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Kentucky New Era, Hopkinsville
An offer Thursday from Centre College to host a debate between Kentucky’s U.S. Senate candidates — incumbent Republican Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes — ought to light fire under the question of whether these two can agree on debate terms.
They should debate.
So far, though, Grimes and McConnell have not come to terms.
Essentially, each accuses the other of political maneuvering on the details of when, where and how to debate.
A voter might assume they don’t actually want to debate. A voter might assume that both are looking for every way possible to the blame the other for not debating.
While respecting each campaign’s obvious interest in making the best possible deal in a debate agreement, we want to remind them that debates are for voters.
Previously, McConnell accepted an offer to debate on Louisville’s WDRB television station. Grimes would not accept because the station’s president has supported McConnell with on-air editorials.
Grimes accepted Kentucky Educational Television’s offer to host a debate, but McConnell’s campaign responded that Grimes’ team was attempting to use press releases to jockey back and forth on debate proposals.
Centre President John Roush announced the college’s offer with two sponsors, AARP and WAVE3 News, a Louisville station that has set up a network of stations around Kentucky that would show the debate live. WAVE3 anchors Scott Reynolds and Shannon Cogan would moderate the debate.
Neither campaign immediately accepted the offer.