Wetterling to Bachmann: I will debate you

August 10th, 2006 – 10:25 AM by Eric Black

Wetterling campaign manager Corey Day disputes the Republican line that Wetterling’s failure to participate in a Forest Lake Chamber of Commerce debate shows she’s afraid to debate her chief opponent, state Sen. Michele Bachmann.

Wetterling will participate in a League of Women Voters-sponsored television debate in October, Day said. Details are still under discussion but it looks like Oct. 22, televised on KSTP.

Wetterling will consider debate invitations from other “fair and impartial” organizations that come forward and offer to sponsor debates, he said.

The National Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Bachmann, Day said, and the Forest Lake chamber was inflexible about dates.

In a letter to supporters chiding Wetterling for skipping the Forest Lake debate, Bachmann proposed 12 debates between now and election day.

30 Responses to "Wetterling to Bachmann: I will debate you"

BvW » Blog Archive » Wetterling to Bachmann: I will debate you says:

August 10th, 2006 at 11:12 am

[...]
Wetterling to Bachmann: I will debate you

The intrepid Eric Black has this item over at the Big Question: Wetterling campaign manager Corey Day dis [...]

eric zaetsch says:

August 10th, 2006 at 11:13 am

What would twelve (12) encounters provide that one (1) fair debate, on the LWV level playing field in October which us near election day, would more tightly provide voters seeking a choice?

[1] An opportunity to set up unfair humbug.

[2] Needless repetition.

[3] Tired voters by the time LWV held their premier event.

[4] Aid and comfort to the trailing candidate against the frontrunner.

[5] A chance to pack an intermediate event with a rowdy crowd. LWV will clear a hall if rowdiness happens.

[6] Dry runs, w/o TV coverage, whereas LWV usually is telivised and advertised well in advance. If the TV stations are decent, the debate can be rebroadcast for a better distribution up to election day.

[7] Biased questions along the way – LWV is bipartisan and formulates questions accordingly – and with an aim to best inform voters on real issues. Clearly, different candidates can view “real” differently, but LWV is as fair and unbiased as you will get – no one candidate trying to trap another.

[8] More exposure for John Binkowski, who trails both front-runners and stands to gain the most from multi-encounters.

[9] Unequal press coverage – LWV as a premier event will be covered; unless there are 11 lead-in acts.

[10] A chance that one bad moderator might not spoil the whole show. If LWV is to be the only debate, it must have a capable and experienced moderator. It is unlikely, LWV has experience and picks quality people to moderate and move things along.

I could list more. Let others shoot at my ten ideas, contradict the entire idea of one-is-better, prioritize among benefits one way or the other, or comment about any of the three candidates, in a debate related way.

Devon Holstad says:

August 10th, 2006 at 11:49 am

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Jeff says:

August 10th, 2006 at 12:10 pm

Have you considered that maybe the 12 debates is an opening bargaining position, not the final one?

Multiple debates have the advantage of allowing the candidates to explore a topic in detail.

Rather than taking three minutes on, say, farm policy, and then moving to prescription drugs, an entire debate could be set aside to focus on one area.

Eric Langness says:

August 10th, 2006 at 12:37 pm

Plain and simple Patty Wetterling is unwilling to debate Senator Michelle Bachmann.

An excuse of the Forest Lake debate not being “fair and impartial� is absurd. The Forest Lake Area Chamber of Commerce has done campaign debates for years from everything from local city council and school district elections to major campaigns such as the 6th District. I personally have run in several campaigns in the local area and participated in numerous forums, as Senator Michelle Bachmann graciously did this week. The chamber has always been fair in procedures with their only objective to inform the public of where all candidates stand. Ms. Wetterling is unwilling to show the public her viewpoints because she knows she is out of touch with the districts residents.

It was still a worthwhile evening seeing the differences between the Independence party candidate and Senator Michelle Bachmann. The senator described her strong stance on tax reduction, her value for education and her conservative history in state government.

A particularly interesting part of the evening was listening to Senator Michelle Bachmann describe the history of her interest in politics. Her initial political passion was education. She described her leadership in the repeal of the Profile of Learning and how it has improved schools throughout Minnesota.

Senator Michelle Bachmann came out a clear winner at the Forest Lake candidate forum not because another candidate chooses not to show but because she is willing to show the people of the 6th district where she stands on the issues; she stands with them.

Eric Langness
Forest Lake Area School Board Member

bsimon says:

August 10th, 2006 at 1:07 pm

Eric, as a school board member, how do you feel about Ms Bachmann’s affiliation with groups that seek to essentially end public education? While it appears clear that you’ve already made up your mind about the two major party candidates, I can’t help but wonder if you know Ms Bachmann as well as you think you do.

Regarding the issue of debates, I can see value in having more than one. Just because the League of Women Voters holds a good event doesn’t mean that no other well run events would benefit voters. At the same time, its also a bit unreasonable to conclude that a candidate is afraid of debates just because they couldn’t make it to one event.

eric zaetsch says:

August 10th, 2006 at 1:22 pm

Eric Langness – school board member, one quick question: For or against teaching either creationism or intelligent design in the Forest Lake science curriculum? Or no leaning, either way?

Devon Holstad says:

August 10th, 2006 at 1:51 pm

Eric, I’m a Forest Lake resident, and we obviously don’t see the same Chamber. How do you describe the Chamber consulting Bachmann and Binkowski about the debate, including giving them different dates to choose from, and then giving Wetterling a “take it or leave it” invitation? Is that “fair and impartial”? No. This debate was set up under biased political intentions, and was illegitimate in every way. Bachmann showed up to the debate late, and spent the first few minutes attacking Wetterling. And as far as taking a clear stand on issues, can you tell me what Michele’s stance on Iraq is? Can you tell me her view on Capital Punishment? No, you can’t, because Michele hasn’t taken a clear stand on those issues, or anything other than divisive wedge issues.

Ty Webb says:

August 10th, 2006 at 3:39 pm

I am really not a Bachmann fan, and I hope she doesn’t win. But its pretty obvious she would dominate and overmatched Wetterling in any debated, stage, impartial or otherwise.

Tony says:

August 10th, 2006 at 4:30 pm

Frankly, I could not care less about this race. All three candidates I find objectionable for one reason or another.

What I do find intriguing is Bachmann’s letter to her mailing list where she blasts Wetterling for “no-showing” to events that were not confirmed by Wetterling.

However, Bachmann has no-showed for CONFIRMED and RE-CONFIRMED for three different events on our show (www.racetotheright.com).

Who would win a debate? Hard to say. Wetterling is incapable and Bachmann runs from tough questions…literally, I have seen her run from tough questions. Wetterling has no grasp of the issues and Bachmann is a habitual liar…

A debate between the two would be useless. I say, skip the debate and skip the race on the ballot.

Dave says:

August 10th, 2006 at 4:34 pm

I think Mr. Langness got his two minutes of Bachmann advertising in. And something tells me we won’t be hearing him respond to bsimon or ericz. Interesting.

Chris says:

August 10th, 2006 at 4:53 pm

Michele Bachmann is a nut. 12 debates is a lot time to show voters how her positions on the issues go no deeper than fundamentalist-Christian talking points. If I was her, I wouldn’t want any. The less she says, the better it is for her campaign.

That said, Wetterling needs to do more than just the LWV debate. If Bachmann wants to hang herself, Wetterling should help her out…

Mike Grimes says:

August 11th, 2006 at 1:14 pm

Eric Langness, with all due respect Michele Bachmann did not win the Forest lake debate, she couldn’t make it there on time and entered the room after the debate started (a few minutes late to give Michele the opportunity to not be completely embarrassed) without apology. The actual debate was fairly even although she was often unable to come up with an adequate comeback to Binkowski’s

Ordinary Joe says:

October 13th, 2006 at 7:42 pm

I think it is actually sad that the Democrats have convinced Patty Wetterling that she is a capable public servant on all issues.
They are using her because of the name recognition and sympathy generated by her horrific tragedy. She is scattered in her thoughts because personally she has her own tunnel vison while at the same time is being infused by DNC campaign gurus about other talking points she has no knowledege or real interest in.
When she talks you can hear a distinct difference in her voice when she is talking about her own radical beliefs and those that the Democrats want her to talk about.

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