As I have traveled around the country since launching our campaign, I’ve heard from countless voters about the need for vigorous debates between candidates on the issues.
The people of this country are tired of political gossip, personal attacks and ugly 30-second ads. They want the candidates to engage in serious discussions about the very serious issues facing our country today.
In my view, the candidates for president should engage in a series of debates beginning this summer. I asked the Democratic Party to work towards that goal this week, but they need to hear from activists like you if it’s going to become a reality.
In the long haul of a presidential campaign, candidates like myself spend a lot of time traveling to states with early primaries speaking directly to voters. But we can only be in so many places at once, and so the media ends up distilling these discussions down to soundbites for evening newscasts.
Debates change that. Candidates can take the national stage, speaking directly to voters and challenging each other to talk about solutions to the huge problems with which our country is dealing.
It means that we can take the issues that define our campaign — income inequality, taking on Wall Street, creating jobs — directly to voters across the country.
We should not wait to start the debates. That’s why I’m asking the Democratic Party to start debates this summer. Can you ask them too?
There’s a bigger reason why we should debate early and often: more debates will encourage more people to vote, and when more people vote, Democrats win.
In 2008 voter turnout was extremely high, and an engaged and vigorous nominating process was one of the keys to success in registering voters early on. Those debates helped voters, beginning in the primary process, to understand more about the candidates and their positions on the issues. And come November, people were convinced they had a meaningful stake in the general election.
The purpose of our campaign — and every Democratic campaign — should be to encourage as much voter participation as possible.
And while we’re at it, it can’t hurt to encourage inter-party debates. I’d like to have myself and other Democratic candidates on stage with some of the Republican candidates and let the American people hear from both sides on the big issues. I think I know where they’ll stand.
Thank you for all of your support,
Paid for by Bernie 2016
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