New York Times:
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont challenged Hillary Clinton on Sunday to a debate in New York before the state’s primary on April 19 and expressed concern that Mrs. Clinton might not debate him now that she is far ahead in the race to win the Democratic nomination.
Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Mr. Sanders said he wanted to have a debate in “New York City, upstate, wherever, on the important issues facing New York and, in fact, the country.” The Democrats have held eight debates so far, the last one on March 9 in Miami, and the two campaigns pledged to hold an additional debate in April and another one in May before the final primaries in June.
Asked by Chuck Todd, the host, if he was worried that Mrs. Clinton would not debate him again, Mr. Sanders replied, “Yeah, I do have a little bit of concern about that. But I certainly would like to see a debate in New York State.”
When the New York Times reached out to the Clinton campaign they declined to comment.
However not all of her surrogates were so close mouthed.
Courtesy of Mother Jones:
Joel Benenson, the campaign's chief strategist, said on CNN Monday morning that Sanders needs to watch his tone, or else the Clinton campaign will pack up its ball and head home. "The real question is, what kind of campaign is Sen. Sanders going to run going forward?," Benenson said when asked about Sanders' request for a New York debate.
"Let's see the tone," Benenson continued when pressed about why Clinton was reluctant to debate. "This is a man who said he'd never run a negative ad, he's now running them, they're planning to run more, let's see the tone of the campaign he wants to run before we get to any other questions."
Benenson added, "Let's see if he goes back to the kind of tone he said he was going to set early on. If he does that, then we'll talk about debates."
I am of two minds on this.
On the one hand it is perfectly understandable that the candidate in the lead feels no need to engage in any further debates. If the Clinton campaign feels good about where they are, and their ability to win primaries moving forward, why rock the boat?
However refusing to debate in the state that Hillary represented in the Senate, makes her seem insecure about her ability to carry it on April 19th. And using the tone of the Sanders campaign as an excuse makes her seem weak and unprepared.
I think we all know that Donald Trump is going to unload with both barrels on the Democratic nominee, and up until now it seemed that Hillary was not only ready for that, but relishing the opportunity to go toe to toe with him.
Besides if her past debate performances are any indication she will come out of this one seeming even more presidential and capable than she did going in.
So yes I think that Hillary should debate Bernie.
And if she isn't going to she sure as hell needs a better reason than she does not like "the tone" of the Sanders campaign.