Democrats add MoveOn forum to primary calendar

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 13:  Democratic presidential candidates U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) (L) and Hillary Clinton take part in a presidential debate sponsored by CNN and Facebook at Wynn Las Vegas.

Story highlights

  • The MoveOn forum will be held in mid-November
  • Democrats have officially sanctioned six debates

Los Angeles (CNN)Amid public pressure to expand the debate calendar, the Democratic National Committee has given the green light to a MoveOn "forum" that will reunite party contenders on one stage.

The forum, which is expected to take place in mid-November, will feature Democratic hopefuls responding to pre-recorded questions from members of MoveOn, the progressive advocacy group. All Democratic candidates have been invited, including the activist and academic Lawrence Lessig, though so far only Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has confirmed that he will attend.
The forum is not a debate: the candidates will not respond to nor engage with one another.
    The additional session comes in the wake of intra-party sparring over the DNC's decision to sanction just six primary debates this election cycle, with only four taking place before the Iowa caucuses.
    The most vocal critic of the limited schedule has been Democratic Vice Chairwoman Tulsi Gabbard, who claimed that she had been dis-invited from the party's first showdown in Las Vegas after calling for additional debates.
    The MoveOn forum joins a list of multi-candidate, non-debate events that are set to take place over the next few weeks, including the Women's Leadership Forum on Friday, the Iowa Jefferson-Jackson dinner on Saturday, and a South Carolina Democratic Party forum in early November.
    In a statement, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz endorsed the forums, saying they provided "important opportunities, along with town halls, living room conversations, county fair visits, and DNC debates all across the country, where our Democratic candidates get to engage with voters and highlight their vision for moving America forward."
    "I know MoveOn's event will help our candidates continue to have substantive discussions about the issues voters care about most," the chairwoman said.
    The second official Democratic debate will take place on November 14 in Des Moines, Iowa.