Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign slammed Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton over the terms of an upcoming Democratic debate in New York that was agreed to and announced Monday night.
The campaigns agreed to hold a debate in Brooklyn on April 14.
Afterward, Sanders campaign spokesperson Michael Briggs released an aggressively worded statement criticising Clinton for making the Sanders campaign change a date for a campaign rally that it was planning to hold on the same day.
“Fortunately, we were able to move a major New York City rally scheduled for April 14 to the night before. We hope the debate will be worth the inconvenience for thousands of New Yorkers who were planning to attend our rally on Thursday but will have to change their schedules to accommodate Secretary Clinton’s jam-packed, high-dollar, coast-to-coast schedule of fundraisers all over the country,” Briggs wrote.
The press release also noted that the Clinton campaign had “long opposed” a debate in Brooklyn, the site of her campaign headquarters.
“Sanders all along has pressed for a debate on television in prime time so the greatest number of New Yorkers and Americans may listen to the candidates and decide for themselves who has the best ideas about how to reform our rigged economy and the corrupt campaign finance system. It’s great for the people of New York that there will be a debate in Brooklyn, something that the Clinton campaign has long opposed.”
Over the past several weeks, the two campaigns have battled in public over the time and date of a proposed New York City debate, which in January the campaigns agreed to hold.
Sanders’ camp accused Clinton of “stalling” before the April 19 primary. On Saturday, Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said in a statement that the former secretary of state’s campaign reached out to Sanders with three proposed dates for debates in New York, which were all rejected.
“The Sanders campaign needs to stop using the New York primary as a playground for political games and negative attacks against Hillary Clinton,” Fallon said. “The voters of New York deserve better. Senator Sanders and his team should stop the delays and accept a debate on April 14 or the morning of April 15th.”
On Monday, Clinton surrogate and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio jumped into the fray, offering to help Sanders get a permit so his campaign could hold a rally in New York City.