Organizers for Thursday's presidential debate in Houston asked candidates not to curse during the three-hour live television event.
Their requests come after Beto O & # 39; Rourke repeatedly say the word & # 39; f *** & # 39; used in his campaign appearances and Cory Booker told CNN that the use of & # 39; thoughts and prayers & # 39; after a shooting & # 39; bulls *** & # 39; is.
O & # 39; Rourke, at the New Hampshire Democratic State Party convention on Saturday, was asked by an ABC reporter if he intended to curse during the debate.
& # 39; Maybe, & # 39; he replied.
Beto O & # 39; Rourke has repeatedly dropped the f-bomb in a series of campaigns
And Cory Booker called the & # 39; thoughts and prayers & # 39; response to mass shootings & # 39; bulls *** & # 39;
In an email to campaign staff from the Democratic National Committee and ABC News – the network that organizes the debate – officials warned candidates not to curse on stage and pointed out that the broadcast would not be running according to a tape delay CNN.
Stage order for Thursday debate
Beto O & # 39; Rourke
Any use of foul language could violate the Federal Communications Commission's improper rules, officials warned.
& # 39; We will not broadcast at a later time, so there is no way to edit coarse language & # 39 ;, according to the note. & # 39; Candidates must therefore avoid curses or expletives in accordance with federal law and FCC guidelines. & # 39;
The first two debates were organized by CNN and MSNBC – cable news networks that do not fall under the same FCC rules as ABC, a broadcast network.
O & # 39; Rourke and Booker, both in the middle or at the bottom of the pack when it comes to polls during the race, have stepped up their use of salty language.
Booker raged against the reaction to a multitude of mass shootings during an interview with CNN in May.
& # 39; More people in my life died a bit in this nation from gun violence and then all wars and revolution wars now. We are not going to give thoughts and prayers that are just bulls for me ***. I am sorry to have to say it as a believing man, but I have learned that faith without works is dead, "he said.
R & rourke also increased its use of the f-bomb after 31 people died in massive shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, in early August.
He ran to his hometown of El Paso in the aftermath and, in an exchange with reporters, showed impatience with some questions about President Trump's role in inciting violence.
& # 39; Members of the press, what difference does it make, & # 39; he replied.
He also said about the epidemic of mass shootings in America: & # 39; This is made up. & # 39; He is sale of a t-shirt on its campaign website with that slogan – for $ 30 per doll.
Thursday's debate will only contain 10 candidates and is only one night. It will be a three-hour event that takes place from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m. ET. Candidates provide opening statements, but no final statements.
The event brings top candidates Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders together on stage for the first time together with Pete Buttigieg, Booker, Amy Klobuchar, O & Rourke, Julian Castro and Andrew Yang.
Thursday's debate marks the first time Warren and Biden are on stage together, a move that focuses on those two as the Massachusetts senator makes progress in the polls.
The Democratic candidates are on their way to Houston for the debate; Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar landed on the same flight on Tuesday
Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren are at the debate together for the first time during Thursday's debate in Houston
Beto O & Rourke sells t-shirts with his thoughts on gun violence
The contenders have dropped hints about their approach to the long-awaited show-down.
Biden, who has a long political career of exhausting performance, has emphasized his record to contrast Warren's long list of plans and policy proposals, which often jokes & # 39; I have a plan for & # 39 ;.
"Plans are great, but executing those plans is something completely different," Biden said during a CNN town hall meeting last week.
In the meantime, Warren has shown a reluctance to attack the competition directly, whether it be one of her Democratic rivals or President Donald Trump.
The senator, a former high school debating champion, kept the focus on her campaign when he was asked this weekend about report preparation for the New Hampshire State Democratic party convention.
& # 39; Can we start with the fact that these are not debates like those debates are? & # 39; she said.
& # 39; I am not here to criticize another democrat or someone else's campaign. I'm here to talk about what I do for President and what I see we can do together, & Warren commented.
She held a campaign meeting on Monday evening in Austin, where she again refused to answer questions about her upcoming confrontation with the former vice president.
& # 39; I see this as an opportunity to talk about why I'm in the race and I assume that's what all the other Democrats are going to do, & # 39; she said.
Thursday's debate is one night with 10 candidates compared to the last Detroit debate (above), which was two nights with 20 candidates
Biden stumbled in the first few debates and struggled in particular in the first debate when Harris attacked him for his opposition to a federal bus program in the 1970s that she benefited from.
Although Warren is unlikely to be personally attacked, the national public will tune into the spotlight when Biden & # 39; s tendency to blunders is in the spotlight.
Biden, 76, can also be confronted with questions about his health.
Meanwhile, the other participants are under pressure to perform and have a breakout moment, as Harris did in the first debate.
The California senator's campaign fell back from the hump in the polls she received after she had chid Biden for his opposition to the bus program, and noted that it benefited a little girl & # 39; and that girl was me & # 39 ;.
Harris played down every pressure for Thursday's show.
& # 39; Anyone and the experts can ride polls. I'm not on that roller coaster, & she told reporters at the New Hampshire State Democratic Party Convention Saturday. & # 39; I am working hard. We are stable. I'm not getting high with the polls, I'm not getting low with the polls. & # 39;
The candidates were on their way to Houston prior to the third debate.
Buttigieg posted a photo of him and Klobuchar on Twitter on the same flight, sitting behind her, with the caption: & # 39; Very funny @united. & # 39;
The fourth democratic debate is likely to go back to a two-day event, such as the first two debates.
Candidates must reach 2 percent in four predetermined surveys to be eligible, along with 130,000 unique donors. All candidates in this week's debate will make the October phase.
In addition, Tom Steyer received the last poll he needed this weekend – not in time to conquer the Houston stage, but to guarantee him a place in October in Ohio.
If no one leaves the Thursday's debate earlier, at least 11 candidates qualify and the DNC is said to want to get to 10, making a second night necessary.
Tulsi Gabbard is also one poll away from the qualification and could potentially reach the October phase. Marianne Williamson fails three polls.
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