly in the early primary and caucus states where strong organization can outweigh media persuasion efforts; and will reflect the practical reality that the polling threshold has proven to be an unreliable metric, with only four national debate qualifying polls released since the last debate…With the holiday season upon us, and a brief qualification window for the January debate, it’s vital to make modifications to qualification criteria now.”
The NY Times reported at the urging of Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, eight Democratic presidential candidates, and Mr. Booker, have signed a letter urging Tom Perez, the Democratic National Committee chairman, to lower the thresholds to qualify for the party’s January and February debates.
The letter, written and circulated by the Booker campaign, was sent to Mr. Perez and his top deputies Saturday afternoon. It comes amid angst that Thursday’s debate in Los Angeles will include just one candidate of color — the businessman Andrew Yang — among the seven qualifying participants.
Mr. Booker did not qualify for next week’s debate and is unlikely to meet the criteria for the debates in January and February unless thresholds are lowered or he sees a significant improvement in his polling numbers.
This article first appeared on TheConservativeOpinion.com