US Representative Seth Moulton acknowledged on Thursday that he would not meet the criteria for appearing on stage for the Democratic National Committee’s first set of debates.
Moulton told Hugh Hewitt on Thursday that he knew he would not make the stage after declaring his candidacy for president later than most of his Democratic rivals. Moulton entered the race in late April as the 19th Democrat to do so, leaving him with less than two months to meet a deadline to raise money from more than 65,000 unique donors or crack 1 percent of support in three DNC-approved polls.
Moulton said he was unfazed by the lost chance make his case before a big audience of Democrats in Miami at the end of this month, predicting the sheer number of candidates would not allow any one to stand out. The Globe reported last month that at least 18 candidates had qualified for the first debate, which is split into two nights, under the DNC’s rules.
“Folks are barely going to get a chance to speak,” the Salem Democrat told Hewitt, a nationally syndicated radio show host. “This is a long campaign. And it’s not going to be decided by the Democratic National Committee in their debates. It’s going to get decided by the American people. And that’s where the response to my campaign has been so positive so far.”
The DNC’s debate rules were created after complaints during the 2016 primary race that party officials were playing favorites with Hillary Clinton. The party has recently faced a new round of criticism that it is excluding candidates after increasing the standards needed to qualify for the second and third debates later this year in the face of an unprecedented field of two-dozen hopefuls.