U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday challenged Hillary Clinton to debate him in New York before the state’s April 19 primary election.
“I would hope very much that as we go into New York state, Secretary Clinton’s home state, that we will have a debate – New York City or Upstate, wherever – on the important issues facing New York and, in fact, the country,” Sanders told Chuck Todd in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Fresh off sweeping victories on Saturday in Washington, Alaska and Hawaii, Sanders was looking ahead to upcoming primaries in Wisconsin and New York.
He told The Associated Press it was “really absurd” that Clinton so far has refused to agree to a debate with him in her home state.
Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager, wrote a letter on Sunday to Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, underscoring the senator’s call for a New York debate.
“New York will play a critical role in determining the Democratic nominee. However, your campaign has consistently chosen to deny the people of New York the opportunity to see Senator Sanders and Secretary Clinton debate in the Empire State,” Weaver wrote to Mook.
“It is difficult to understand your motivation,” Weaver added “Can you please explain why New York should not host the April debate? Is the Secretary concerned about debating before the people who twice elected her to the U.S. Senate? Perhaps there is some tactical advantage you are seeking by avoiding a debate in New York but I would remind you that Sen. Sanders agreed to debate the secretary in New Hampshire when he was well ahead in the polls.”