The Democrats’ strategy for presidential primary debates is flawed, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer says.
Spicer made his remarks in a column published Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal.
“Recognizing the growing role of debates in shaping the race, the Republican National Committee in the 2016 election cycle asserted more control over their structure,” Spicer said.
“Now Democrats are trying to do the same, but they’re likely to fail where the GOP succeeded.
“The Democratic National Committee has proposed 12 debates, each taking place over two nights. The top 20 candidates can make the stage on one of the two nights by achieving at least 1% in three different approved polls or by receiving contributions from at least 65,000 individuals, including a minimum of 200 contributors in at least 20 states.”
But Spicer noted “the proliferation of candidates is the DNC’s first problem.” He pointed out the party is likely to have more than “20 candidates meet at least one of its criteria.”
However, he said the “biggest threat” to the Democrats’ plan will likely come from the fact that the party excluded Fox News from hosting a debate. Spicer said Fox recently broadcasted a highly rated town hall meeting with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who is running for the Democratic nomination.
And he said Fox News could host its own debates without adhering to the DNC rules.
“With 2.4 million prime-time viewers, it would be near impossible for many candidates to say no, especially those near the bottom looking to break out,” he said.
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