The debate is finally on: Clinton and Sanders set to face off in Brooklyn

After days of public bickering, Team Clinton and Team Sanders have finally agreed to a debate on April 14

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published April 5, 2016 3:48PM (EDT)

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders at the Democratic U.S. presidential candidates' debate in Flint, Michigan, March 6, 2016.    (Reuters/Jim Young)
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders at the Democratic U.S. presidential candidates' debate in Flint, Michigan, March 6, 2016. (Reuters/Jim Young)

Now that the NCAA Final Four is over, the two Democratic presidential campaigns have little left on the calendar to bicker over in the 14 days between Tuesday's Wisconsin primary and New York's April 19 election day, freeing them up to perhaps duke it out one final time on a debate stage.

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have finally agreed to a debate in New York on April 14. The Brooklyn battle will hosted by CNN and local outlet NY1, according to Politico. CNN's moderators will be Wolf Blitzer and Dana Bash along with NY1's Errol Louis.

The Sanders campaign had originally proposed four dates, April 10 through 13, for a potential match-up. The Clinton camp, citing a conflicting schedule, counter-offered three alternative dates it says were rejected by the Sanders camp, including April 14, a night the Sanders campaign had already secured for a massive rally in Manhattan. After New York City Mayor and Hillary Clinton surrogate Bill DeBlasio offered to reschedule and secure permits for the Sanders rally in New York's Washington Square Park for the night before, Wednesday April 13, the two campaigns finally agreed to April 14.

“Fortunately, we were able to move a major New York City rally scheduled for April 14 to the night before," Sanders campaign spokesperson Michael Briggs said in a somewhat snarky statement Monday night. “We hope the debate will be worth the inconvenience for thousands of New Yorkers who were planning to attend our rally on Thursday but will have to change their schedules to accommodate Secretary Clinton’s jam-packed, high-dollar, coast-to-coast schedule of fundraisers all over the country.”

The Sanders campaign has accused Clinton of "stalling" before New York's April 19 primary, claiming that Clinton has "long opposed" a debate in Brooklyn, where her campaign headquarters is located.

"Sanders all along has pressed for a debate on television in prime time so the greatest number of New Yorkers and Americans may listen to the candidates and decide for themselves who has the best ideas about how to reform our rigged economy and the corrupt campaign finance system," Briggs wrote on Monday.

The two candidates have not debated on stage since the Univision-Washington Post debate on March 9.

For its part, Clinton's campaign welcomed the news that the Sanders campaign had agreed to an April 14 date.

"We had thought the Sanders campaign would have accepted our offer for a Brooklyn debate on April 14 in a New York minute, but it ended up taking a few extra days for them to agree," Clinton spokesperson Brian Fallon joked on Monday. "We are glad they did. We are grateful to have both NY1 and the Daily News sponsoring this debate, ensuring a New York focus to the discussion."

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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