Sanders Campaign Offers Rep. Tulsi Gabbard a Seat at Debate

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
Washington, DC

Hawaii Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, may be welcomed at tomorrow’s Democrat debate after all.

CNN reports that Jeff Weaver, campaign manager for Vermont Independent presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, is offering to save Gabbard a seat.

If Rep. Tulsi Gabbard needs a ticket to Tuesday night’s Democratic debate — Bernie Sanders has her covered.

That was the message of Sanders’ campaign manager on Monday, responding to a report that the Hawaii Democrat had been uninvited from attending the debate by the Democratic National Committee.

“If she needs a ticket, have her give me a call,” Jeff Weaver said on CNN’s “New Day” on Monday. “I think we have a couple; we can give her one.”

Gabbard had been uninvited by DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz for daring to suggest the Democrats hold more debates. The call for more debates matches a call from Bernie Sanders’ campaign, as well as others un-interested in rushing to anoint Hillary Clinton as the party’s 2016 nominee.

(Bernie) Sanders’ campaign has also called for more debates, as has fellow Clinton challenger and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, however, has remained steadfast in her decision that there will only be six sanctioned debates for the Democratic presidential candidates.

Gabbard told the New York Times, “It’s very dangerous when we have people in positions of leadership who use their power to try to quiet those who disagree with them,” she added. “When I signed up to be vice chair of the D.N.C., no one told me I would be relinquishing my freedom of speech and checking it at the door.

Weaver went on to stress the need for more debates, “We would love to have debates: The more debates, the better. It’s healthy for the Democratic Party to have more debates.” The DNC has capped the number of debates at six and Chairwoman Wasserman Schultz has steadfastly refused calls to add more.