McDonnell Campaign Offers Debate Compromise
Proposal to “Meet in the Middle” with 7 Debates
RICHMOND- The gubernatorial campaign of Bob McDonnell offered to compromise today with the campaign of Creigh Deeds regarding the general election debate schedule.
Bob McDonnell initially invited Deeds to join him in participating in 10 real gubernatorial debates. First the campaign offered 10 specific debates and dates. The Deeds campaign said no and called for three debates over the four month period.
The McDonnell campaign then proposed a compromise in which the campaigns would agree to hold 10 debates, with venues and dates to be determined in coordination with the Deeds campaign in order to best accommodate their schedule. The Deeds campaign again said no.
Finally, two weeks ago, the Deeds campaign moved from their previous call for three debates and offered to participate in four gubernatorial debates.
Today the McDonnell campaign is offering a schedule of seven gubernatorial debates in order to “meet in the middle” and get a final schedule in place as the campaigns move into August, to ensure that in this tough economy all Virginians get multiple opportunities to hear from the candidates for Virginia’s highest office.
Speaking about the compromise proposal McDonnell for Governor Director of Communications J. Tucker Martin remarked, “Unemployment is over 7%. Virginians are gravely concerned about their jobs, their retirement accounts, their home values, and the future opportunities that will be available for their children. This is not a normal campaign year. The challenges we face demand that the candidates for Virginia’s highest office stand in front of the voters, together, as many times as possible to debate each other and make clear their records and the policies they will promote if elected in November.”
Martin continued, “The longer we avoid setting the debates, the harder it will be to schedule them. We have called, repeatedly, for 10 real debates. Our opponent has rejected this proposal. He has suggested we hold four real debates. In an effort to find common ground and “meet in the middle” we ask Mr. Deeds to agree to seven real debates. We suggest three obvious choices to fill out the schedule. Virginia’s bloggers play a key role in civic discourse in the Commonwealth. A bipartisan group of bloggers has partnered with several media outlets to propose the “Blogs United” debate. This should be part of our debate schedule. The Center for Politics at The University of Virginia has proposed a debate in Charlottesville, to be aired on statewide television. It is fitting that the two candidates for governor would stand in Mr. Jefferson’s Rotunda to make their cases for election to the seat he once held. Finally, the joint proposal for a statewide televised debate sponsored by WJLA/YouTube/Politico also offers a great opportunity to further engage the public, and again ensure a statewide television audience.”
Martin concluded, “We look forward to hearing from the Deeds campaign on this compromise offer. It is August. We are leading by double digits in the last two public polls, and in every poll in the last month. We believe it is time to set a final debate schedule. We are willing to compromise because it is so important in this tough economy that Virginians get as many opportunities as possible to hear from their candidates together, directly and often. Our campaign believes a robust schedule of gubernatorial debates, available on television, radio and online, over the next three months will be to the great benefit of our Commonwealth.”
“Meet in the Middle” Compromise Debate Proposal
The four debates agreed to by the Deeds campaign are:
Fairfax Chamber of Commerce September 17th
Radio One Forum September 12th
LWV/AARP October 12th
WSLS October (Date TBD)
The McDonnell campaign proposes to add the following debates, putting the final amount at seven:
Blogs United Debate (Date TBD)
WJLA/YouTube/Politico Debate October 6th
UVa Center for Politics/NBC 29 Debate October 20th