Debate rhetoric heats up
Creigh Deeds and Bob McDonnell will appear in a face to face debate for the first time their campaign for Governor. The debate, a Commonwealth tradition, will be hosted by the Virginia Bar Association at the Homstead Resort in Hot Springs on Saturday. While it is being held in a relatively remote corner of the state, it will be streamed live on Style Weekly‘s new internet venture, VirginiaTalks.com.
McDonnell, who on Monday, earned the support of prominent African-American business leader Shelia Johnson, has challenged Deeds to 10 different debates across Virginia. The Deeds campaign has been resistant to such a large number of debates, citing time constraints and scheduling issues. However in an interesting turn of events, Deeds announced that he is ready to engage and listed 10 different debates and forums that he has agreed to participate in. The announcement was even more of a surprise given that at one point Deeds had said he only planned to agree to 3 debates.
But not surprisingly, after reviewing the list, McDonnell’s team determined it wasn’t enough. They labeled the events that Deeds agreed to as more “forums” than “debates”. They went on to say that Deeds has only upped his participation in face to face debates by one and that includes this weekend’s debate which happens to be in his home county. Finally the McDonnell camp asked that every debate be provided live across the state.
Interestingly, much of this rhetoric will truly come into focus after we see how the two spar this weekend. Obviously the McDonnell team is bullish on their candidate’s ability to debate. If for some reason he falters or Deeds out performs him, perhaps the calls to debate will wane. Or perhaps it will be the Deeds team will be the one asking for more.
Both releases from today’s battle in the debate war can be found after the jump.
DEEDS CAMPAIGN RELEASES DEBATE AND FORUM SCHEDULE
~ 10 Debates and Forums Scheduled Throughout Commonwealth ~
ALEXANDRIA – Sen. Creigh Deeds, the Democratic nominee for governor, will appear at 10 debates and forums across Virginia over the next 105 days, pending the acceptance of Republican nominee Bob McDonnell.
On Tuesday, Deeds’ campaign released a schedule of 10 debates and forums, beginning with the Virginia Bar Association debate on Saturday. The proposed list includes events in every region, in a wide variety of formats and before a variety of audiences.
“We’re looking forward to talking to Virginians all over the Commonwealth about Creigh’s plans to jumpstart Virginia’s economy, keep Virginia a low-tax, business friendly state, and create good jobs at good wages. We hope the McDonnell campaign will agree to appear with us,” said Campaign Manager Joe Abbey.
* HOT SPRINGS — Virginia Bar Association Debate, The Homestead – July 25, 2009
* RICHMOND – Virginia Agriculture and Forestry Forum, July 31, 2009
* LOUDOUN CO. – Loudoun Chamber of Commerce Forum, August TBD
* NORFOLK – Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association Forum, September 15, 2009
* MCLEAN — Fairfax Chamber of Commerce Debate, September 17, 2009
* RICHMOND – Radio One Candidate Forum, September 22, 2009
* ROANOKE – WSLS10 Debate, Roanoke, Date TBD
* NORFOLK – Greater Norfolk Corporation Forum, Norfolk, TBD
* RICHMOND – League of Women Voters/AARP Debate — October 12, 2009
* HAMPTON – Southern Christian Leadership Conference Forum, October 22, 2009
McDonnell Campaign Comments on Creigh Deeds Proposal for Four Debates
Deeds Campaign Goes from Agreeing to Three, to now Four, Debates McDonnell renews call for ten real debates available live statewide
RICHMOND- Today, after weeks of dodging an invitation from Bob McDonnell to join him in ten debates statewide, Creigh Deeds finally began to reluctantly move towards this proposal.
The Deeds campaign had previously stated their interest in only participating in three debates. Today, they increased the number to four.
Speaking about today’s small movement from the Deeds campaign, McDonnell for Governor, press secretary Crystal Cameron remarked, “Today, Bob McDonnell rolled out a comprehensive and specific transportation plan, something Creigh Deeds admits he doesn’t, and will not have. While Bob was in Arlington standing by Interstate 66 and talking about getting traffic moving again, the Deeds campaign was responding to pressure that has mounted statewide to engage in debates. These are difficult times, and Virginia citizens deserve a robust discussion of the issues facing the Commonwealth. Unfortunately, the Deeds proposal includes six forums or joint appearances, many of which we have already agreed to, and only four real debates, which includes the one in his home county this weekend. We hope the Deeds campaign will agree to a schedule of ten real debates available live to the public. We look forward to sitting down with them to put together this schedule.”