CNN and NY1, the Time Warner Cable-owned New York City cable news station, have reached a deal with the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton and Sanders campaigns to host a debate in New York in April 14.
The debate will be held five days before New York’s primary. Both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders have ties to the state, particularly Brooklyn. New York is Clinton’s adopted home state, she represented New York in the Senate from 2001 to 2009. Her campaign headquarters is in Brooklyn. Sanders was born in Brooklyn.
Polls have indicated that the race is tightening with Clinton holding the lead. The Clinton campaign damaged itself in the state when chief strategist Joel Benenson said, “He’s going to campaign like a Brooklynite, and she’s going to campaign like a senator who represented the state for eight years and lived here for sixteen.”
Some, especially Brooklynites, took that remark as a dig against the city. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has officially endorsed Clinton, said at an unrelated press conference, “I assume the phrase ‘campaigning like a Brooklynite’ is a compliment.”
The debate will be moderated by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash and NY1 political anchor, and CNN commentator, Errol Louis will contribute questions. The debate will take place in Brooklyn.
The Sanders campaign released a statement on the debate with spokesperson Michael Briggs saying, “Sen. Sanders has accepted another invitation to debate Hillary Clinton in New York. We are glad that she finally has agreed.” Briggs also made reference to the rally the campaign has originally scheduled for April 14, “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.”
The Clinton campaign did not respond to an inquiry from TKNN.
The Clinton and Sanders campaigns have been publicly debating about the debate for several weeks. Sanders first proposed the idea of a debate in his hometown and Clinton eventually agreed to a New York debate. The two campaigns then started arguing over debate dates. The Clinton campaign agreed to a debate on Good Morning America while the Sanders campaign agreed to a primetime debate on NBC. The April 14 debate was dismissed by Sanders due to the Manhattan rally that they had planned for April 14.
Now, that rally is April 13 and the campaigns are set to debate on the 14.