Sen. Bernie Sanders has accepted Hillary Clinton’s offer of a debate on CNN on April 14, five days before the New York Democratic presidential primary.
CNN announced the debate Monday night on Twitter, and Sanders quickly followed up with a statement saying the debate will take place in Brooklyn.
“Sen. Sanders has accepted another invitation to debate Hillary Clinton in New York. We are glad that she finally has agreed,” said Michael Briggs, Sanders’ spokesman. “Sanders all along has pressed for a debate on television in prime time so the greatest number of New Yorkers and Americans may listen to the candidates and decide for themselves who has the best ideas about how to reform our rigged economy and the corrupt campaign finance system. It’s great for the people of New York that there will be a debate in Brooklyn, something that the Clinton campaign has long opposed.”
The Clinton campaign did not immediately release any details, but a spokesman confirmed that the deal had been struck for the April 14 debate.
Briggs said the Vermont senator, a native of Brooklyn, was able to move a major rally that had been scheduled for April 14 in New York to the day before.
In a sign of the increasing tension between the two camps, Briggs added: “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 Sanders statement said he had previously accepted NBC’s invitation to a prime-time debate this Sunday, but that it conflicted with a Clinton fundraiser in Virginia.
The agreement on the debate culminated a weeklong back-and-forth in which each campaign accused the other of dodging a debate.
Earlier Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio – a Clinton supporter – tweeted: “Let’s make @NY1 4/14 BKLYN debate happen. @BernieSanders: I’ll help you secure any permit you need to ensure your NYC rally can happen too.”
And over the weekend, another Clinton supporter, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie A. Miner, released a statement saying: “Senator Sanders should accept Hillary Clinton’s offer for a New York debate. The personal attacks and political gimmicks we saw from him this week were not just disappointing but are at odds with the kind of campaign he pledged to run.”