The independent news program, Democracy Now!, interviewed Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley on Thursday about his ongoing protest against the DNC's debate schedule. O'Malley has been the most outspoken candidate against the debate rules, calling them 'rigged' and 'undemocratic."
"What I’m demanding is what the Democratic Party has in the past been very good at, and that is actually holding presidential debates and letting the people of the United States know what our leaders have to offer by way of ideas that serve, that actually move every American family forward, that get wages to go up, that make college more affordable, so that our economy can work again for all of us," O'Malley said during the interview.The current debate schedule includes 6 total debates, 4 of which will be held before the first votes are cast in the Iowa caucuses in February. Further, the DNC has decreed that if candidates "go off script" (as O'Malley says) and participate in a debate not sanctioned by the DNC, they forfeit their spot in future debates.
"It is a very undemocratic way to run the Democratic Party," O'Malley remarked. "We have important issues to talk about, and people are looking for solutions."
As previously reported on IVN, O'Malley attorney and former member of the DNC's general counsel, Joe Sandler, echoed O'Malley's comments in memos shared with the press, specifically remarking on the unprecedented nature of the DNC's rules. Sandler says the DNC has never used exclusionary rules that bar candidates from unsanctioned debates. In fact, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama participated in unsanctioned debates in 2008.
The DNC's rules are not the only concern O'Malley has with the current political process. When O'Malley announced his candidacy in May, he bemoaned a system and national dialogue that was propping up two political dynasties to face off in the general election, indirectly criticizing Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton.
"The presidency is not a crown to be passed back and forth by you, between two royal families. It is a sacred trust to be earned from the American people and exercised on behalf of the people of these United States. The only way we are going to rebuild the American dream is if we retake control of our own American government." - Martin O'Malley
O'Malley sent an email out to supporters on Wednesday, urging them to attend a rally in front of the DNC's headquarters in Washington, D.C. next week. The rally is not a campaign rally, but a protest against the DNC and its debate rules.