Why is Joe Kennedy Playing Hide-and-Seek with Debates?
Last night, President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney met in a highly anticipated live debate in Denver, Colorado. This event gave the American people their first opportunity to hear the different perspectives of the candidates and decide whose vision to support in November.
This American tradition gives candidates time to stand humbly before the voters, make their case, and confidently ask for the vote of the people. The engagement between voters and their candidates for public office is what has made our country great for over 200 years and is a bedrock of our republic. This is also a tradition that should be reflected in Brookline and its’ Fourth District. Unfortunately, Joe Kennedy III does not agree with this American tradition of debates and transparency, based on his reluctance to participate in both.
While I commend the willingness of both presidential nominees to stand before the American people to debate the issues, this moment also deepens my personal disappointment over the fact that my opponent, Joe Kennedy III, still insists on running a campaign based more on a game of hide-and-seek than on facing the voters of the Fourth District and Brookline.
With a thin résumé of only 2.5 years work experience, no firsthand knowledge of how to create a job or live on a budget or get our economy growing again, Brookline and this district deserve better.
My opponent is running a ghost campaign, premised on talking points and name ID, utterly lacking substance or qualifications. While the President of the United States can find time for a 90-minute, live TV debate, here at home my opponent, a 31-year-old who’s not currently employed, can’t seem to find the time.
Joe and I were invited to participate in 16 debates between the primary on September 7 and Election Day. While I never expected to schedule all 16 events, Joe will only participate in three, insisting that none be broadcast live on television or radio.
This is most telling when contrasted with 2010. When I ran against Barney Frank, a 16-term incumbent and Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Barney agreed that debates were important. Despite being a busy and powerful member of Congress, Barney and I met in 9 debates and events during just a six-week period.
Joe does not have a job, yet claimed that he is too busy to debate during the eight weeks we have had between the primary and Election Day. Shouldn’t the voters in the Fourth District deserve to know why?
Debates are an important way for voters to learn about candidates and hear details about different visions for this country. The great thing about a debate is that it gives voters a chance to compare two candidates side-by-side, rather than having one candidate avoid the public eye.
I call on Joe to be upfront and accountable to the people of Brookline. Stand toe-to-toe with your opponent and make your case to the voters in person and on the record. The voters should expect no less from our candidates.
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