A spokesman for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders campaign said that they disagreed with CBS executives only over “minor technical issues” about the debate Saturday during a conference call earlier in the day.
A report in Yahoo News said that Sanders strategist Mark Longabaugh objected to the shift from the debate to more of a focus on foreign policy during a conference call involving representatives from all three campaigns and CBS. A source on the call repeated that account with TIME.
But Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs said that the Vermont Senator was looking forward to the debate and noted that “obviously what happened in Paris was going to be a major focus.”
“Were there minor technical issues someone from another camp wanted to blow up?” he said. “Yes, but we worked through them.”
Sanders will join former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, for a two-hour debate starting at 9 p.m.
After terrorist attacks in Paris, which killed at least 129 people in half a dozen locations across the city, the network announced that it would shift the focus of the debate to include more time for national security, foreign policy and terrorism.
That focus would most clearly benefit Clinton, who has more experience on foreign policy, and disrupts Sanders’ plans to criticize her economic policy.
With reporting by Sam Frizell in Des Moines
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