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 changing them in the past to ensure a more diverse debate stage is just plain wrong.https://t.co/BoCVpahWpx
— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) January 31, 2020
Democrats should not be connecting the ability to be heard to money. Period.
DNC did that in setting debate requirements & in removing them. You link money & politics, process gets corrupted. Dems should be rejecting money’s influence, not letting it guide our primary.
— Steve Bullock (@GovernorBullock) January 31, 2020
Here’s what others were saying:
Mike Gravel qualified for the Democratic debate with a grassroots surge that gave him 67,000 donors. The DNC shut him out.
Mike Bloomberg spent $180 million on a massive ad campaign, donated $250,000 to the DNC, and has exactly 1 donor. The DNC let him debate.
Fuck the DNC.
— The Gravel Institute (@GravelInstitute) January 31, 2020
Fewer things better encapsulate just how beholden to big money the @DNC is than rewriting the rules to let billionaire Michael Bloomberg buy his way onto the debate stage.
The Democratic establishment does not care about you and will sell you out in a heartbeat.
— jordan (@JordanUhl) January 31, 2020
1. DNC members didn’t vote on this, or any of the debate rules.
2. Every candidate and every donor who gave to that candidate who played by the rules (to date) should voice outrage at Tom Perez.
3. Perez will never be Governor of MD by doing this https://t.co/p0HEXmoukR
— Nomiki Konst (@NomikiKonst) January 31, 2020
If you look at the new DNC debate thresholds as anything other than "Get Andrew Yang off stage and put Mike Bloomberg on," Then you are high.
— Brad Bauman (@bradbaumn) January 31, 2020
DNC changes debate rules so Bloomberg can buy his way in, that's how scared they are of #Bernie2020. Also: Bloomberg's bump has has zero to do with popular support – the same thing would happen to a russet potato with $150-million of TV ads behinds it. https://t.co/9MMHtnFFbf
— Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein) January 31, 2020
Make no mistake about it: the @DNC changing its debates rules to open the door for @MikeBloomberg is Dem elite waving white flag on @JoeBiden. They see the writing on the wall and are now moving beyond hedging their bets to propping up Bloomberg https://t.co/OdzXn6KTUj
— Jordan (@JordanChariton) January 31, 2020
Nothing to see here… just Bloomberg buying the DNC… everyone move along.https://t.co/JKRqSE9s4H
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) January 31, 2020
No wonder @TomPerez was thinking abt his exit pay package: this is “$ buys access” Nice job—elbow out ppl of color/ppl w ideas but give a certain billionaire a ticket in. #dnc https://t.co/h7URt7U7Nk
— Jonathan Tasini (@jonathantasini) January 31, 2020
I thought the rules were set?!?! That is what they told us when we demanded a climate debate. https://t.co/l5FV6Z60te
— Brianna Westbrook (@BWestbrookAZ8) January 31, 2020
Bloomberg should NOT be on the debate stage. It's the DNC, not the DLC. The debate stage should only feature characters that people actually want. Elections should not be pay to win.
— Ace Watkins (@GamerPres2020) January 31, 2020
So now that Bernie Sanders is the frontrunner, the DNC is changing its debate rules mid-primary, eliminating the small donor threshold to let Bloomberg buy his way onto the stage.
Bloomberg’s surrogates are openly admitting he’s running as a Sanders spoiler.
Here we go again. https://t.co/WqGTuQijKo
— Emma Vigeland (@EmmaVigeland) January 31, 2020
DNC: climate debate? Nah
Bloomberg debate? Yah https://t.co/R7H7xmSq3t
— Jamal Raad (@jamalraad) January 31, 2020
this is an extremely bad call by the dnc imo, esp when this kind of bar kept cory booker and julian castro out of debates https://t.co/59lB7Kibxc
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) January 31, 2020
Congratulations to the DNC & its chair, Tom Perez, for altering the rules to let the world's 8th-richest person who spent $200 million of his own money on the election in 5 weeks & just happens to be big DNC donor onto the debate stage. https://t.co/7lk6Bk1l5W
— Alex Kotch (@alexkotch) January 31, 2020
Trump campaign thought their ‘huge news’ on pre-existing conditions had Democrats cornered — but it backfired spectacularly
During a bizarre Friday evening press conference at his private golf club in New Jersey, President Donald Trump vowed to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions.
Of course, Trump does not need an executive order to accomplish such a goal, as it is already federal law in the Affordable Care Act, that was passed a decade ago by congressional Democrats and then-President Barack Obama.
Trump campaign advisors soon took to Twitter to praise Trump's promise as "huge news."
"Huge news just now - [Trump] announces upcoming EO to cover pre-existing conditions. Big, big, big news," campaign senior advisor Jason Miller tweeted.
Gretchen Whitmer traveled to Delaware to see Joe Biden in potential veepstakes meeting: AP
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was the first potential running mate known to have had a meeting with former Vice President Joe Biden, the Associated Press reported Friday evening.
Whitmer is reportedly one of the leading candidates to join presumptive Democratic Party nominee Biden's ticket.
Other potential running mates include Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Rep. Val Demmings (D-FL), Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-MN).
Top US counter intelligence official formally announces Russia working to attack Biden, helping Trump win re-election
The top counterintelligence official in the United States government has just released an official statement saying the Intelligence Community is actively working to help President Donald Trump get re-elected.
"We assess that Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia 'establishment.' This is consistent with Moscow’s public criticism of him when he was Vice President for his role in the Obama Administration’s policies on Ukraine and its support for the anti-Putin opposition inside Russia," states National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) Director William Evanina.