The Slatest

Clinton Backs Out of Agreement to Hold One More Democratic Debate

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders at a debate in Brooklyn Navy Yard on April 14.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

While Hillary Clinton has effectively wrapped up the Democratic presidential nomination, Bernie Sanders is still conducting a somewhat contentious campaign against her. He’s asked her to participate in a final primary-season debate in California ahead of that state’s June 7 election; Fox News wants to host it, and it seems that Clinton’s camp agreed to a May debate a few months ago. Here’s a statement attributed to Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz in a February Politico piece:

The candidates have also agreed to participate in three newly scheduled DNC sanctioned debates to be held in addition to the February 11th PBS News Hour, and March 9th Univision debates already planned. The first of these new debates is confirmed to take place in Flint, Michigan on March 6th, with the remaining two taking place in April and May with times and locations to be determined.

There was a debate in Brooklyn in April, which according to Schultz’s statement means that one more remains to be held. Clinton, however, now says she will not participate. Said a campaign spokeswoman:

We believe that Hillary Clinton’s time is best spent campaigning and meeting directly with voters across California and preparing for a general election campaign that will ensure the White House remains in Democratic hands.

So, there you go: Clinton is reneging on the agreement to hold the fourth debate because … because she wants to do other things instead. Solid reasoning, I guess! She leads Sanders by 10 points in Real Clear Politics’ California polling average.