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Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders campaigns disagree on debate date in New York

The campaigns for Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton

The campaigns for Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are still negotiating when to have a debate in New York before the April 19 primary. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Scott Olson

It’s still not clear if Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will debate in New York ahead of the state’s primary on April 19.

With just over two weeks until New Yorkers choose between Clinton and Sanders, the campaigns are in disagreement about when to hold a debate.

In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” which aired Sunday, Clinton said she believes a debate will happen, but that the campaigns are still negotiating.  

"Our campaigns are trying to reach an agreement about that,” she said. “We've offered dates and we've done it over the last several weeks, so we've been trying to figure out when we could do this.”

Sanders’ campaign spokesman Michael Briggs released a statement Saturday that said the dates the Clinton campaign had proposed, which included Monday, April 4, did not make sense.

“The idea that they want a debate in New York on a night of the NCAA finals — with Syracuse in the tournament no less — is ludicrous,” Briggs said in the statement. “We have proposed other dates which they have rejected. We hope we can reach agreement in the near future.”

Syracuse lost in the semifinals following that statement.

“Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd told Clinton that Sanders’ campaign has suggested Sunday, April 17, and Todd asked her if she would agree to that day.

Clinton said she is not the one negotiating the date, but offered another option from her campaign.

“We’ve proposed Thursday the 14th, which gives people more time to digest what happens in the debate," she said. "Is he in?"

Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Clinton's campaign, said in a statement that the campaign has also suggested holding the debate on "Good Morning America" on April 15 since the Sanders campaign turned down April 4.

"The Sanders campaign needs to stop using the New York primary as a playground for political games," Fallon said in the statement. "Senator Sanders and his team should stop the delays and accept a debate on April 14 or the morning of April 15th.”

The Sanders campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the proposal for a debate on April 14 or 15.  


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