Far-left filmmaker Michael Moore unloaded on the Democratic National Committee at a campaign rally for 2020 hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The liberal activist slammed the Democratic Party for a change in debate rules that many saw as a deliberate move to make a way for Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg to qualify to take the stage for the next party debate.
WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS EXPLICIT LANGUAGE
With Iowa caucuses looming, the DNC change in rules set off backlash as many Sanders supporters blasted the move which increased the polling threshold ahead of the next debate, set for Feb. 19 in Las Vegas. While the rule change now allows participation by any candidate who has earned a delegate in the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries, it also removes the threshold for donations which required that candidates receive donations from thousands of people.
This is seen by critics as a boost for the multibillionaire Bloomberg who has been self-funding his campaign. Moore shredded the DNC’s rule change in a fiery speech at a Sanders rally in Iowa on Friday.
“We already have enough to fight with Donald Trump and these enabler Republicans, and corporate America, and the banks, and Wall Street, that’s enough on our shoulders. But the fact that I had to wake up this morning and realize that we have to fight the corporate Democrats, the one percent of the Democratic Party who are thoroughly pissed that Bernie Sanders is now number one, that Bernie Sanders might win this primary season, that Bernie Sanders might be the next president of the United States!” Moore railed as the crowd cheered.
He slammed the DNC’s rule change as a “Hail Mary pass” in order to “undo the people’s movement,” and elicited boos from the crowd at the mention of Bloomberg’s name.
“They removed it so that he could be in the next debate,” Moore shouted. “He doesn’t have to show he has any support amongst the American people. He can just buy his way onto the debate stage!”
“And I’ve got to tell you what’s so disgusting about this: I watched the debate here in Iowa two weeks ago, the all-white debate. And the fact that the DNC will not allow Cory Booker on that stage, will not allow Julián Castro on that stage, but they’re going to allow Mike Bloomberg because he has a billion f—ing dollars!” he continued.
“I’m sorry, those days are over!” he added to cheers and applause.
The move by the Democrat Party drew criticism from Sanders’ campaign directly.
“To now change the rules in the middle of the game to accommodate Mike Bloomberg, who is trying to buy his way into the Democratic nomination, is wrong. That’s the definition of a rigged system,” the Vermont senator’s campaign told The New York Times.
Other 2020 hopefuls also slammed the move as the hashtag “#DNCRigging” began to trend on Twitter.
The DNC didn’t change the rules to ensure good, diverse candidates could remain on the debate stage. They shouldn’t change the rules to let a billionaire on. Billionaires shouldn’t be allowed to play by different rules—on the debate stage, in our democracy, or in our government.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 31, 2020
— Tulsi Gabbard ? (@TulsiGabbard) January 31, 2020
The DNC changing its debate criteria to ignore grassroots donations seems tailor-made to get Mike Bloomberg on the debate stage in February. Having Americans willing to invest in your campaign is a key sign of a successful campaign. The people will win out in the end.
— Andrew Yang? (@AndrewYang) February 1, 2020
Let’s make one thing clear: @TheDemocrats decision to change the rules now to accommodate Mike Bloomberg and not changing them in the past to ensure a more diverse debate stage is just plain wrong.https://t.co/BoCVpahWpx
— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) January 31, 2020
Former 2020 candidate Julián Castro also weighed in.
When @CoryBooker led an effort to change the debate thresholds, the DNC refused—saying they couldn’t benefit any candidate.
It seems the only candidate they’re willing to benefit is a billionaire who’s buying his way into the race. Total mess. https://t.co/mw0MhdyjBr
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) January 31, 2020
Some suggested the rules were changed because of Bloomberg’s six-figure donation to the DNC.
The DNC drastically changed its debate requirement rules to ensure the inclusion of Mike Bloomberg, mostly because he’s a billionaire.
Right before the change, he donated $325,000+ to the Democratic national committee.
Quid pro quo? pic.twitter.com/IOs36uI2c8
— Michael Coudrey (@MichaelCoudrey) February 1, 2020
The DNC is allowing a billionaire to buy the election. They didn’t bend the rules for Andrew Yang or Cory Booker, but they will for Bloomberg after he donated $300,000 to the DNC. That is corruption. We should call for the resignation of @TomPerez. Like & Retweet if you agree.
— CJ Berina for Congress (@CJ4Congress2020) February 1, 2020
DNC Chair Tom Perez fired back at the criticism.
“Absolutely not,” Perez tweeted in reaction to a report saying the rule change was a way to “stop Sanders.”
We put in the work to ensure power was returned to the grassroots, we will be following the rules set forth by the DNC. We will not bend on this. We will not change our rules,” he wrote.
Former presidential candidate Marianne Williamson countered Perez’s claim.
No you didn’t. The DNC’s job should be to facilitate democracy, not dictate it or manipulate it. You’re the modern equivalent of men with cigars in a back room deciding who the candidate will be. We’ll win in 2020-not because of but despite the way you’ve manipulated the process. https://t.co/lNt5XTq9sn
— Marianne Williamson (@marwilliamson) February 1, 2020
Meanwhile, Bloomberg’s campaign manager expressed that they were “thrilled” with the prospect that the former New York City mayor would be able to join the debate stage.
“We are thrilled that voters could soon have the chance to see Mike Bloomberg on the debate stage, hear his vision for the country, and see why he is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump and bring our country together,” Kevin Sheekey said in a statement.
“Mike has run for office three times and never taken a dime from special interests, allowing him to act independently, on the merits, without having to do what donors expect,” he added. “He is proud to be doing the same with this campaign.”
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