- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 13, 2019

Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana said Thursday the possibility that he doesn’t get an invite to the first presidential debate shows the Democratic National Committee didn’t learn anything from the 2016 election.

Mr. Bullock, one of the last candidates to enter the Democratic presidential race, finds himself on the outside looking in after failing to register in enough polls that the DNC is relying on to determine who gets a place later this month in Miami.

“Clearly, we haven’t learned the right lesson from the 2016 election — and that might squander our chances in 2020,” Mr. Bullock said in a Fortune.com op-ed.

The DNC has determined the opening debate will feature 20 candidates split into two groups over back-to-back nights.

To qualify, the DNC announced in February that candidates needed to register 1 percent in three separate polls released between the beginning of the year and June 12, or receive donations from 65,000 donors, including 200 individual donors from 20 states.

Mr. Bullock last week learned the DNC would not be using open-ended polls, including one that the Democrat was relying on.

The governor said the rules are unfair, arguing he entered the race later than most because he was focused on his day job and that he offers something others do not.

“Getting progressive things done in a state [President] Trump won by 20 points is a record that should animate our political discussion,” Mr. Bullock said. “Instead, that commitment could be what keeps me off the debate stage at the end of the month.”

“We can’t let these rules get in the way of actually winning the election,” he said. “If we’re going to prevail in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio, we need a candidate who can energize our base and win back those who voted for Trump.”

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