Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), the chair of the Democratic National Committee, defended the sparse primary debate schedule once again in an interview with Lenny, a newsletter founded by Girls creator Lena Dunham, on Monday.
Wasserman Schultz told Lenny she is trying to prevent “an explosion of debates,” like what happened in 2008, “where you had 26 debates, which everyone agreed was too many.”
“There is no number that would have been satisfactory for some group of candidate’s supporters,” she continued.
Democratic officials have sparred over whether the DNC should hold more than six primary presidential debates. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley have been among the most vocal critics.
“I understand that people will see sinister things behind the debate-schedule format or about how the data-breach issue played out,” Wasserman Schultz said. “They are incorrect, but I understand why that would be their perception.”
Wasserman Schultz said the debate schedule has not hurt any of the candidates’ potential to reach voters.
“It’s time-consuming to participate in a debate and get ready and prepared and to come off the trail to do that,” she told Lenny. “I get that Bernie Sanders’s supporters are concerned that somehow this is going to hold their candidate back — the smaller number of debates. But their candidate is doing quite well with our debate schedule.”