Former Vice President Joe Biden became the first candidate to apologize to members of the Democrat Party for the lack of representation at the next Democratic debate on December 19th.
There are currently only six candidates who have qualified for the debate and all of them are white. Two are women.
The candidates are Biden, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and billionaire Tom Steyer.
“It’s not representative of the party,” the former vice president said, according to the Western Journal.
“But you can’t dictate who is going to be the nominee, who’s going to be able to garner votes, who’s going to be able to stay in the race,” he added, referencing the Democratic National Committee’s set criteria for qualifying for the debates.
On possibility of a debate stage of all-white candidates, Joe Biden tells @ABC News, "Obviously it's not representative of the Democratic Party."
— ABC News (@ABC) December 6, 2019
The Western Journal adds:
Thus far, two candidates of color have met the fundraising criteria — Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, a Samoan-American, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang, an Asian-American — but are both one qualifying poll short of making it into the field. To count towards admission at the debate, a poll must be released between Oct. 16 and Dec. 12, according to USA Today.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, whose campaign has never reached escape velocity from that 1-2 percent polling range that’s already ended so many candidacies, has pointed out that there are now “more billionaires than black people” in the Democratic race.
The Associated Press reported on Sunday that New Jersey Senator Cory Booker has also not qualified for the debate.
“He’s met the threshold of donors required to qualify but he has yet to hit the polling qualifications — either 4% support in at least four polls or 6% support in two early-state polls. The deadline is Thursday, and he’s yet to hit the mark on a single poll,” the Associated Press reports, noting he has just three days to meet the mark.
Booker said such measurements benefit candidates who can afford to air television ads and do not reflect the feelings of Iowa voters. Over his four-day trip, Booker frequently received standing ovations at events ranging from town halls to forums with Teamsters union members and farmers. He brought several voters close to tears, shared corny jokes and gleefully posed for photos with voters, sometimes alongside his girlfriend, actress Rosario Dawson.
“I’m a little upset with the (Democratic National Committee) right now because they seem to be trying to make the decisions for you,” he told a Sunday afternoon crowd gathered in a Dubuque bar.
Booker also noted the New Hampshire Democratic Party voted this weekend to send the DNC a statement urging the party to revisit the qualifying standards for the debate to ensure greater diversity and give voters “the greatest opportunity” to hear from the candidates.