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Yang Accuses DNC of Changing Debate Criteria to Benefit Bloomberg

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang during the Democratic primary debate at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Calif., December 19, 2019. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Andrew Yang on Sunday said that the Democratic National Committee changed its debate criteria to benefit Michael Bloomberg.

“The fact is, Mike Bloomberg could have gotten himself on the debate stage any time he wanted,” Yang said during an interview on ABC’s This Week. “It’s pretty straightforward to meet the donor requirement. He could have just made that happen through online spending.”

Yang continued, “I’m not sure that this is a development that [Bloomberg is] going to welcome, frankly. I think the DNC looked at this and said, ‘We need to get Bloomberg on the debate stage.’ This change is clearly tailor-made to deliver him to the debate stage.”

The DNC announced last week that it was changing the criteria to enter its February 19 debate in Las Vegas, Nev., eliminating the individual-donor requirement and doubling the polling threshold.

The elimination of the individual donor requirement does benefit Bloomberg since he has refused to accept donations, paying for his campaign out of his own pocket. And the increased polling requirement could hurt lower-tier candidates like Yang, who is polling at less than five percent nationally, according to a RealClearPolitics average.

Supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders (D., Vt.) have also charged the DNC changed its rules to benefit Bloomberg.

“He doesn’t have to show he has any support amongst the American people, he can just buy his way onto the debate stage,” Michael Moore told a pro-Sanders rally on Friday. “I watched the debate in Iowa here two weeks ago, the all-white debate, and the fact that . . . the DNC will not allow Cory Booker on that stage, will not allow Julian Castro on that stage, but they’re going to allow Mike Bloomberg on the stage because he’s got a billion f***ing dollars!”

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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