CNN invites Bloomberg to Nevada town hall despite him skipping early states

CNN has announced the lineup for its next round of town halls with Democratic candidates in Nevada. Notably, the network extended an invitation to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg despite his campaign skipping the early states' primaries but it appeared to be omitting Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, and billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer.

On Wednesday evening, CNN revealed that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., will each have one-hour town halls on Tuesday, Feb. 18 while former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren will have their turns on Thursday, Feb. 20. The next Democratic debate is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 19.

According to CNN, the candidates who currently qualify for the Democratic debate next week were extended invitations. However, Bloomberg, who has yet to qualify for the debate, received an invitation.


"While Bloomberg has not yet qualified for the debate, CNN extended Bloomberg an invitation to participate in the Nevada Town Halls, as part of the network's commitment to hosting town halls with the Democratic presidential candidates," the network wrote on its website.

Bloomberg only has three out of the four qualifying polls he needs to earn a podium on the debate stage. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) had previously removed the donor requirement, which critics say paved the way for Bloomberg to "buy" his way into the debates.

When Bloomberg launched his campaign late last fall, he notably acknowledged that his campaign would be skipping over the early states, including Nevada, with a strategy to put complete focus on Super Tuesday early next month. With the Democratic field narrowing down to just eight candidates, only two have been snubbed by the Atlanta-based network: Gabbard and Steyer, who are both competing in Nevada.

Gabbard's campaign confirmed to Fox News that she did not receive an invitation from CNN.


Gabbard, the only person of color still left in the race, was quite vocal about being left out of CNN's last round of town halls, organizing a demonstration outside the New Hampshire venue in protest. She said she was never given an explanation as to why she never received an invitation while former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who was polling lower than Gabbard at the time, landed a town hall, as well as Steyer, who Gabbard had outpolled in New Hampshire ahead of the primary.

CNN did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment. The Steyer campaign also did not respond for comment.