U.S. Sen. Cory Booker attempted to leverage billionaire Tom Steyer’s qualifying for the next Democratic debate into a fundraising call Friday.
“The DNC’s debate thresholds have systematically paved the way for a billionaire to buy his way onto the stage while pushing out candidates of color from participating,” Booker’s campaign said. “We pride ourselves on being the party of inclusion, yet time and time again our candidates of color are cutting their campaigns short because they don’t have the financial resources to continue on.”
Steyer is the sixth candidate to qualify for the seventh Democratic debate.
He met the polling requirements after spending heavily on ads in Nevada and South Carolina, both early primary states.
Booker, who has struggled to win support among early state voters and Democrats nationally, missed the Democratic debate in December and is not expected to qualify for the upcoming debate.
“It’s a disservice to communities like his and many across the nation that someone who understands the pain, the struggle, and the hardships that get swept under the rug during these debates won’t be heard yet again,” Booker’s campaign said in the fundraising call.