MSNBC’s Maddow confronts Hillary: How come debates scheduled in ‘TV Siberia’

Maddow1MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow addressed the sparse schedule of Democratic debates, directly asking Hillary Clinton if she was responsible for what some see as a deliberate strategy by her campaign.

In a phone interview on “The Rachel Maddow Show” Monday, the Democratic candidate said she loves the debates and was unaware of any effort to limit their number or schedule them during low viewership times.

“I’m struck by the fact that, even though the Republicans just had a debate and are about to have another debate before Iowa, there isn’t another Democratic debate before Iowa or before the primary in New Hampshire,” Maddow commented.

Sunday’s Democratic presidential debate on NBC aired on a holiday weekend and followed several football games, earning the criticism that low viewership benefits Clinton’s campaign.

“Is it true that your campaign advocated for a light schedule and particularly these debates being on TV Siberia, on weekends and holidays?” Maddow asked the former secretary of state.

“I really don’t have any knowledge of that,” Clinton responded, adding that “I believe we’ve had more viewers this year than we did in ’08.”  Clinton maintained that the limited number of debates and their scheduling was due to the Democratic National Committee working with broadcast networks that preferred airing debates on weekends so as not to bump weeknight prime-time programming.

“I’m not going to substitute my judgement for whatever the thought process was,” Clinton said.

“Well if you and Senator Sanders and Governor O’Malley ever decide that you want more and you don’t want to negotiate you can all just show up here and I’ll help,” Maddow offered.

Watch the phone interview below, with the debate question beginning at the 4:57 mark.

Frieda Powers


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