Democratic presidential candidate and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley criticized his party's debate schedule on Monday, calling the format of six debates a "sad state of affairs."
"I think that having more debates would certainly have all of the candidates take positions on issues," O'Malley said in an interview with Boston Herald Radio. O'Malley is positioning himself as a progressive alternative to Hillary Clinton, but is currently polling below 2% nationally.
"I've been very clear where I stand on Wall Street reform," he added. "I've been clear about my plan to make sure that a debt-free college degree is something that's within the means of every family in the United States, and I've been very clear about wanting to move, and putting out a plan to move our country to a 100% clean electric grid by 2050."
Last Thursday, the Democratic National Committee announced that the party will hold six primary debates. O'Malley slammed what he said was the DNC trying to stifle debate.
"And as the Democratic Party, I think it's a sad state of affairs when the DNC — it tries to insert itself to cut off a Democratic debate," he said. "We should not be a party that's afraid to talk about the ideas that will get wages going up again instead of down. We shouldn't be a party that's afraid to talk about America's role in the world and the lessons we've learned from these last very hard 14 to 15 years of conflict."
"We have better solutions for the future than the other party has, and I think we're making a huge mistake," he continued. "If we cut off debate, if we tell the people of New Hampshire that we've become such an impoverished party that we can only afford one debate before the New Hampshire primary, what the hell kind of Democratic Party is this?"
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, another underdog for the Democratic presidential nomination, also criticized the debate schedule in an interview Sunday.