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.
New: @MichaelBennet advisor @CraigHughesinCO sends letter demanding @TomPerez answer why they created the September debate criteria in the manner that they did #copolotics #kdvr #coleg pic.twitter.com/kbDelPiNhj
— Joe St. George (@JoeStGeorge) August 28, 2019
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.