ARIZONA NEWS

Audience-free Democratic presidential debate moved out of Phoenix

Mar 12, 2020, 9:40 AM | Updated: 2:40 pm

Democratic presidential debate...

Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former Vice President Joe Biden speak during a break at the Democratic presidential primary debate at the Charleston Gaillard Center on February 25, 2020 in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – There won’t be a Democratic presidential debate in Phoenix this weekend after all.

The debate between Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden scheduled for Sunday night at Arizona Federal Theatre in downtown Phoenix is being moved to Washington, D.C., the Democratic National Committee said Thursday.

“Out of an abundance of caution and in order to reduce cross-country travel, all parties have decided that the best path forward is to hold Sunday’s debate at CNN’s studio in Washington, D.C., with no live audience,” DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa said in a press release.

Hinojosa also said Univision anchor and moderator Jorge Ramos recently was exposed to a person who has tested positive for coronavirus, so he won’t take part in the debate, which starts at 5 p.m. Arizona time and will be broadcast on CNN and Univision.

Univision’s Ilia Calderón will replace Ramos as a moderator.

Earlier this week, it had been announced that no audience would be allowed in the Phoenix venue.

Sanders said Wednesday, a day after a series of bad primary results for him, he was anticipating a one-on-one debate.

“On Sunday, I very much look forward to the debate in Arizona with my friend Joe Biden,” he said.

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Audience-free Democratic presidential debate moved out of Phoenix