Taking a page from Donald Trump’s play book, Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign has decided that their candidate will not appear at the Democratic presidential debate planned for February 4 unless Hillary Clinton agrees to conditions on future such debates. Sanders’ campaign top official said that Clintoh’s campaign has not agreed to debate in New York. For her part, Clinton is calling on her Democratic Party rival to debate in New Hampshire, claiming that she has already complied with Sanders’ demands.
 
Clinton said on CNN in a February 2 interview, “I sure hope — we’re in Bernie Sanders’ backyard here in New Hampshire — I sure hope he intends to show up in his neighboring state,” adding, “Let the people of New Hampshire see us both on the debate stage.” Sanders’ campaign official Devine dismissed Clinton’s claim.
 
As it stands now, the debate arranged by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and MSNBC is slated for 9 p.m. on February 4. The tentative moderators scheduled are Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow. However, the Democrats have not yet fully sanctioned the debate between the two Democratic titans. The debate would allow the two for a mano-a-mano because former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley dropped out of the race as a result of a poor showing in the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses. Hopes are high in the Sanders camp because Clinton beat him by just 0.2 percentage points and with controversial coin tosses that, against all statistical probability, Clinton won in their entirety.
 
While Sanders has told MSNBC "I like debates," he will participate only under certain conditions. Clinton seemed confused, saying  “This is really hard to follow because when we said we would do the debate, they came back with conditions.” “We met the conditions. Then they said they want different conditions, and we’ve tried to be very accommodating, but, you know, we have agreed to everything that they have asked us to do.” She continued, saying that all of Sanders’ condition had been met. “We did that last week, and they keep trying to add new conditions, which, you know, raises questions about how ready or willing they are to debate here in New Hampshire.”

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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