The Democratic National Committee was blasted online on Friday after changing the rules for 2020 debates in a manner that could allow billionaire Michael Bloomberg to essentially buy his way onto the stage.
"The Democratic National Committee is drastically revising its criteria to participate in primary debates after New Hampshire, doubling the polling threshold and eliminating the individual donor requirement, which could pave the way for former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg to make the stage beginning in mid-February," Politico reported Friday.
"The new criteria eliminate the individual-donor threshold, which was used for the first eight debates, including next week's debate in New Hampshire. Bloomberg, the self-funding billionaire, has refused to take donations from other individuals, which has thus far precluded his participation in any of the debates since he joined the race late last year," Politico explained.
The decision was harshly criticized by current and former candidates.
Let’s make one thing clear: @TheDemocrats decision to change the rules now to accommodate Mike Bloomberg and not ch… https://t.co/vGyWVemQWr— Tom Steyer (@Tom Steyer)1580503956.0
Billionaire Bloomberg just bought the @DNC. #PayToPlay #StandWithTulsi— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@Tulsi Gabbard 🌺)1580505963.0
Democrats should not be connecting the ability to be heard to money. Period. DNC did that in setting debate r… https://t.co/Y2wSGCBHBf— Steve Bullock (@Steve Bullock)1580507282.0
Here's what others were saying:
DNC really waited for the Black and Brown candidates to drop out and then changed up the rules so a billionaire cou… https://t.co/1Oig1WIJDr— blackness everdeen 🐺 (@blackness everdeen 🐺)1580503310.0
Fewer things better encapsulate just how beholden to big money the @DNC is than rewriting the rules to let billiona… https://t.co/TkYFsvNtxD— jordan (@jordan)1580506504.0
Fuck Tom Perez and fuck Mike Bloomberg. That's it. That's the tweet. https://t.co/1bBoZlTlQ0— Nerräd Leähcim🧢🥋🌺👩⚕️🍄🎤🍣🎸 (@Nerräd Leähcim🧢🥋🌺👩⚕️🍄🎤🍣🎸)1580508673.0
1. DNC members didn’t vote on this, or any of the debate rules. 2. Every candidate and every donor who gave to… https://t.co/ubzoDPfpN0— Nomiki Konst (@Nomiki Konst)1580501196.0
If you look at the new DNC debate thresholds as anything other than "Get Andrew Yang off stage and put Mike Bloombe… https://t.co/Np0nyYGpsi— Brad Bauman (@Brad Bauman)1580497983.0
DNC changes debate rules so Bloomberg can buy his way in, that's how scared they are of #Bernie2020. Also: Bloomber… https://t.co/KSfpY0jAt3— Naomi Klein (@Naomi Klein)1580506735.0
Make no mistake about it: the @DNC changing its debates rules to open the door for @MikeBloomberg is Dem elite wavi… https://t.co/UKshEprPz7— Jordan (@Jordan)1580502622.0
Nothing to see here... just Bloomberg buying the DNC... everyone move along. https://t.co/JKRqSE9s4H— Tim Young (@Tim Young)1580502078.0
No wonder @TomPerez was thinking abt his exit pay package: this is “$ buys access” Nice job—elbow out ppl of colo… https://t.co/PY2HMfKN0j— Jonathan Tasini (@Jonathan Tasini)1580508447.0
I thought the rules were set?!?! That is what they told us when we demanded a climate debate. https://t.co/l5FV6Z60te— Brianna Westbrook (@Brianna Westbrook)1580501067.0
Bloomberg should NOT be on the debate stage. It's the DNC, not the DLC. The debate stage should only feature charac… https://t.co/fEimc3J2OJ— Ace Watkins (@Ace Watkins)1580503818.0
So now that Bernie Sanders is the frontrunner, the DNC is changing its debate rules mid-primary, eliminating the sm… https://t.co/xeHl9deQ1G— Emma Vigeland (@Emma Vigeland)1580508651.0
DNC: climate debate? Nah Bloomberg debate? Yah https://t.co/R7H7xmSq3t— Jamal Raad🌲 (@Jamal Raad🌲)1580499156.0
Congratulations to the DNC & its chair, Tom Perez, for altering the rules to let the world's 8th-richest person who… https://t.co/84zK3SFx6I— Alex Kotch (@Alex Kotch)1580505281.0