- Associated Press - Friday, August 28, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Here are the latest developments Friday from the Democratic National Committee meeting in Minneapolis, where four Democratic presidential candidates are addressing the party.

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2:55 p.m.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says the excitement of rallies will be critical to electing Democrats in 2016.

Sanders is warning party leaders at the Democratic National Committee summer meeting that the party will not retain the White House and recapture the House or Senate “unless we generate excitement and momentum and produce a huge voter turnout.”

He tells DNC members he doesn’t “mean to insult anyone here,” but that type of turnout “will not happen with politics as usual. The same old, same old will not be successful.”

That was apparently a reference to former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the presumptive front-runner in the party’s presidential nominating contest. Clinton has been dogged by questions about her emails and a private server she used as secretary of state.

Sanders says people understand that the nation doesn’t need “more establishment politics or establishment economics.” He says the nation needs a political movement to “take on the billionaire class” and a movement that challenges the economic and political establishment.

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2:20 p.m.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is slamming the Democratic National Committee’s decision to hold only four debates before the Iowa caucuses next February.

O’Malley says the move is “totally unprecedented” in the Democratic party and says “this sort of rigged process has never been attempted before.”

As the party’s chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, sat a few feet away from him, O’Malley asked: “Whose decree is it exactly? Where did it come from?”

His speech generated some applause in the ballroom but was a direct rebuke to DNC leaders, including Wasserman Schultz, who came up with the plan for six debates beginning in October and ending in February or March.

O’Malley says when Republicans can draw more than 20 million people to watch their first debate this month, it’s important for the party to offer its own ideas.

He says Democrats are responding “with crickets, tumbleweeds and a cynical move to delay and limit our own party debates.”

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12:10 p.m.

Hillary Rodham Clinton is insisting she is the party’s standard-bearer in next year’s election, even as Vice President Joe Biden considers challenging her and Sen. Bernie Sanders draws big crowds.

Pointing to big losses in the 2010 mid-term elections, Clinton says the party can’t allow that to happen again and must rebuild “from the ground up.”

Clinton says GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is now the de facto leader of the Republican party. She says “the party of Lincoln has become the party of Trump.”

She says other candidates “may be fighting for a particular ideology, but I’m fighting for you and your families.”

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11:30 a.m.

Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee is using his address to the Democratic National Committee to introduce party leaders to his record in the Senate, the statehouse and local government.

The long-shot presidential candidate noted that in the Senate, he voted against the tax cuts pushed by President George W. Bush and opposed the authorization of the war in Iraq.

And in a pointed remark that seemed aimed at Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chafee told the DNC: “After 30 years in public service, I’ve had no scandals. That’s not easy in Rhode Island.”

Chafee says it’s important for a nuclear agreement between Iran and the U.S. and its allies to go forward. He concluded his remarks by urging, “prosperity through peace.”

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11:05 a.m.

Presidential candidate Jim Webb is the lone in the Democratic hopeful who is skipping Friday’s meeting of national party leaders in Minneapolis.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz says Webb didn’t come to the meeting because he is taking his daughter to college.

All other Democratic contenders, including former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton, will address hundreds of top Democrats gathered at the conference.

Webb is a former Virginia senator who has been a scant presence in the 2016 campaign.

Webb’s spokesman, Craig Crawford, says the candidate told party leaders last week that his schedule is “chock full with family commitments.”

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10:25 a.m.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chafee are making high-profile speeches to members of the Democratic National Committee during its summer meeting in Minneapolis.

For the presidential field, it’s their first opportunity to appeal directly to a national gathering of current and former elected leaders, state committee members and other leaders in the Democratic Party who serve as super delegates for each presidential campaign. While the super delegates are not bound by any commitments they make to a candidate before next summer’s convention, they are highly sought after by presidential candidates.

The DNC meeting comes as Clinton deals with questions about her use of a private email account and server as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state. It also comes as Vice President Joe Biden is considering entering the presidential campaign, which could pose a threat to Clinton’s position as the front-runner for the nomination.

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