Saturday, August 26, 2006

Republican Bob Corker dodging debate against Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Harold Ford Jr.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports: Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Harold Ford Jr. on Friday again called on Republican opponent Bob Corker to participate in a series of debates before the Nov. 7 election. Rep. Ford, a congressman from Memphis, wrote in a letter that he already has accepted multiple debate requests. “Tennesseans want an honest discussion of the issues they face,” Rep. Ford said in a letter to his opponent. “They do not want candidates to hide behind buzzwords and catch phrases. They want to test the depth of our knowledge.” Corker campaign spokeswoman Alexia Poe said the campaign is looking at debate requests. “We hope to make our decision shortly,” she said.

On Aug. 3, Rep. Ford called for seven televised debates. That was the day on which Mr. Corker, former Chattanooga mayor, defeated Ed Bryant and Van Hilleary to win the Republican primary. In his letter, Rep. Ford gave a litany of issues to support why the debates are important.

“With our nation at war and gasoline prices rising daily, with the 9/11 Commission recommendations sitting on the shelf five years after September 11, with our national debt spiraling and our overseas borrowing soaring, with the number of uninsured rising and farm income falling, Tennesseans deserve these debates,” he said in the letter.

Ms. Poe said Rep. Ford “is very anxious to defend his 10 years in Washington.”

“Bob Corker is looking forward to debating. It’s unfortunate that Congressman Ford is using distortions and half-truths, and our hope is he won’t use these tactics in the debates but will actually talk about the issues,” she said.

The race is for the seat held by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., who is not running for another term.


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