Speculation about how the first presidential debate will go down is ramping up on social media. With all the talk about who will and won't be in the audience or behind the scenes in attendance, some people are wondering whether or not a former contender will have a ringside seat. So is Bernie Sanders at the first presidential debate? If the former candidate isn't going to actually be in the audience, he'll probably not be too far away from a television set or a live stream to watch the first public face-off between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
While it wasn't that long ago that talk of a potential debate between Sanders and Trump was on everyone's lips, Clinton ended up clinching the Democratic Party's nomination for president, and will share the stage at Hofstra University with Trump instead of Sanders.
The run-up to the debate has been marked by gossip over who will be in attendance at the Long Island university hall. After word got out that Shark Tank host, businessman, and Trump antagonist Mark Cuban would be sitting in the front row, the Trump campaign put out that they might invite to invite Gennifer Flowers to a front-row seat as well. Flowers was one of the women with whom Bill Clinton admitted to having an extramarital relationship years ago, but she will not be attending after all.
Since ceding the Democratic presidential nomination to Clinton at the Democratic National Convention earlier this year in Philadelphia, Sanders has switched his party affiliation back to where it was before he put his hat in the ring. The Vermont senator is again officially an independent, but he has still been stumping for his former rival. He traveled to the battleground state of Ohio earlier this month and spoke to Buckeye State voters about why he thinks they should choose Clinton in November.
Sanders was also on Face the Nation on September 25 to make the case to the American people why Clinton would make a better president than Trump. He specifically mentioned Clinton's stance on climate change and economic issues as being much better for average working-class Americans than Trump's policy proposals.
Despite no longer being in the running, Sanders has also gotten a shout-out from Trump's Twitter account, as the real estate mogul claimed that Sanders' campaign staff and volunteers had been treated poorly by Clintonites, and that "they like Trump on trade, a lot!" This social media missive came less than 24 hours after Sanders' Twitter account retweeted a New York Times piece with the caption "Donald Trump is a pathological liar."
Harsh words from the Vermont senator. Whether or not he'll be at the debate to back them up remains to be seen.