Gilmore Wants Another Televised Debate
In a move that isn’t all that surprising, but can be put into the category of very much unlikely, Gov. Jim Gilmore is asking Gov. Mark Warner to take part in another televised debate, saying that his opposition to the Wall Street bailout package and Warner’s support for it, deserve another another vetting in the public square.
There was some back and forth between the two camps regarding debates early on during the campaign season, before Warner relented and agreed to three debate opportunities, the last of which was televised statewide (and on NBC12). Gilmore attacked Warner pretty hard accusing him of dodging debates, the televised one in particular. But now that attack seems to have lost some of its luster, because Warner did agree to the debate.
I have a dispatch out to the Warner camp on their feelings about another debate and I will let you know what I hear. You can see Gilmore’s complete statement after the jump.
Here is the response from Kevin Hall, communications director for Mark Warner:
“We have participated in three debates — which is the traditional number of debates conducted in statewide election years in Virginia. We now are on the road every day, making our case directly to Virginians, asking for the privilege of representing them in the U.S. Senate.”
CAMPAIGN SAYS GILMORE OPPOSITION TO WALL STREET BAILOUT AND
WARNER SUPPORT FOR IT CALLS FOR AN ADDITIONAL TELEVISED DEBATE
Alexandria – Expressing the need for voters of Virginia to become familiar with the views of both U.S. Senate candidates on the important issues facing our country, including the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street, the Jim Gilmore for Senate Campaign has sent a letter to the League of Women Voters in Virginia requesting they renew their offer to host a statewide televised debate on free television.
The Gilmore Campaign pointed out that only one statewide televised debate has been held and noted Mark Warner’s refusal previously to accept an opportunity to appear at the traditional League of Women Voters debate which has been a key appearance for every Virginia statewide campaign in recent years. The Gilmore Campaign has accepted the LWV’s debate proposal and urged Mark Warner to reconsider his refusal to debate.
Text of letter follows:
In view of recent national events — from on-going housing problems to the crisis on Wall Street — and both of the Virginia U.S. Senate candidates’ differing positions on the federal bailout of Wall Street, it seems increasingly important that Virginia voters be afforded an additional opportunity to see both of their U.S. Senate candidates further debate these important issues on statewide television.
Televised debates are one of the most effective ways for voters to learn firsthand about the candidates and their policy positions. They provide an unfiltered medium through which voters are able to hear about the critical issues facing our nation today and the contrasting positions and solutions each candidate has to offer.
Because of the League of Women Voters’ tradition of sponsoring televised debates for major candidates for statewide office in Virginia, former Gov. Jim Gilmore was honored to accept your June invitation to debate on statewide television. Unfortunately, former Gov. Mark Warner did not agree to your invitation and the voters were ill served by his refusal to debate.
Now, however, our nation and our state are facing troubling times of historic proportions. So it would seem appropriate at this time for your organization to once again renew its offer to host a traditional League of Women Voters nonpartisan debate. We would certainly again accept your invitation to discuss the issues. We are confident the voters of Virginia would support a statewide television debate. And, considering what is at stake for the people of our Commonwealth, we would hope former Gov. Warner would accept as well.
Thank you for your consideration of this request. We look forward to working with the League of Women Voters in its remarkable efforts to make the voters as informed as possible prior to the Nov. 4th election.