Bennet will not end presidential campaign after not qualifying for third debate

Democratic presidential candidate, U.S. Sen. for Colorado Michael Bennet speaks at the Iowa Federation Labor Convention on August 21, 2019 in Altoona, Iowa. Candidates had 10 minutes each to address union members during the convention. The 2020 Democratic presidential Iowa caucuses will take place on Monday, February 3, 2020. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

DENVER — Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet will not qualify for the Sept. 12 presidential debate — but that doesn’t mean he will be ending his campaign.

“Because of arbitrary rules cooked up in a back room at the DNC, Michael and other qualified candidates will be kept from the national stage,” according to a fundraising email Wednesday.

“Just because the DNC is stopping Michael from participating in the next debate doesn’t mean this campaign is done fighting for the future our children deserve.”

Bennet recently blasted the Democratic National Committee for its debate requirements.

A top advisor to Bennet wrote a letter to DNC leaders asking them to explain how they created the new debate criteria.

In order to qualify for the debate, a candidate must receive a 2% average in national polling while also receiving donations from 130,000 Americans.

“The DNC process is stifling debate at a time when we need it most … rewarding celebrity candidates with Twitter followers,” Bennet said in San Francisco last week.

Bennet is adding new staffers in Iowa — including Mitch Schwartz, who used to work for Congressman Jason Crow, D-Aurora.

Bennet is expected to campaign in Iowa this weekend.

Not qualifying for the debate is a serious blow to Bennet, who has struggled in the polls. Debates present a large audience to attract new supporters.

Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Yang, Julian Castro and Beto O’Rourke have qualified for the debate, which is expected to be one night.

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