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Threat of Strike Dashes CBS Democratic Debate in Los Angeles

The Democratic National Committee announced Wednesday that it has canceled its upcoming debate in Los Angeles, after the top Democratic presidential candidates said they would not cross a picket line to attend the CBS event if news writers decide to strike.

"Due to the uncertainty created by the ongoing labor dispute between CBS and the Writers Guild of America, the DNC has canceled the December 10th debate in Los Angeles. There are no plans to re-schedule," DNC Communications Director Karen Finney said in a statement.

CBS said in a statement that it "regrets not being able to offer" the debate, and that "the possibility of picket lines set up by the Writers Guild of America and the unwillingness of many candidates to cross them made it necessary to allow the candidates to make other plans."

Democratic candidates quickly voiced their intentions for the debate the day before Thanksgiving, after Hillary Clinton released a statement saying she hopes both sides will reach an agreement at CBS, but that she would "honor the picket line if the workers at CBS News decide to strike."

John Edwards said he too would not cross the picket line in the event of a strike.

Barack Obama's campaign quickly followed suit, as did the campaigns of Bill Richardson, Joe Biden and Chris Dodd, saying they would not attend the debate if there were a strike.

CBS News writers last Monday authorized their union leaders to call a national strike. About 500 of the network's television and radio news writers in New York, Los Angeles and other cities have been working under an expired contract since April 2005.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.