With New York’s primary on April 19 rapidly approaching, the Clinton and Sanders campaigns are increasing the pressure on the other to agree to a debate in the state. The candidates have both agreed to debating in the state, but the campaigns have not agreed on when.
On Sunday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton agreed to a debate on ABC News’s Good Morning America, saying, “I’ll be there.” Clinton was speaking to ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos, who co-anchors Good Morning America and also hosts ABC’s This Week.
“I want a debate, and I’m confident that we can work out a time to do that,” the presidential candidate said. “GMA offered a debate during ‘GMA’ on Friday the 15th. I’ll be there,” she added. “I think it’s a great opportunity to reach an audience that may not always be able because of other obligations to tune in to debates.”
If both candidates agreed to the debate on Good Morning America, it would be the first morning debate for the Democratic candidates.
The Sanders campaign has not agreed to the Good Morning America debate and has said that the date does not work for Senator Sanders. The campaign has agreed to, however, a primetime debate on NBC. That debate will be held on April 10, one of four dates that the Sanders campaign says works.
Sanders spokesperson Michael Briggs said in a statement, “Sen. Sanders has accepted an invitation from NBC News for a Sunday night prime-time debate on April 10. We hope the Clinton campaign also accepts. The April 10 debate date is one of four dates that the Sanders campaign had proposed for a debate with Secretary Clinton before the New York primary election. He is available on April 10, 11, 12 or 13. He looks forward to a debate on any of those days.”
“The Clinton campaign disingenuously announced that it had agreed to a debate on another day when it knew very well that Sen. Sanders already had locked in a park permit for a major rally in New York City. Let’s get serious. Let’s get on with debating the candidates’ stands on serious issues affecting New York and the United States.”
CNN and NY1, a cable news channel dedicated to New York City, have approached the campaigns and the Democratic National Committee about sponsoring a debate on April 14. Of that date, Clinton told Stephanopoulos, “I understand there’s a debate in the works for the night of the 14th. I will be there.” Politico first reported CNN and NY1’s efforts.
Sanders, through Briggs, has ruled out that date because of a “major rally.” The location is in Manhattan, but it has not been publicly announced yet.