Hillary & Bernie Might Debate Again

by Stephanie Casella

In the weeks leading up to the California primaries, Bernie Sanders has agreed to debate Hillary Clinton on Fox News. But will Clinton respond to the call for this debate? It is Fox News, after all, and the Democratic establishment is not hugely supportive of the television network. In fact, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla) replied to the idea with an almost evasive answer:, "You know, we've got a lot on our plate."

The California primary — as well as primaries in New Jersey, North Dakota, Montana, New Mexico, and South Dakota — are set to take place on June 7. That leaves fewer than 20 days to get this debate rolling. Until now, the Clinton campaign has not taken steps to make the event happen. With only weeks to spare, will she agree to this potential final Democratic debate, or could the Fox News platform serve as a deterrent?

According to Sanders' campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, the Vermont senator has accepted Fox News' invitation, with prospects of finding some common ground as far as debate moderators and format are concerned. In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, Weaver explained, "More than half way through the month of May, we hope Secretary Clinton will soon make good on her campaign’s commitment and agree to a time and pace for a debate." The last Democratic presidential debate occurred in April, just prior to the New York primary.

According to Fox Vice President Bill Sammon, Fox News has already proposed many debate venues in California to both the DNC and the two Democratic candidates. He said, "We are also offering a variety of dates, being careful to exclude Friday and Saturday nights, per the agreement between the DNC and candidates." This part in particular is under high scrutiny, given the series of ill-timed Democratic debates over the past months.

Thus far, Clinton has not responded as to whether she will participate in the prospective debate. Fox will release further debate details should they arise, but cannot do so unless Clinton accepts the invitation.