NATIONAL (VFB) – Things took a strange twist this afternoon when Hillary Clinton launched her most peculiar attack yet against Bernie Sanders for -of all things- the Democratic Debate schedule.
Up to this point, Clinton has been supportive of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s decision to stage just 6 debates, despite repeated calls from her opponents to increase that number. But with sinking poll numbers and primary days rapidly approaching, Clinton is in need of a boost and appears to have undergone a serious change of heart on the matter.
— The Hill (@thehill) January 27, 2016
As part of a coordinated media blitz, earlier today Clinton called into MSNBC’s Hardball to talk about how “Anxious” she is now to schedule an additional debate in New Hampshire before that state’s primary.
MATTHEWS: Would you like the chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, to approve the MSNBC-NBC debate next week?
CLINTON: I would like the chairman of the party and the campaigns to agree that we can debate in New Hampshire next week.
Surprisingly or not, Clinton gave a different answer several months ago when Wolf Blitzer asked her a nearly identical question about extra debates.
BLITZER: Are you ready to ask the DNC to authorize more Democratic presidential debates?
CLINTON: That’s up to them. They can, you know, they made their decision.
Recall that it was Sanders not Clinton who last June made a formal request to DNC-Chair Schultz for more frequent debates. “I believe it is critical for the Democratic Party and progressive forces in America to engage voters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia,” he wrote.
— The Hill (@thehill) June 2, 2015
— Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) September 10, 2015
Even though 50 million more viewers have watched Republican debates, Schultz still touts her scheduling as a great success, intended she says to “maximize the opportunity for voters to see our candidates.” Now, Schultz is once again stuck in the uncomfortable position of arguing that fewer debates will somehow result in greater visibility.
On Tuesday, Schultz issued a statement saying she had “no plans to sanction any further debates” before the upcoming Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.