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'We’ve had enough debates': Biden puts planned April event in doubt

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 6 days ago Naomi Lim
Joe Biden et al. standing in front of a box © Provided by Washington Examiner

Joe Biden squashed the likelihood of an April primary debate, despite Bernie Sanders's campaign hinting he wants to go head-to-head with his rival one last time.

"My focus is just dealing with this crisis right now. I haven’t thought about any more debates. I think we’ve had enough debates. I think we should get on with this," Biden told reporters Wednesday.

The two-term vice president and presumptive Democratic 2020 presidential nominee made the comments during a 30-minute press availability focused on the coronavirus pandemic's repercussions on young people, a demographic within his party he has so far failed to excite.

The Democratic National Committee originally planned for 12 primary debates, scheduling the last one for April in a timeline laid out in December 2018. Yet the party also said it would "continuously assess the state of the race and make adjustments ... as appropriate, and always transparently."

[Read more: Biden breaks out of basement with media blitz]

A spokesman for Sanders, the Vermont senator, told the New York Times this week, “If there is a debate in April, he plans to be there." His remarks support reporting that he doesn't intend to drop out of White House contention any time soon, ramping up grassroots organizing efforts in New York ahead of the state's primary on April 28.

Although Sanders won the Democrats Abroad primary this week, Biden has 1,174 pledged delegates to the senator's 862. A total of 1,991 delegates are required to become the 2020 Democratic standard-bearer outright.

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