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U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday accepted an invitation from Fox News to debate Hillary Clinton in California before the June 7 primary election. Sanders campaign manager, Jeff Weaver released the news in a statement. Although the Sanders campaign has agreed to debate, the Clinton camp had not immediately responded to the invite.
“There are issues of enormous importance facing the people of California and our nation and the people of our largest state deserve to hear the Democratic candidates opinions.” – Jeff Weaver, Campaign Manager
“The Clinton and Sanders campaigns in January agreed to hold a debate in May in California, the largest state with the greatest number of delegates at stake. So far, however, the Clinton campaign has balked at keeping that pledge,” Weaver said. “Both campaigns have been invited by Fox News to a debate. We have told the network that we would accept the invitation with the understanding that we can reach mutual agreement on the debate moderators, the format and other details.”
Bill Sammon, Vice President and Managing Editor Fox News Washington, advised that the logistics of any debate had not been determined as yet. In a statement released by Fox he said, “Fox News has suggested several debate venues in California to the Democratic National Committee and both candidates. We are also offering a variety of dates, being careful to exclude Friday and Saturday nights, per the agreement between the DNC and candidates. Fox will release further debate details as appropriate, given that only one of the two candidates has accepted our debate invitation so far.”
“More than half way through the month of May, we hope Secretary Clinton will soon make good on her campaign’s commitment and agree to a time and place for a debate,” Weaver said. “There are issues of enormous importance facing the people of California and our nation and the people of our largest state deserve to hear the Democratic candidates opinions.”
Sanders beat Clinton in the Oregon Primary on Tuesday and was at a (0.5) deficit, less than one percentage point behind Clinton in the Kentucky Primary vote count. Although Clinton claimed victory in Kentucky, the race was too close to call and was tainted by evidence of vote purging, broken machines and reports of election fraud.
The California Primary, to be held on June 7 has the biggest pot of delegates available to both candidates, with Sanders confident of a success and drawing thousands of supporters at rallies in the Golden State. June 7 will also see contests in Montana, New Mexico North and South Dakota, and Washington, D.C. Clinton was ahead of Sanders in polling in the upcoming New Jersey Primary also a June 7 contest, but was down by 3 points when up against Republican Presumptive Nominee Donald Trump nationally in the latest poll by Fox News. Sanders trumps Trump in the same poll, nationally, by 4 points.
This article originally appeared on Examiner.com on May 19, 2016