Camerota, Cuomo Hammer DNC Official on Limiting Debates, Disinviting Tulsi Gabbard

Camerota: ‘She [Gabbard] says it’s an issue of freedom of speech’

CAMEROTA: “— even at this hour. So tonight is not without controversy. Let’s talk about what’s going on with Luis Miranda. He’s the communications director for the DNC, the Democratic National Committee and a former adviser to President Obama. Luis, thanks so much for being here —“ [crosstalk]

MIRANDA: “Thank you for having me.”

CAMEROTA: “— with us. Can we talk about Congresswoman —“

CUOMO: “Tulsi Gabbard?”

CAMEROTA: “Tulsi Gabbard?” 

MIRANDA: “Sure.”

CAMEROTA: “Who has said that she was disinvited by the DNC by Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s office because she spoke out about wanting more debates. What’s up with that?”

MIRANDA: “Well, look, there’s — the Democratic Party is a big- tent party, and one of the options that’s always going to happen is you’ll going to have a diversity of opinions, whether it’s about the city we choose for the convention, whether it’s about the primary and caucus calendar, whether it’s about the number of debates. And we welcome that kind of healthy debate within our party, but we want to focus right now on the candidates that are going to be on stage tonight. You were saying earlier that this might be the hottest date on record for Nevada for this day in history. And that, I think, is going to be because we’re going to have a great debate on that stage —“ [crosstalk]

CAMEROTA: “Was she actually disinvited?” 

MIRANDA: “What was asked of Ms. Gabbard’s staff was that we wanted to keep the focus on the candidates. And that’s reasonable. She herself said on Wolf Blitzer’s show yesterday that she felt she’d be a distraction coming even after she was offered an extra ticket and decided not to come —“ 

CUOMO: “Well, she felt she’d be a distraction because she’d been disinvited. She didn’t decide not to come. She was told not to come. Bad move?” 

MIRANDA: “I think she’d be happy that we’re sitting here looking at what these candidates are going to offer the American people tonight. Because there’s a lot at stake in this debate and in these coming elections.”

CAMEROTA: “We have a clip of how Tulsi Gabbard herself explained this. Listen to this.” 

[clip starts]

GABBARD: “The issue here is not about me saying ‘Boo-hoo, I’m going to miss the party.’ The issue here is one of democracy, of freedom of speech and defending that which so many have sacrificed and given their lives for.”

[clip ends]

CAMEROTA: “She says it’s an issue of freedom of speech. She wants to be able to say publicly that there should be more Democratic debates. She’s not alone. Hillary Clinton says that she’s open to that. Bernie Sanders, all the candidates, are open to that. So it’s an issue of freedom of speech, she says.” 

MIRANDA: “She’s welcome to say whatever she’d like. But, what we asked was that we keep our focus on our candidates, because the reality is, as much as they’re going to have to try to stand out from each other tonight, they also have to draw strong contrast and remind the American people what’s at stake and what the difference was with a Republican administration just a few years ago which left office, losing 750,000 jobs a month. Huge foreclosure crisis that affected folks right here in Nevada. That’s smarter than anyone else in the nation.”

CAMEROTA: “With all these issues, why aren’t there more debates? Why not there more debates?”

MIRANDA: “Well look, I think the context matters. And so when you argue that there had been more debates by this period in 2007. You also have to remember that candidates jumped in much earlier. You had candidates declaring as early as 2006 back then that they were running and running aggressive campaigns for the entire year by the time they got to this point. So that’s a very big difference from a field that we saw jump into the race much later into the year this year“

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