By Bill Pan
Marianne Williamson, the first Democrat to formally challenge President Joe Biden for the 2024 primary, accused the Democratic National Committee (DNC) of “rigging” the nomination process in favor of Biden.
During her Sunday appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Williamson railed against DNC’s recent decision that pushes back Iowa and New Hampshire to place South Carolina, where Biden enjoyed comfortable winning margins, as the first nominating state in 2024.
According to the Biden-backed plan approved last month at the DNC’s winter meeting in Philadelphia, South Carolina will be the first state to host the Democratic presidential primaries on Feb. 3, 2024, followed three days later by Nevada and New Hampshire. The traditional lineup of the past 50 years has Iowa as the lead-off state, followed by New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina.
“I can tell you that New Hampshirites are not happy about that,” said Williamson, a 70-year-old self-help author who mounted an unsuccessful presidential bid in 2020.
“The DNC should not be rigging this system,” she continued. “They don’t even pretend anymore. They’re not even covert about their swaying the primary season. They’re very overt about it.”
When asked if she expects an opportunity to debate Biden, Williamson said the president “certainly should” debate her and allow voters to decide who deserve the nomination.
“It should be the voters who decide. It should not be the DNC that decides,” she argued. “It should be the voters who decide. That is what a democracy is.”
Biden, currently the oldest president in U.S. history, will be 82 at the end of his first term. Williamson didn’t say whether she thinks Biden is too old to run for reelection but implied that voters will likely take age into consideration.
“I don’t think ageism has any place in our thinking. But I do think that the American people obviously know what the statistics are,” she said.
According to a recent poll from The Associated Press, most people in the United States, including most Democrats, say they don’t want him to run again.
Williamson also said that she will “absolutely” compete in the New Hampshire primary, even if the Granite State was stripped from its traditional spots on the primary calendar.
Under New Hampshire’s election law, both Democratic and Republican must hold their presidential primary elections a full week before any other state’s. Meanwhile, Iowa has a caucus system that allows voters to pick their preferred candidates ahead of the New Hampshire primaries.
In New Hampshire, both state officials and Democrats have vowed to follow the existing law and hold their primary first no matter what, although defying the DNC’s new calendar opens up the state Democratic Party to potential punishments, including losing of half its delegates.
“Joe Biden and the power brokers at the DNC in Washington think New Hampshire’s time is up, but it’s not in our DNA to take orders from Washington,” Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, wrote on Twitter. “New Hampshire will be going first in 2024.”