Heitkamp Says DNC Should Reevaluate New Debate Criteria
Heitkamp says the DNC is unfairly targeting candidates from rural states.
FARGO (KFGO) – Former U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) is criticizing the Democratic National Committee for establishing new rules that affect which candidates are allowed to participate in presidential debates.
The DNC says to qualify, candidates must now have at least 1% in three approved polls or receive donations from 65,000 people, including at least 200 people in 20 states. Heitkamp says the DNC is unfairly targeting candidates from rural states.
“Everybody’s voice should be heard” Heitkamp said in an interview with KFGO News. “Otherwise, only people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have had huge followings for a long time, can make it. I don’t think that that’s the purpose of this process that we’re going through.”
Montana Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock is being kept out of the first debate for failing to qualify under the new rules. “People from states like Montana and North Dakota would find it very, very hard to participate if they were a local, or state politician and I don’t think that’s fair” according to Heitkamp.
Heitkamp says she realizes that the DNC has a “huge challenge” with managing this year’s long list of Democratic hopefuls, but she says the DNC should reconsider its new criteria.
“They need to reevaluate those threshold requirements, especially at that early stage because those voices should be heard.”