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7 Proposed Dates, But No Agreement As Clinton And Sanders Spar Over Next Debate

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have debated eight times, but are struggling to agree on a date for the next match up ahead of New York's primary in two weeks.
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Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have debated eight times, but are struggling to agree on a date for the next match up ahead of New York's primary in two weeks.

Of course there'll be another debate between the Democratic presidential hopefuls.

Hillary Clinton says so.

Bernie Sanders says so.


It'll take place in advance of the very important New York primary on April 19.

So, when will this debate take place? And where?

It's complicated.

The two campaigns are finding no agreement on details both large and small, even as each insists it's the other side that's holding things up.

This morning the Sanders campaign emailed a press release with the headline "Sanders Looks Forward to New York Debate."


It goes on to say that "Sen. Sanders has accepted an invitation from NBC News for a Sunday night prime-time debate on April 10. We hope the Clinton campaign also accepts."

Compare and contrast that with the email from the Clinton camp over the weekend. In that one, her press secretary Brian Fallon says, "Over the course of the last week, we have offered three specific dates for a debate in New York, all of which the Sanders campaign rejected. We offered Monday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m."

That's tonight, of course. Sanders rejected it because he has a big rally in Milwaukee tonight in advance of Tuesday's Wisconsin primary. There's also a certain NCAA March Madness championship men's college basketball game on television Monday evening that a televised debate would be competing with.

So you say there's a conflict? No problem, says the Clinton campaign, which said how about April 14? Or April 15 (proposed on Good Morning America)?

But the Sanders campaign said "no go" on those dates, and countered April 11, 12 or 13.

Notice that SEVEN different dates over the next two weeks are now on the table ... but no agreement between the campaigns.

You following all of this?

Then there were these dueling quotes from Sanders and Clinton campaigns:

"The Clinton campaign should stop playing games," Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said in that press release.

"The Sanders campaign needs to stop with the games," Clinton spokesman Fallon wrote.

There have been eight debates already featuring Secretary Clinton and Sen. Sanders, including four early on that also included now ex-candidate, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. (And don't forget the October event in Las Vegas where former Senators Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee joined in as well.)

This current battle over logistics is a measure of how much the Democratic race has changed over the past six months. Early on the Clinton campaign called the shots. The debates often took place on weekends when audience would be low, and they reflected the relative lack of drama in a race that was seen as Clinton's to lose and caution was the order of the day. She's still the front runner, with a sizable lead in delegates, but Clinton no longer takes Bernie Sanders (and his supporters) lightly. Along the way the Democratic debates are now in the category of must-see-T.V. for more than just political junkies. The ratings don't rival the Trump driven reality show that GOP debates have been this year, nonetheless, Democratic voters are tuning in.

That raises the stakes.

And creates what has become a DEBATE debate for the Democrats.

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