Sanders had accepted Fox News’ offer last week, but a spokeswoman for Clinton said that “we believe that Hillary Clinton’s time is best spent campaigning and meeting directly with voters across California and preparing for a general election campaign that will ensure the White House remains in Democratic hands.”
Sanders said that he was “disappointed but not surprised by Secretary Clinton’s unwillingness to debate before the largest and most important primary in the presidential nominating process.”
His campaign has argued that Clinton agreed to a schedule of debates in January, with one slated for an unspecified date in May before the California primary.
Clinton is expected to clinch the Democratic nomination on June 7, but Sanders said that she “may not want to be quite so presumptuous about thinking that she is a certain winner.” He cited his recent wins in West Virginia, Oregon and Indiana.
Bill Sammon, VP and Washington managing editor of Fox News, said, “Naturally, Fox News is disappointed that Secretary Clinton has declined our debate invitation, especially given that the race is still contested and she had previously agreed to a final debate before the California primary.”