• O’Malley SLAMS Rigged, ‘Less Democratic’ DNC Debate Schedule

    Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley slammed the Democratic National Committee Thursday for a “ridiculous” debate schedule aimed at “stacking the deck.”

    “It’s ridiculous,” he wrote in an email to supporters Thursday with the subject line “Are you kidding me?”

    “The campaign for presidency should be about giving voters an opportunity to hear from every candidate and decide on the issues, not stacking the deck in favor of a chosen candidate,” O’Malley wrote.

    The DNC schedule includes six primary debates, with just four before the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary. If candidates participate in any “unsanctioned debate,” they will be barred from participating in the DNC debates.

    The DNC did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment on O’Malley’s criticism.

    “Today, we’re pleased to announce a schedule that meets those principles, reflects our party’s values, and best positions Democrats to win the White House in 2016,” DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement announcing the schedule Thursday, adding that all five declared candidates have agreed to participate.

    The schedule is one of the “slimmest” O’Malley has ever seen, he wrote in the email. “Literally.” The 2008 cycle had 25 primary debates, and the 2004 cycle had 15 primary debates, he added.

    “By inserting themselves into the debate process, the DNC has ironically made it less democratic,” O’Malley campaign Senior Strategist Bill Hyers said in a statement Thursday.

    “If anything, it seems geared toward limiting debate and facilitating a coronation, not promoting a robust debate and primary process,” he added. “Rather than giving the appearance of rigging the process and cutting off debate, the DNC should take themselves out of the process.”

    O’Malley asked his supporters to contact the DNC and demand the DNC “get out of the way” of Democratic candidates.

    None of O’Malley’s fellow declared candidates — Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee — immediately commented on the rules or schedule.

    “We’ll be there, whatever is decided,” Jim Webb spokesman Craig Crawford told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

    A spokeswoman for Chafee told TheDCNF he’s “looking forward” to the debates.

    Clinton and Sanders did not respond to requests for comment.

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