Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democratic presidential candidate, addresses the summer meeting of the Democratic National Committee. (Jim Mone / AP)

Democratic presidential candidate and former governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley said Friday at the Democratic National Committee’s annual summer meeting that the party’s process for nominating a candidate for the 2016 presidential election was “rigged” in favor of Hillary Clinton.

O’Malley is frustrated that the committee has scheduled just four debates before the first primary vote in Iowa and just six debates total. By contrast, the Republican Party has scheduled 12 primary debates.

Conducting so few debates before the Iowa primary gives voters little time to develop opinions about the candidates based on their unscripted confrontations with one another. This increases the influence of political advertising on shaping voter perception of the candidates.

The Guardian reports:

“The Republicans stand before the nation, malign our president’s record of achievements, denigrate women and immigrant families, double down on trickle-down, and tell their false story,” the former Maryland governor said. “We respond with crickets, tumbleweeds and a cynical move to delay and limit our own party debates.”

His presidential rival Bernie Sanders reportedly told journalists that he agreed with O’Malley that the primary process was rigged.

“One debate in Iowa. That’s it. One debate in New Hampshire,” O’Malley said, adding that the New Hampshire debate was “cynically wedged into the high point of the holiday shopping season so as few people watch it as possible”. Parts of his speech demanding debates received standing ovations from the crowd.

After he spoke, there was frost in the air between O’Malley and the DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, as the governor left the podium, which led many on Twitter to believe that she snubbed him. In fact, they did shake hands – but with visible enmity.

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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