Sanders, Clinton Strike Brooklyn Debate Accord | Off Message

Sanders, Clinton Strike Brooklyn Debate Accord

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Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton at an MSNBC debate in February at the University of New Hampshire - FILE: SCOTT EISEN/MSNBC
  • File: SCOTT EISEN/MSNBC
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton at an MSNBC debate in February at the University of New Hampshire
It took a week of public bickering for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton to agree on a date to debate in New York — but they got there. 

The two candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination will face off April 14 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard — their first engagement in more than a month. CNN, which first reported the agreement, will host the debate with NY1. 

The setting is significant for both candidates: Sanders was born in Brooklyn, while Clinton runs her campaign out of the borough and represented New York for eight years in the U.S. Senate.

Since last Monday, the Sanders and Clinton campaigns have been squabbling over when and where to stage the event, which was agreed to in principle in January. Sanders had hoped it would take place on one of four days prior to the 14th, because he had scheduled a rally that night in Manhattan’s Washington Square Park. 

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Clinton supporter, wrote on Twitter Monday morning that he would help Sanders "secure any permit you need to ensure your NYC rally can happen too." The Vermont senator eventually relented.

"Fortunately, we were able to move a major New York City rally scheduled for April 14 to the night before," Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said Monday night in a statement dripping with disdain. "We hope the debate will be worth the inconvenience for thousands of New Yorkers who were planning to attend our rally on Thursday but will have to change their schedules to accommodate Secretary Clinton’s jam-packed, high-dollar, coast-to-coast schedule of fundraisers all over the country."

The CNN/NY1 debate is scheduled to take place just five days before New York’s primary, when 291 Democratic delegates are on the line. Sanders and Clinton will compete for 96 delegates this Tuesday in Wisconsin.


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