GOP Senators Call on Dem Opponents to Participate in Nationally Televised Debates

Posted: Sep 01, 2020 2:10 PM
GOP Senators Call on Dem Opponents to Participate in Nationally Televised Debates

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

Three GOP Senators in battleground re-election contests are calling on Democrat challengers to participate in additional debate forums. 

Sens. Martha McSally (AZ), Thom Tillis (NC) and Cory Gardner (CO) are challenging their respective opponents, Mark Kelly, Cal Cunningham and John Hickenlooper, to participate in nationally televised debates, moderated by CNN. The incumbent Republicans said that their opponents have yet to accept the invitation from CNN.

The Democratic candidates’ avoidance of debates on a national level only strengthens the GOP-led narrative that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is shielding battleground-state Senate candidates from public scrutiny in his “windowless basement,” as he hopes to win back the majority in the upper chamber. 

"These Democratic challengers have spent months terrified to disobey Chuck Schumer and answer questions on their records or the challenging issues voters care about," said NRSC spokesperson Joanna Rodriguez. "Senators McSally, Tillis, and Gardner are each so willing to stand by their own records and answer the tough questions, they're even willing to debate on CNN. With just 62 days until the election, it is time these untested and unvetted Democrats stop hiding and show voters who they really are and the liberal agenda they would back if sent to Washington."

Arizona, Colorado and North Carolina together could decide the majority in the Senate come November. If the trio of Democrat challengers truly believes that they are the best candidates, Kelly, Cunningham and Hickenlooper owe it to voters to debate ideas on a national stage.