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Bernie Sanders vs. Ted Cruz debate — it could happen on the floor of the Senate

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Bernie Sanders could participate in a one-on-one, leftwing versus right debate with Ted Cruz during the presidential primary, without violating restrictive rules set by the Democratic and Republican national committees. The two senators would just have to face off at their workplace, the US Capitol.

Related: Bernie-mania spreads to Texas as Sanders’ speech draws crowd of 5,000

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The first debate of the extended primary election will see the top 10 Republican candidates in a field of 16 face off in Cleveland on 6 August, in an event hosted by Fox News. Both parties have made clear that if candidates appear in unsanctioned debates , they will be barred from any official debates.

But staffers for both the DNC and RNC confirmed that the restrictions on presidential debates do not apply to debates held on the floor of Congress.

Sean Spicer, the chief strategist for the RNC, told the Guardian: “Senate business would not be a violation.”

Sanders, a self-professed democratic socialist who represents Vermont as an independent but is running for the Democratic nomination, attracting large crowds and performing well in the polls, has long expressed a willingness to debate Republican rivals one on one.

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In an interview with MSNBC in June he said he wanted to do so in order to expose what he called “an absolutely reactionary agenda”.

In the interview, Sanders emphasized how much he valued “the clash of ideas”, which he said led to “people becom[ing] more engaged in the political process”.

“I think it’s a good thing for progressives,” he said. “I think it’s a good thing for American democracy.”

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Cruz, a rightwing hardliner who is trailing in presidential polls, this week departed from normal Senate behavior by accusing from the floor of the chamber one of his party leaders, Mitch McConnell, of lying.

He has welcomed the possibility of a debate with Sanders. In Iowa last week, he told reporters: “I welcome as many debates as possible,” adding that he was “in for any discussion”.

Now the two presidential candidates have the possibility of making such a debate happen, albeit with the caveat that it would have to happen on the Senate floor, according to the rules of that chamber.

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guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2015

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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‘Megalomaniacal, paranoid, and psychopathic’: Economist sounds the alarm on Trump’s ‘bottomless malevolence’

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Economist Jeffrey Sachs, a professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, has written a frightening warning about President Donald Trump's "paranoid and psychopathic" leadership style, and he says it could have disastrous consequences for the world if he wins a second term.

In an essay published at progressive news website Common Dreams, Sachs argues that it would be a grave mistake to treat Trump like a cynical politician, when in reality he is an impulsive and vindictive narcissist who acts on his angry whims.

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Trump baselessly accuses Democratic lawmaker of ‘violence’?? in insane tweet

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President Donald Trump, in a strangely giddy and unhinged tweet on Tuesday baselessly accused Democratic U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of “violence.”

“Sorry, I don’t buy Rep. Tlaib’s tears. I have watched her violence, craziness and, most importantly, WORDS, for far too long,” Trump tweeted. “Now tears? She hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite. She and her 3 friends are the new face of the Democrat Party. Live with it!”

It’s unclear what the president was referring to when he accused the Michigan Congresswoman of violence, but his other remarks appear to be directed at a press conference she held Monday.

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Trump’s Labor Department wants to ‘weaponize’ right-wing discrimination and bigotry

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Just in case you wanted to believe that the Trump administration isn’t on a campaign to trample rights for Americans, here comes the Labor Department to shove a grapefruit in your face.

Labor officials have made public a new rule—no Congress, needed, thank you—to allow companies contracting with the federal government who are “religion-exercising organizations” to ignore federal laws protecting the rights of gays, transsexuals, and who knows who else in hiring or workplace practices. Religious employers and companies with “closely held” religious ties now will be shielded from claims of bias in court or other law enforcement actions, says the rule.

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