McDonnell challenges Deeds to series of debates
Let the debate challenges begin! Bob McDonnell‘s campaign formally presented the Creigh Deeds campaign with a proposal for the two to meet in a series of 10 debates in a variety of locations throughout the commonwealth. At this point the two campaigns have only agreed to one forum, hosted by the Virginia Bar Association on July 25th at the Homestead Resort, which the McDonnell campaign pointed out is in Bath County, where Deeds lives. The VBA debate is a Virginia tradition, but is held in a far reaching part of Virginia and is not broadcast statewide.
In the release McDonnell is quoted as saying that he hopes “Creigh will agree that Virginians deserve to hear from the two candidates for Virginia’s highest office directly, and together, as often as is possible.”
So far the Deeds campaign has not responded to the salvo, saying they only received the request this morning. It appears right around the same time reporters did.
The McDonnell campaign has already laid out the dates times and locations of the 10 debates and they are all events that have been proposed and put together by independent outlets, not by either campaign. Aside from the VBA debate, none of the 9 other proposed debates have been agreed to by both campaigns.
The Deeds camp has responded to the McDonnell challenge by saying they are “eager” to compare the two candidates records and will continue to work with independent groups and media outlets to determine the best forums to participate in. It appears though, that Deeds is not quite ready to take part in all 10 of the debates McDonnell suggested.
Campaign spokesman Jared Leopold said in a written statement that Deeds expects “the number of debates to be in line with precedent from the 2005 Kaine-Kilgore and Deeds-McDonnell debate schedules.”
In case you are wondering there were three debates in both the Kaine-Kilgore and Deeds-McDonnell races in 2005.
The full statement from the Deeds camp can be found after the jump..
While we can take McDonnell at his word that his goal is to give voters every opportunity to hear from the candidates, there is obviously some strategy at play. I asked people on twitter what the McDonnell team’s goal was got some good feedback. Here is a response from someone who leans to the right and another from someone who leans to the left:
Norm Leahy- @tertiumquids trying to prove he’s not Jerry Kilgore?
Laura Harrison- @LauraPocketDem I’m all for debates but 10 seems a little excessive. They’d probably just give their same talking points 10 times.
I’ll update you when we hear how the Deeds campaign plans to respond. The full release, including the list of proposed debates from the McDonnell campaign, can be found after the jump…
McDonnell Calls for Series of 10 Statewide Gubernatorial Debates
Formal Series of Debates to Run July 25th – October 20th
McDonnell: “This series of ten gubernatorial debates statewide from July through October will reinvigorate political discourse in Virginia, and ensure that this race is marked by a serious discussion of the major issues facing the Commonwealth.”
RICHMOND- Bob McDonnell, Republican gubernatorial nominee and former Attorney General of Virginia, today proposed a formal series of ten gubernatorial debates, taking place statewide, between himself and Democratic nominee Creigh Deeds. McDonnell proposes that the debates begin with the already agreed to Virginia Bar Association debate taking place in Deeds’ home county on July 25th, and conclude with a final debate at the Rotunda on the grounds of Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia on October 20th, exactly two weeks prior to Election Day. This proposal has been formally presented to the Deeds campaign in a letter from McDonnell Campaign Manager Phil Cox which was sent this morning.
Speaking about the invitation to Creigh Deeds to participate in ten formal debates focused on the pressing issues facing the citizens of the Commonwealth, McDonnell stated, “With unemployment over 7%, and Virginians facing significant challenges from job creation to transportation to education, we need a gubernatorial campaign focused on the issues. Virginians are tired of sound bite campaigns. They want to know where the candidates stand on the issues of today. And they want to hear this directly from the candidates. This series of ten gubernatorial debates statewide from July through October will reinvigorate political discourse in Virginia, and ensure that this race is marked by a serious discussion of the major issues facing the Commonwealth.”
McDonnell continued, “It would be an honor to travel the state from late July through late October debating Creigh on jobs, transportation, education, economic development, health care, the environment, public safety, taxes and spending in front of audiences in every region. I anticipate that each debate will be available to voters statewide online and through radio, print and television outlets. These debates would keep the focus of this campaign where it belongs: on the issues. I hope Creigh will agree that Virginians deserve to hear from the two candidates for Virginia’s highest office directly, and together, as often as is possible. I look forward to receiving Creigh’s positive reply to this proposal for a formal series of ten gubernatorial debates.”
In proposing this debate schedule the McDonnell campaign incorporated various invitations received in recent weeks. The campaign has not received a formal debate invitation from any organization in Southwest Virginia, but believes it is important the region play host to a debate as part of this series. Any organization wishing to host a Southwest Virginia debate is encouraged to submit a proposal to the McDonnell and Deeds campaigns.
The below proposed debate schedule is a suggestion of dates for this formal series of 10 debates. The McDonnell campaign will work with the Deeds campaign and all debate organizers to ensure that the dates, and locations, for the 10-debate series work for all parties.
Proposed McDonnell/Deeds Gubernatorial Debate Series
· The Virginia Bar Association Debate
The Homestead Resort in Bath County
· Cox Communications-Hampton Roads Debate
Cox Studios- Chesapeake
· Southwest Virginia Debate
Sponsor and Location TBD
· Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce Debate
· Radio One/Richmond Crusade for Voters/The Chesterfield Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc/ Rho Eta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Community Forum Debate onRichmond Radio Stations: WCDX 92.1FM, WKJM 99.3FM and WKJS 105.7FM (simulcast), WPZZ 104.7FM, WTPS AM 1240
Radio One Studios- Richmond
· CNN “State of the Union Virginia Governor’s Debate”
CNN Studios- Washington D.C.
· YouTube/Politico/WJLA Statewide Televised Debate
WJLA Studios- Arlington
· WSLS Statewide Televised Debate
· League of Women Voters/AARP/PBS/WTVR/WTKR/WDBJ Statewide Televised Debate
· NBC 29/University of Virginia Center for Politics Statewide Televised Debate
The Rotunda on the Grounds of the University of Virginia- Charlottesville
DEEDS CAMPAIGN STATEMENT ON 2009 DEBATE SCHEDULE
Jared Leopold, spokesman for the Deeds for Governor campaign, released the following statement Wednesday about the debate schedule for 2009:
“Creigh Deeds is eager to compare his record of common-sense leadership to Bob McDonnell’s record of opposing bipartisan progress.
“Creigh participated in numerous debates and joint appearances in the primary, and his strong debate performances helped to propel his come-from-behind victory.
“The Deeds campaign will work with community and news organizations and the McDonnell campaign to schedule a series of debates, so that all Virginians have the opportunity to hear the stark differences between the two candidates. We expect the number of debates to be in line with precedent from the 2005 Kaine-Kilgore and Deeds-McDonnell debate schedules.”